Sunday, January 14, 2007

Anti-chocolate chip cookies

Munchkin is an unusual child in that she doesn't like chocolate much. The only exception is when that chocolate comes in small doses mixed with peanut butter - think Butterfinger bars or peanut butter cups.

I was craving cookies, so for this weekend's baking project I decided to play on both my craving and her preferred type of candy. I took my standby chocolate chip cookie recipe and we made some substitutions.

Unfortunately not everything went according to plan...

Our oven has been cranky lately. It's a gas oven that tends to run a little bit hot, so I've been accounting for that with slightly lower bake temps. Saturday it decided to make some self-adjustments without my permission - and! - without warning me.

We mixed up our dough, merrily scooped it onto the baking sheets in nice little rows, and popped the first 24 cookies in the oven.
8 minutes later.....charcoal-bottomed cookies. They were completely non-salvageable; nicely browned on the top but burnt on the bottom.

I hate when that happens. The only redeeming factor was that I still had another 30 cookies or so worth of dough left and one higher slot in the oven to move the rack.

Fear not! The rest of the cookies baked perfectly after I made some appliance adjustments and our losses were minimal. We have cookies.

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 4 dozen, give or take a few

1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature (NOT margarine)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
2 cups chocolate chips (can substitute any flavor baking chip - for these we used 1 cup peanut butter chips and 1 cup peanut butter & chocolate swirl)

Preheat oven to 350*

Cream both sugars, the butter and the Crisco together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Add the vanilla, baking soda, and salt and mix well.
Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, incorporating each addition before adding more.
Gently fold in the chips - I find it best to do this by hand with a sturdy wooden spoon.

Portion the dough with a small disher or a regular old tea spoon. I like "rustic" irregular cookies, so we just spooned a bit up and plopped it on the baking sheet. If you want neat, even cookies, use a disher or gently roll the dough into balls.

Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes, until tops are lightly browned.
Let cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheets, then remove to wire racks.

I'm a fan of "crispy on the outside and soft on the inside" chocolate chip cookies; the butter helps with the crisp and the Crisco helps with the puffy & chewy. It's also important not to overbake your cookies if you want to retain the softness inside. I pull them when the tops are a light golden brown and the cookies are set. Obviously an extra couple minutes will give you a cookie that is crispier throughout.

After a day of reflecting on my poor burnt cookies, I've now realized that it really was for the best. What the hell would I do with 4 dozen cookies between 3 people?

1 comment:

wheresmymind said...

Doesn't like chocolate...wowsers!