I cook and bake quite a bit but one thing that has been quite difficult for me to master is cookies. I mean, I was really bad at it people. They are always flat as a pancake, raw in the middle or burnt on the bottoms. Why could I easily whip up meal after meal but every freakin' cookie turned out to be a disaster? One day, I got mad. This was ridiculous, I should be able to bake a batch of cookies for pete's sake. I became fixated on finding the answer and baking perfect cookies!
After continued trial and error, I think I have finally mastered it (kind of). My oven is a bit temperamental so there are still issues from time to time (and nobody is perfect) but, I wanted to share what I have learned during this process.
1) Always preheat the oven. I am a huge "forget to preheat the oven" offender.It really does make a difference, especially with doughy types of foods.
2) Soften your butter properly. Don't try to do this in the microwave, you will end up with flat cookies. You will have to think ahead and put the butter on the counter top for at least an hour before you bake.
3) Always blend your butter and sugar(s) first. Some sort of chemistry is involved here but, the creamed combination is the essential element to a great cookie consistency.
4) Blend the flour into the creamed butter and sugar slowly. Don't just dump it in. Chemistry yet again.
5) Always add a dash of vanilla weather the recipe calls for it or not. Unless you vehimently despise vanilla, it always adds a delicious layer of flavor to your baked goods. I even add it to my pancakes and french toast but, that is our little secret.
6) Unless you have a nut allergy, if nuts make sense with the particular cookie you are making, add them . Again, the layer of flavor that they create is to die for. If you family does not love the consistency( like mine) chop them up until they are nearly a powder. No one will even know they are there but, they will certainly enjoy the amplified taste.
7) Use a cookie sheet with no sides this one by AirBake. This allows air to travel over the cookies from all directions creating a more even bake.
8) Parchment paper is your bff. I am a recent convert to parchment paper and it has made a HUGE difference in my baking results, I no longer use the fake non cook spray (who knows what is in that stuff!) and the clean up is a breeze!
9) Always use cooling racks. Let your cookies firm up for about 3 minutes after you remove them from the oven then transfer them to a cooling rack. This will leave your cookies soft and chewy.
Now, what about a recipe?
This ladies and gentlemen is my all time favorite chocolate chip recipe made with my all time favorite chocolate chips (Ghirardelli, sorry Toll House). This is the recipe they share on their bags. I have not been able to find another one that produces results as good as this.
This recipe claims to produce 4 dozen cookies however, I only got 2 out of it. Apparently I make very big cookies!
Now the important question, which coffee to enjoy these cookies with. Hmmm. I am going to have to say no coffee at all, go with hot cocoa because what goes better with chocolate than more chocolate?!
- Love Nutella? Love hot cocoa? If you answered yes to both, you HAVE to try this recipe.
- Peanut Butter hot cocoa? Don't knock it until you have tried it, get the recipe here.