Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to make Great Cookies

I am posting this on my new blog 1.beacuse I have been asked recently for it and 2.I still get about 40 hits a day on my old blog from this post so here it is on my new blog!

Have you ever wanted to be a master cookie maker? Well I'm about to make your dreams come true. I take a special pride in my cookie making mostly because I've got to take pride in something. I never became a famous singer, a doctor, or a world renowned hairstylist, (all dreams of mine) so I have to focus on the little things that I have become, not the least of which is a master cookie maker.

Now there are a ton of great cookie recipes and I am sure some of you are thinking, " Oh mine are probably better than her's." While I won't deny that is possible... I get asked for cookie recipes often. Shortly after, I also get a lot of calls with the complaint that their batch just wasn't the same. Well, from this I have deduced that much rests on the actually manner of preparation which you will see below.

So get your chef's hat on (figurative of course) and go to the store and get these ingredients:

Salted butter
Full fat margarine (none of this country crock stuff) (you can use all butter...I seem to be doing that these days)
light brown sugar
extra fine granulated sugar (regular can be used)
baking soda
quick oats
(depending on what kind of cookie you want to make): chocolate chips ( I prefer milk chocolate ghiridelli, heath toffee bits, almonds, raisins)

Whip out your kitchenaid, bosch, even your hand mixer and roll up your sleeves, here we go...

Put in one cube of margarine, 2 cubes of butter in the micro until softened not melted (use 2 cubes of margarine for chewier cookies or 2 cubes of butter for crispier cookies)

Add 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar- (my belief is you can never pack brown sugar too tightly.)
And 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla (I spelled it out for all of you who have a mental block differentiating tsp and tbls).

This is where it gets complicated.....just kidding, come back to the computer, it's really easy.

Whip the sugar and butter until you can't take it anymore. 5 minutes on high should suffice. This step is key as this is what give the cookie its smooth,
(not grainy) chewy texture.

Then add in the 2 eggs

Whip this until you feel like your whole day is going to be taken up making these stupid cookies (5 more full minutes will suffice, no really, a full 5 minutes, not like the 5 minutes you tell your child they will have to sit on time-out)
This step is crucial because this will make your cookies like little fluffy clouds of deliciousness.

Then add 2 teaspoons baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. I'm against sifting with the flour. Its a real waste of time. :)

Slowly add 1 3/4 cups flour as you continue mixing

Then add 5 cups oatmeal (If you dont want oatmeal but plain old fashioned Choco Chip add 2 1/4 cup more flour and slowly mix in.....and mix for a while)

Here comes the creative part. Add whatever you want as mix-ins. Pretend you are an employee of Coldstone and have been given the assignment of creating the greatest combination ever to grace their coldstone creation board. Me? I like to add large milk chocolate chips, heath toffee bits and chopped up roasted almonds.

The next step is optional but in my opinion it takes the cookies to the next level and is also the key to getting picture perfect cookies at high altitude...

I like to call it marinating the scrumpdidiliumptious dough....the experts also call it that but let's just pretend I made that up :)
Refridgerate the dough over night. Yup thats right. ANd I heard that annoyed sigh... I forgive you and you will forgive me for even suggesting delayed gratification once you taste the difference....See...its all about molecules...there are positive ones and negative ones...I'm totally kidding...really it just allows the flour to absorb all the flavors of the vanilla and brown sugar...The best cookies I ever made were this recipe. I put them in the fridge for 2 days, then I decided...hmmm.....I'm not going to cook these up right way, so I put them in the freezer for a week....then my husband called and asked if I could whip up a batch for his boss...I remembered...hey I have some in the freezer! I took them out, let them thaw a bit and baked them up. I have never been asked so much for my recipe! It was as thought the dough had been "aged" to perfection:)

I also love my twist on cinnamon raisin cookies- add cinammon to taste- what the heck does that mean? - a couple of teaspoons should suffice. Add as many raisins as you like, then for the grand finale, roll each cookie in a hefty coating of brown sugar. This will give the cookie the most delightful, original crunch. If you want a real farmhouse/grandma worthy tasting cookie, add some nutmeg.

Et voila your dough is perfect.

Here comes another essential- you can't just slap your cookies on any old pan. YOu need a good cookie pan to finish with a product you are proud to take to you visiting teachees. Roll into perfect balls and place on the cookie sheet- bake on 350 until they look like this or what you think they should look like.

P.P.S If you are wondering what my small children are doing while I am doing this, well...it's not pretty.


Shelley said...

YaY I found the recipe! I remember these cookies from college. I think that the marinading step is new though; or maybe I just couldn't wait that long:). I saw a post/link you had on facebook a couple of weeks ago and I've been thinking about the cookies ever since. I thought I'd make them this morning, but couldn't find the recipe. So I've been stalking your blogs today searching-- and here it is! If only I didn't have to wait 2 more hours.

Shelley said...

I posted before I had reread the recipe and I was shocked to find it's not 2 hours I have to wait, but overnight! Talk about delayed gratification!

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