Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Cookie Monster loves cookies!!!

C is for cookie - the peoples dessert; anyone can make it. The hardest part of making a cookie is creaming the butter, and that just requires muscles or machines - no brains needed. That's good enough for me.

Of course, some cookies are better than others. Everyone has his opinion, but here's some tips for how I like my chocolate chip cookies. These ideas evolved over years of criticism from Joanne complaining that I don't make the cookies right, but she's mostly happy now.

  • First, only make half the recipe. The recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips calls for half a pound of butter, and makes about 36 cookies. Who wants 36 cookies ? Just halve the recipe, and make 9 at a time. The dough stays good in the fridge for 5 days or so. I usually start with the ghirardelli's recipe, and go from there.
  • Next, only use half the chips. Whoever sold that bag of chips wants to stuff you full of chocolate, but I like a cookie with some chips, not chips with some cookie. So when making half the ghirardelli recipe, only use 1/2 cup of chips - not a full cup. That was Joanne's idea.
  • I'm a nuts guy. I like a half cup of chopped pecans (walnuts are ok too) to go with the half cup of chips. Joanne doesn't like nuts, but I make the cookies, so nuts are in. I'm the man!
  • Cover the dough, and let it sit in the fridge for a half a day. I don't know why, but the cookies are better. That's a tip from an old NY Times article.
  • Joanne likes her cookies "crispy" - cooked all the way through - brown on top - no goo in the middle. Cook chocolate chip cookies at 375 degrees (ghiradelli got that right), but go for 12-13 minutes depending. Just keep an eye on the cookies after 10 minutes - pretend you're the Oracle in the Matrix. I used to be a crispy on the outside goo in the middle guy, but I've been converted.
  • Most people like a warm from the oven cookie, but I actually like a cookie best an hour or two after it comes out of the oven. Somehow the cookie settles down chemically after an hour - not too hot, holds together well, nice texture - good "mouth feel" (isn't that a disgusting phrase?). At any rate - let the cookie cool a little bit on the sheet, then on a rack - outside of dogs' reach (very important). You'll just piss yourself off if you don't wait, and you try to pickup a cookie off the sheet, and it just collapses under it's own weight, because it's still goo, but you shove the goo into your mouth, and burn your mouth, because it's too hot. Not that I ever did that ...
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