Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chocolate. Chip. COOKIES!!!!


      I was really missing le other homeland the other day and thought what better way to honor it than making some good ole Chocolate Chip Cookies??  Sure, they have cookies of all sorts at the store but those are usually complete crap and I wanted to make my own. I mean, what's better than a fresh cookie out of the oven!? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 
      Now, let me just start off by saying I am in no way a baker. I'd love to be, but I'm not. Cooking and baking are two different things. You might actually end up with something tasty by throwing a bunch of ingredients together and cooking them but the chances are slim if you're gonna bake them with things that include flour, baking soda and powder and the like. I admire and applaud people who bake delicious breads and desserts for a living cause it is not an easy thing to do. It might not be rocket science but it sure involves a whole lot of chemistry. You need patience and discipline and recipes actually do matter in this world. Precise measurement is key not to mention self control because Lord knows I'd be 600 pounds if I made desserts for a living (my sweet tooth is ridiculous...).  

Smooshing the sugars and butter
      Anyway, I'm not a baker/pastry person but I do love learning about the art of it all and experimenting at home. I made a batch of pretty bomb brownies last week but I didn't get to take any pictures of them....which in result probably doesn't even need to be included in this post but I'm too lazy to hit the backspace button so on here it shall stay!

Add egg one at a time
    So I decided to make these cookies...which by the way I've never made before. I American girl...a COOK nonetheless and I had never made chocolate chip cookies from scratch before! The horror. Well, sue me.  I did them though and they came out pretty damn tasty!

    Now, my biggest obstacle was that I didn't have a mixer (although I am DYING for a Kitchen Aid in Green. Birthday is on December case anyone has any ideas ;-])  so at first I was hesitant thinking it wouldn't be able to be done by hand. But then I thought....that's ridiculous....chocolate chip cookies were being made long before mixers came around ( I'm pretty sure the oldest chocolate chip cookie recipe dates back to the Paleolithic times....not 100% sure though, I'll keep you guys posted. :-P) so I searched the handy dandy net and found a recipe. Now, I'm sure if anyone has observed from previous posts...I hate writing recipes out and I just hate recipes in general but I can't exactly leave you guys without l one for these cookies. Like I said before, baking does require precise measurements.

Mix the rest in and voila!
   Lucky for me, the wonderful world of the internet has this fantastic thing where you can add a link to whatever the hell you're writing which saves me time and trouble and gives credit to the source. So here it is, without further ado....le link: How to make Chocolate Chip Cookies (without a mixer).

    Only tweak I did to this was to add about half a teaspoon of cinnamon, some hazelnuts and white chocolate I had left over from that batch of brownies previously mentioned.

  Those suckers came out pretty damn delicious if I do say so myself!! They were definitely the dense, chewy kind of cookies, my favorite kind. The following are the only observations/tips I can provide:

- I used light brown sugar but next time I will dry the darker sugar instead. Definitely not bad with the light sugar but I think the darker one will give the cookies a deeper color. Taste wise it was fine although I have a feeling the dark brown sugar will dissolve better than the light.

-  The recipe says to bake the cookies at 375 F/190 C for about 9-11 minutes but I found that mine needed just a tad bit longer. I cooked mine for about 12-14. Maybe it was the oven I was using. Regardless, keep an eye on them.

- Almost every chocolate chip cookie recipe I have come across always calls to add the chips/nuts at the very end of the process. Well, making cookies by hand isn't necessarily hard but it does require some arm strength. After you mix all your wet ingredients with the sugar, it will tell you to add the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients and to carefully mix until everything is incorporated.  As you're working everything together, the dough become harder and harder to incorporate as the flour mixes in with everything else but you must be careful while doing this. You do not want to over mix the dough so be thorough every time you move your spatula around the batter. My point being, what the hell is the point of adding the chips last and try and incorporate them into an already pretty sturdy dough while at the same time being careful not to over mix? So, next time, I am adding my chips right before I add my flour to avoid almost losing an arm. (I kid. If anything, I'm making some muscles!).

   So yeah...that is all I can think of in terms of pointers. I will definitely play around with more recipes in the future but this one is definitely a solid one. Damn fresh baked cookies of any kinda are SINFUL....but so damn worth it!!! Make them!!