Sunday, July 24, 2011

Warm Cookies

No, that's not a euphemism. (Could it be? I dunno. One of you would turn it into one, wouldn't you?)

I'm fairly convinced of the healing powers of warm chocolate chip cookies dipped in ice cold milk. As I just ate two of them. In that vein, today I offer my idiot proof guide to making chocolate chip cookies.

You know how you buy the dough, break them off and can put them in the oven? Yeah. That's for amateurs. You aren't an amateur, are you? No. You aren't. You like a solid, homemade cookie. And impressing people with your culinary prowess. Or secretly hoping to make them fat so you look thin by comparison. (No one does that. Nope. Never. Wouldn't dream of it.) So make these.

(As an aside: I kinda rock at the cookie making. I go crazy at Christmas time and make oodles of them and get rave reviews for all my different concotions. It's the closest I get, for now, to being a rock star, shoving cookies in peoples' faces. So trust this recipe. You with me? Good.)

This is basically the recipe on the bag of the bag of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips but I've modified it so that you need only one bowl and no mixer, thus making it that much easier, just right for you bachelor types. Trust me when I tell you that in the amount of time it will take you to open the package and break them apart, you can make a whole batch on your own. Okay, slightly longer, but the rewards in flavor and comfort level provided will be worth it.

What ya need:

2 cubes of butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla (Yes, buy this. Do not whine about needing it. I can imagine you now. Stop it.)
2 eggs
salt (a dash if your butter is salted, a teaspoon if your butter is unsalted)
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 12 oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips

Large mixing bowl
Spoon or other stirring implement
cookie sheets

To make:
Turn oven to 375 (okay, really more like 365 works the best but if your oven has those stupid little hash marks, just do somewhere between 350 and 375). Slice butter into pats or chunks and throw in bowl. Microwave for a minute and a half or so (our microwave is old, thus takes a bit longer, probably killing me faster), until melted. No one anywhere recommends this but this works for me, so, screw 'em.

After the butter is melted (it doesn't have to be perfectly melted, a few remaining lumps of butter is fine), stir in the brown sugar followed by the white sugar. Dump in vanilla and stir again. Add eggs. They'll sort of float on top so whisk them together a bit, breaking the yolks and then mix in to the butter sugar mixture. Add your salt and stir again. Sprinkle the baking soda over the top and stir yet again. Stupid easy so far, amIright?

Alright, here's where it gets ever so slightly complicated: The flour? Stir it in about a 1/3 of a cup at a time. And make sure to really stir it in, that it's all incorporated before adding some more. Phew. Difficult, I know. Once you've mixed in all the flour, dump in the chocolate chips, stir in to batter. What'd that take, five minutes? Rock star.

Drop your cookies by heaping teaspoons onto a cookie sheet, spaced apart about 2". Put in oven. I initially set a timer for 8 minutes, but check it after about 7 to see how they are doing.

If you have an extra cookie sheet, drop the dough on that one and then when the others are done you can switch it out and have constantly rotating cookie sheets so that there is always something in the oven and you aren't stuck waiting in the kitchen all day. If not, no big, remove the warm cookies to a plate in a single layer to cool. (I'd say a wire cooling rack but I don't want to ask too much of you people.)

Because ovens are finicky beasts, and mine runs hot, I actually turn the temp down a bit after the first round of cookies and decrease the cooking time by about fifteen seconds after each batch. I know, that sounds complicated, but just: 8 minutes somewhere between 350 and 375 and check at the seven minute mark. You'll be fine. (They might need longer, somewhere in the ten minute range, depending on how your oven runs.)

These cookies tend to come out thinner and crispier than if you creamed the butter and sugars together, which is how I like them.

Et voila! Homemade chocolate chip cookies! To dip in milk! Heaven! (Immmmaaaa be fat forever. Sigh.)

I even took a picture for you. Pretty! And delicious.

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