Ok, not what you are thinking…but chocolate chip cookies are enjoyable too and now even better when stuffed with Oreos. My stomach is thanking me as I’ve just experienced what might be the perfect cookie. Over the weekend as a break from work I started browsing blogs and reading through Twitter posts. I stumbled upon a post from the blog “How Sweet Eats” where I came across some amazing creations, Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies. Cassie and I marveled about how they looked and discussed how they would taste. I agreed that I would make them and send them as a care package. They might violate doctor’s orders while she’s in the hospital, but I believe the long-term emotional benefits are worth the risk of getting caught. I’m sure she’ll agree once they arrive. Also, these are shareable and that’s a good thing, helping to make quick friends.
I know, I know…I don’t always follow directions. This baking experiment is an example of one of those instances although I have a good reason for it. I simply won’t experiment with chocolate chip cookie recipes. I stick to my tried and true, the Original NESTLÉ® Toll House Cookie recipe. It can’t be beat, and while these resulted in more moist and less aesthetically pleasing cookies from those pictured on other blogs, they were great. The pictures speak for themselves and no further explanations are needed.
I can vouch for the deliciousness of these amazing chocolate chip cookies. What kind of cook would I be if I didn’t taste one or two of these to ensure their outcome was satisfactory before sending them off? I’ll have to throw out the cautionary warning and say these cookies may have just forced me to start running again out of fear of needing to add another notch to the old belt as a result of making them too often and eating too many. Life is tough.
Working with and revisiting ratios becomes easier and easier each and every time. Each experience builds confidence and understanding. Cassie made another special request which I was more than happy to comply with while experimenting a little. Her cookie desire this time was white chocolate chip with macadamia nuts cookies. Not having white chocolate chips nor macadamia nuts provided a good excuse to go grocery shopping to pick up additional ingredients such as flour, unsalted butter and sugar that I was running low on. To my surprise all of the sugar and unsalted butter were sold out. There must must be a lot of baking going on in Boston.
For this cookie, I opted for a 1-1-1-1 ratio of butter, sugar,eggs and flour. I was hoping for a rich chewy cookie as described in the book. The eggs were there to provide a softer and airier crumb.
Speed and comfort using a scale are definitely noticeable now which is a great thing when in the kitchen. They help eliminate the little voice in your head that tells you that you don’t have the time, energy or desire to cook.
Once the dough was pulled I added in enough white chocolate chips and chopped macadamia nuts so that they were evenly distributed and easily visible. Using the drop method with a spoon I placed the cookie dough onto a baking sheet and put it into a 350 degree F oven.
After 15 minutes, the cookies were cooked through, although the edges were over-browned, translated as burnt. The dough had spread considerably and reminded me of the first time I attempted making the classic chocolate chip cookie variation when I broke in the new stand mixer. Despite the visual imperfections, the taste and texture were virtually flawless. Soft, chewy, some crunch and sweetness; this is what I was looking for. With more practice and experimentation I look forward to baking the “perfect” cookie.
I finally bit the bullet and purchased a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, The KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer to be precise. I have been agonizing over buying the mixer for months and figured that since I knew I was going to buy it anyway I might as well start enjoying it now. Besides the price dropped a bit so I decided to swoop in and buy it fast as a present to myself full well knowing that I’ll have to tighten the purse strings in the months to come.
It was delivered to my office to ensure that I received it without incident since sometimes missed deliveries get returned when I am not at my apartment, and despite the commentary from a few co-workers and jabs to my manliness, I proudly carried the mixer out of the office to my car and happily into my home. This bad boy/girl (it hasn’t been named yet) is big! I’ve oood and awed at it many times in various stores to get a sense of it’s size. I had read countless reviews and specs online, and even measured my counter and storage spaces, but all that did not prepare me for the actual machine out of the box gleaming in all it’s glory. I felt like a kid on Christmas filled with excitement and then for a moment, I stood staring at it blankly, paralyzed. I had this big piece of culinary machinery in my kitchen and I hadn’t the first clue of what I was going to do with it.
My options were plentiful making my problem even harder. The only logical kid-like thing to do was to make cookies. That choice became easy. The most popular type of cookie is chocolate chip, and so I resolved to make a batch. Coincidentally, I had purchased Michael Ruhlman’s latest book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking and to christen my newest cooking tool decided to try out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe, which he’s mentioned in his blog. I only had one stick of unsalted butter left and this seemed like a timely and appropriate occasion to cut the recipe in half based on the principle of ratios. Who knew that Walgreen’s and 7/11 only sell salted butter. Mise en place rears its knowing self again.
I followed the recipe as directed and was rewarded with several crispy delicious chocolate chip cookies. They weren’t perfect, took longer than expected to bake and came out with slightly burnt and jagged edges, but it’s the taste that really matters right?
This little guy was best of breed in this batch. I can’t wait to take a bite.
As much as I’d like to eat them all in one sitting, these guys are going with me on a road trip to Vermont with my family this weekend.
I just got back from dinner with my cousin Gladys celebrating my birthday at Oishi, a Japanese restaurant in Boston’s South End. I was still feeling like making something, anything at all for practice. I know I am supposed to be working with eggs to further my skills, but I don’t think I can stomach another omelette, fritata, scrambled egg or anything of the sort for a while. My plans for making mayonnaise for my lunch sandwiches was thwarted by the power outage that I experienced and continue to experience as I can’t use deli meat for sandwiches anymore and need to get some more. Keeping up with the Irish theme I searched for something quick and simple and settled on Irish Shortbread cookies, what I hoped would be a great end to the evening as dessert.
The recipe for “Irish Shortbread Cookies” was simple requiring flour, sugar, salt and butter. How could this go wrong? I mixed my ingredients and rolled them. This dough was really sticky and stuck to my “non-stick” rolling pin. The cookies were easy to cut with a pizza cutter, a trick I learned from Alton Brown on his show Good Eats and were put on a cookie sheet. The dough was pricked with a fork as the recipe requested and I set my timer.
After about 10 minutes I knew something was wrong. The cookies were just flattening out on my cookie sheet and some of the thinner ones began to brown. I took them out earlier than the recipe called for at 15 minutes, flat and missing the fork prick marks with the thinner ones close to burnt.
Unfortunately I don’t know what went wrong, yet this incident did remind me that recipes can’t be blindly followed. I wasn’t expecting them to rise, but instead harden up as moisture evaporated from the dough. I suspect that the heat was too high causing the butter to melt faster than the moisture evaporated. On the bright side, the non-burnt cookies do taste good although they are a bit on the oily side.