Monday, April 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

If someone knows a better way to break a week-long carb fast than with a huge bowl of creamy, cheesy, carby homemade macaroni and cheese, followed by a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie chaser, I'd love to hear it. I couldn't think of anything better than that, so last Tuesday night, that's exactly what Dan and I made. After my second helping of this:

I heaved myself off the couch and out of my cheese coma and got the ingredients together for the cookies

flour, baking soda, salt, butter, dark brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, chocolate

I started by sifting together the flour, baking soda, and salt twice.

 photo courtesy of Dan

I creamed the butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy, and then added the vanilla.

After beating the egg into submission lightly, I added it a little at a time, beating between each addition so as not to overwhelm the batter. I added the dry ingredients last, mixing on the lowest speed just until the dough came together.

Last, it was time to add the dark chocolate. Dan's mom had given me a few squares in my Easter basket (aw), and I foolishly thought this would be enough to fulfill the 225g requirement.

91g. Fail.

Luckily, Dan's mom also included a sweet milk chocolate bunny in my basket, which I hadn't eaten yet, and which got us a lot closer to our chocolate quota (although not quite all the way). So...

Bye Bye Bunny. Edited to Add: Dan is not this creepy (or sociopathic) in real life.

Once Dan had surgically disassembled Peter Cottontail, we added all the chocolate to the batter and mixed to incorporate.
The kitchen was quite warm after having the oven on for so long, so I put the batter in the fridge for about 20 minutes so that it was less soft and sticky. When it was ready, I used a small ice cream scoop and scooped 20 cookies onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets and put them into the oven.

It's always hard to gauge cooking time with this book because usually I have to tack on a few (or 20) more minutes. When I checked after the prescribed 11 minutes, this is what the cookies looked like:

 Hot, melted dough anyone?

I know they're supposed to stay gooey in the center, but these were no where near finished. I checked them again after another 5 minutes, and then another 2, which is when I finally took them out. 

In retrospect, I wish I had taken the cookies out after about 14-15 minutes. They weren't overbaked, but they weren't nice and gooey in the center either, like they should have been, but were more on the cakey side. Although I didn't use the full amount of chocolate, I don't think I would have liked any more. The combination of milk and dark chocolate was kind of nice, as I'm a much bigger fan of the former, and the milk chocolate added a nice touch of sweetness. These were good, especially when dipped in milk, but I have to say, the best Chocolate Chip Cookie award still goes to the Toll House recipe on the back of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. They're buttery, sweet, with just a hint of salt and just the right amount of chocolate. These were very similar, but I missed the intense butteryness I really like in a chocolate chip cookie.

And now we break from your regularly scheduled program to bring you Embarrassing Story Time:
Wednesday night I let Dexter outside in the back yard and started making my lunch for Thursday. I also usually pack an english muffin for breakfast, so I can save the extra 7 minutes it takes to eat it and sleep in instead, but when I opened my container of muffins, I saw a tiny little flying bug inside. Ugh, I thought. How incredibly gross. I absolutely hate bugs with such an intense passion, it is rivaled only by my intense fear of them. I'm so terrified of bugs, I can't even kill the smallest little spider (mosquitoes are the one exception because they LOVE me and I HATE them enough to kill them and ENJOY it). And once I finally gather the courage to squish a fly by throwing a massive magazine on it from about 10 feet away, I then can't stand to get close enough to it to clean it up. My sister can attest to this as she has seen me many times, completely freaking out, standing on my bed, refusing to get close to the remains of the squashed bug I made her kill for me, but which she then refuses to clean up.

Anyway, I saw the little bug in my english muffins and reluctantly threw them in the trash. Sadly, I hadn't gotten any cereal at the store that night, because helloo I have english muffins! Right. Instead I packed a yogurt and just figured I would eat an early lunch.

It was then that I saw the evil shadow of something ominous flying in a tight little circle right over the counter. It was a small light green bug which had obviously flown in when I opened the door for Dexter and was seriously regretting that decision as it flew in hysterical little circles waaayy too close for comfort. I kept my eye on it for as long as I could (because even worse than spotting an unwelcome flying visitor is losing sight of it because now you know it's lurking somewhere, you just don't know where), but eventually had to turn to the fridge to get turkey for my sandwich. Of course, when I turned around, it was gone, and part of me was a little optimistic that it had just relocated to a different part of the house and there was nothing to worry about (ha! yeah right). I removed just one piece of bread and kept the rest of the bag closed, just in case, and started assembling my sandwich. I was almost done and just had to add the turkey, which I had kept hermetically sealed in plastic up to this point. I unfolded the plastic and peeled off a piece of turkey when DEAR GOD WHAT IS THAT?!?! It was back! and heading right for my food. I swatted it away with my left hand while I held the turkey in my right, my eyes darting back and forth crazily, trying to keep it in my sight. Suddenly it was heading right for me and as I flailed hysterically, the turkey sailed from my hand and landed with a dull SPLAT onto the kitchen floor.

I stood there for a moment looking helplessly at all that lost food, and for a second thought that maybe just maybe there were a few pieces that hadn't touched the floor. The turkey was essentially brand new and there was so much of it left that I couldn't bare the thought that it was all ruined. But as I picked it up, I realized it was all in vain. I guess I could have rinsed it off, but have you seen pictures of my kitchen before? If that's what the sink looks like, you can just imagine how the floor looks, and is that something you would you eat off of? Not unless you think contracting ebola would be a good way to spend a couple of days. I angrily threw the turkey and my partially made sandwich into the trash, where they joined my ruined english muffins, and stomped up the stairs where I had myself a humiliating little cry on Dan's shoulder.

Looking back on it, I probably overreacted just a tad. I mean, I was crying. Over a sandwich. But after being deprived the luxury of having anything between two slices of bread for 8 days, I really wanted that sandwich.

Next Indulgence: Carrot Cake (I know, I know, I was supposed to write about this with the Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I promise, it's coming soon. No really, like tomorrow)


  1. So I have the unique opportunity to be the 1st "commentor" as typically a small obstacle like my job gets in the way. Let me begin my noting that several of the photos depict tools that I have given Morgan over time, the sifter, kitchen Aid mixer (you may remember from a previous blog how we went through the "I did give you the whisk attachment, I can't find it (typical)and then finally I found it (also typical). It is only right that I shared these tools with her as she and I made her 1st batch of chocolate chip cookies when she was probably 2 using the Nestle Tollhouse bag recipe. I will say that the chocolate bits we used came from a package and not from an Easter basket and didn't require Dan getting a jump start on his surgery rotation to hack a chocolate bunny but one thing about Morgan she is flexible except when it comes to flying insects...

  2. Ummm I would just like to say that clearly me codling you by killing the bugs for you when we were younger has stunted you. I tried to help you adjust by refusing to clean them up but evidently it was not a huge help. That being said...I would have cried too if my lunch fell on the floor particularly after not eating bread for a week (haha like I would observe Passover...but I can imagine).

    The cookies looked good though I trust your judgment that the tollhouse recipe is still the way to go.

    BTW: I think at the beginning of each recipe you should tell the amount of each of the ingredients you are using (or under the picture of all the ingredients) in case someone (like me) wants to be brave and try to replicate your artistry.



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