03 April 2008

C is for Cookie

Why would C be anything else but?

I have a weakness for cookies. My favorite by far is chocolate chip. For as long as I remember, I've made Nestle Toll-House cookies from scratch. Over the years, I have perfected the art of baking them and am quite pleased with my craft.

The secret is in the preparation technique, not the ingredients, although that does make a difference as well. First of all, you must NEVER melt the butter. It must only be softened. And it has to be butter, not margarine. Very important. Second, you must mix BY HAND, not with a mixer or Cuisinart or whatever else you have in your arsenal. This overmixes it and makes it too creamy. You want the dough to have some texture. Always stop stirring the dough just before you think it's enough. Third, FOLLOW THE RECIPE. For you cooks out there who are at one with the "creative process" of cooking, hold back the urge to estimate the measurements, or God forbid, get all creative and throw foreign ingredients into the mix.

The final step before actually baking them is to put the dough in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (or the freezer if you wish). This keeps the dough from melting and spreading flat on the cookie sheet too quickly, making icky crispy edges to the cookies. Instead, they slowly bake and spread gently outward, and remain quite chewy after they've cooled. Yum.

Keep an eye on them when they're in the oven. Take them out just before they get any darker than a golden brown - they actually bake a bit more on their own after you've taken them out of the oven. And it is a cardinal sin to wait until they cool before having one. The melted chocolate is such a treat, and the smell of a freshly baked cookie under your nose is pure heaven. Be sure to stock up on some cold milk to wash down your perfect chocolate chip cookies.

And pull a stool up to the counter when you get started with the whole process - your little toddler will want to help mix and dip his pudgy fingers into the batter. And they will want to eat a lot of them. And they will get a tummy ache. And they will begin their lifelong love of baking if you're lucky.

Oh, and yes, a cookie is a Sometimes Food. ;)

This post was brought to you by the letter C.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Ooooh! I can't stand when my cookies get all crispy. I am TOTALLY going to do the fridge for 15 minutes thing next time! Thanks for the tip!