March 4, 2011

Cookies: Proof That There Is No Topic I Can't Ramble Endlessly On About

A few weeks after we got married, I had a birthday. Bart and I went out for dinner and then Bart's parents had us over for a little dessert.

Since it was a birthday celebration, you may suspect that Bart's mother (who is an excellent, excellent cook) had made cake. You would be wrong. She knew that cake was not my favorite dessert and so she had made cookies, which she served with ice cream and cinnamon caramel sauce. Five years later, I still remember it as one of the nicer things someone has done for me on my birthday.

And lately, I've been remember just how much I LOVE cookies. I mean, I certainly like the occasional cake, or a square of brownie, but cookies tie with ice cream for my favorite dessert.

I like cookies because they freeze well, it's easy to eat just one or two without having to get out the entire pan and cut (no extra dishes!), they're crunchy AND soft. There is such variety in size, texture, and flavor.

Um, did I just write a love letter to cookies? I think I might have. And I am not the least bit sorry.

I remember as a kid making cookies and feeling like, once I'd made the first batch, I didn't want to keeeeeeeep making them. Now, I've solved that problem by halving or quartering most recipes so I only make a dozen or two at a time. Also makes it easier to justify trying more recipes.

I've also started enjoying making cookies much more now that I have some essential cooking making tools:
  • the KitchenAid, of course 
  • a silicone baking mat (you will never be the same after you start making cookies on one of these - they cook so much more evenly, plus cleanup is easy-peasy). 
  • a cookie scoop (which I bought when I was trying to use up the end of a gift certificate and now can't imagine life without. Nice uniform cookies without getting your hands dirty? Sold). 
  • Cooling racks. My Grannie bought me two when she came out for Ella's blessing and I love them.
Oh, and it would be rude to not tell you which cookies I've made and enjoyed recently:
Now to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I think I'm ready to attempt the famed New York Times one.

P.S. I wrote this post a couple of days ago, and then, when Bart mentioned we were out of brownies and needed some new desserts in the freezer, I made a batch of cookies that were a complete failure. They stuck to the pan, they fell apart, they tasted lousy. I guess that's what you get for writing a post that basically boils down to "I am the cookie master."

    28 comments:

    1. I can relate to your love of cookies - my favorite birthday "cake" was a homemade cookie cake last year. Yum! :)

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    2. Oh I think you know how I feel about cookies. It's a good thing we are friends.

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    3. I too love cookies. When I'm depressed, baking cookies makes me feel better.

      Everyone has bad baking days - even a master.:)

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    4. This is a post that really speaks to my heart. In my family you pretty much memorize the chocolate chip cookie recipe before you even learn to read. I remember going to a friend's house and being astounded that she did not have a stock pile of chocolate chips in her pantry.

      I've found that using 3/4 cup butter plus 1/4 cup shortening gives cookies the perfect chewy, not too flat, not too puffy consistency.

      Also, I can attest that those chocolate peanut butter cookies are to die for. A friend recently made a batch (from that exact recipe) and dropped some off at my house. I ate more than I'd like to admit.

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    5. Ohh cookies! I love them - well I love anything chocolate chip recipe. I actually made them last night for bookclub and was asked to email out the recipe to everyone - so if you want it it's ready on my email. They are close to perfection as I've ever gotten on a choco chip recipe and I've done my fair share of baking these ones.

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    6. Oh yum, I loooove yummy cookies. I've been stuck in a rut making chocolate cake batter cookies because they are so easy and always perfectly delicious but it will be fun to try these new recipes!

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    7. I see nothing wrong with a love letter to a cookie! And I completely agree!

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    8. I don't have a huge sweet tooth but I do love a good cookie. I like their size and how you can 'pimp them up' and make them your own.
      Like you, I don't love baking endless trays of cookies (I have the attention span of a gnat some days). Plus, I don't usually "need" 5 dozen cookies at one time. One thing that I do is to make a huge batch of dough then, using my large melon baller, I make cookie dough balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Pop them into the freezer for an hour. Once frozen I put them into large Ziploc bags (or tupperware) then freeze them. In the future, if a cookie emergency is upon you you can pop a dozen (or more depending on the urgency of your cookie need) cookies into your oven and your cookie emergency will be a faint memory!

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    9. And THIS is just one of the many reasons we need to be next-door neighbors. :)

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    10. Mmm... Cookies! I need to try the frosted lemon ones you suggested.

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    11. Oh, cookies beat cake hands down, any day. And I notoriously cheap and have been skimping on getting that silicone baking mat. It's really that worth it? Hmm. A trip to Target may be in my future.

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    12. Sigh. I love cookies. I'm excited to try some of your recommended recipes.

      Oh and we do like the above poster who freezes the dough in balls and just cook a few at a time when you need them.

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    13. I love making treats and putting them in the freezer- our favorites around here are pumpkin chocolate chip (isn't it healthier with pumpkin?) And the good ole' fashion chocolate chip (Better homes and gardens has the best recipe that I have found!)

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    14. YUM. Cookies.

      Maybe you will find this helpful: My friend Patty just figured out that it cost her about $1.02 for 1-1/2 pounds of homemade peanut butter cookies (not counting electric/gas or time involved). She stock piles her cooking supplies when items are on sale. A small package of peanut butter cookies at our local grocery store costs $3.49 cents. (Of course, the store-bought ones are dry and tasteless.)

      For birthdays, everyone in my family prefers pie instead of cake.

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    15. I heart you even more--both because you love cookies and you shared those links to fantastic cookie recipes. You just made my Friday!

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    16. So, I tried the NYTimes recipe, but could NOT find those chocolate disks anywhere. I was not about to buy them on the internet, so I melted some bittersweet chocolate in the microwave and spread it on a wax paper covered baking sheet and stuck it in the fridge. Then I just broke it into pieces once it cooled.

      And, like it says in the recipe, it makes one MIND BLOWING chocolate chip cookie. Like you never knew chocolate chip cookies could get even better, but here they are, in your very own kitchen, altering your universe.

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    17. Ha! I love your "P.S." We are also a cookie loving family. Sunday is our cookie day. I have an awesome giant chocolate chip cookie recipe if you are interested. All I had to read was the word "giant" and I knew they would be good!

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    18. I recently bought two silicone mats. I can't wait to use them!

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    19. Alright, to really test how alike we are, how do you feel about cookie dough?

      I, for one, could live on it. And I think it is superior to the baked version of itself.

      In other news, this may be my absolute, very favorite cookie. Ever.
      http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/05/crispy-salted-oatmeal-white-chocolate-cookies/

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    20. THANK YOU!!!! I have seriously turned in to the cookie monster! Ever since my pregnancy I have been craving cookies like crazy! I don't feel satisfied until I eat one. I am so glad you share the same love. I can't wait to try these recipes, they seriously looks amazing! I am tempted to make some right now actually!!!

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    21. Did you realize that the chocolate chip cookie was invented very close to your recent home and that it is Massachussetts' state cookie? Personally, I don't think I've ever tasted a chocolate chip cookie that was superior to the ones found on the bags of Nestles Morsels.
      The silicone mats sound intriguing. I bought a cookie scoop for my daughter as a stocking stuffer. She has always hated getting her hands dirty.
      By the way, cookie baking is positively required when you have a snow day (not that you need to worry about those any more).

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    22. mmmmm....cookies. I think you should try this recipe, it is our current favorite:

      http://amysorensen.typepad.com/the_english_geek/2011/02/a-cookie-even-kendell-loves.html

      Wait! except. It does have white chocolate chips, so maybe you wouldn't like it. If you used chocolate instead it would be like a chocolate-orange cookie I think. Still delicious!

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    23. It sounds like you need a good Cowboy cookie recipe. I wish I had one I could pass one on, but I don't.

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    24. I agree with everything that you have written in regards to cookies. I love that you have written this post. I now how to try all the cookies that you mentioned. Sigh. It is going to be rough.

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    25. I LOVE cookies, and thus I love this post. Growing up, my mom always had homemade chocolate chip cookies in the house, and I can't imagine life without them. Thanks again for the recipes - can't wait to try the chocolate m&m ones... yum!

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