10.6.08

Me Want Cookie!


Why do I bake? I think the reason is because I like to make people feel better. There is no denying the healing power of a brownie and just bringing baked goods to the office makes everyone a little less disgruntled.

I know everyone has a great recipe that they’ve conquered and made their own – mine is the chocolate chip cookie. It’s a variation on the Tollhouse® classic, but whenever I roll those babies out, they are gone before I can yell “Cookie!”

Seriously.

What makes mine special? I say what my friend’s husband says – that I make it with “lurve” and thus they are extra-good. Actually, it’s all in the technique.

To make a cookie that will stay chewy even after sitting in a container for several days (if they last that long) requires proper preparation.

The sugars and the fats need to be whipped till they nearly double in volume.

The dry ingredients need to be sifted together, separately from the wet ingredients.

Never underestimate the power of that ¼ tsp of salt – salt is a powerful preservative and it provides a balance in the flavor of the cookie.

Never over beat the eggs and butter – you’ll get a curdled mess

And when you mix the wet with the dry – don’t over do it. You want cookie dough, not spackling compound.


The actual baking of the cookie also lends to its texture.

Never over-bake. It’s better to leave off a few minutes and let the residual heat from the oven take care of the rest of the baking than to have burnt cookies.

If you’re like me and don’t have a fabulous convection oven, chances are that your oven has pockets of heat unevenly distributed. Rotate your cookie sheet so that you have a full-batch of evenly cooked cookies and not mush in front and charcoal in the back.

Remember – hot air rises. Don’t put your cookies on the top rack; always the middle rack.

If you follow the above, there’s a chance you’ll get a near-pristine batch. I still miss a few, but practice makes perfect!
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