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Monday, April 4, 2011

Cookie of the Month 1: Cloudy Day Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Cloudy morning, cloudy head... as I've mentioned, I'm not a big drinker, but every once in a while these things just happen... especially when your friend offers to buy all your drinks for the night. How can you turn that offer down?? There are many ways to cure a hangover, but at the moment drinking tea and baking cookies while listening to The Flaming Lips' Embryonic seems to be doing the trick. I should include a disclaimer about these cookies - they aren't actually mine to keep or do with as they please; this delicious batch is the first of six months of cookies I donated to my school's charity auction. The Director of Student Services had the winning bid, and I decided to start out with the basics - chocolate chip! I've spent basically years honing in on what I'm pretty sure is the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate chippers seem to be somewhat polarizing and everyone has really specific preferences - some people like nuts, some people hate nuts. Some people like big chunks of chocolate, some prefer smaller chips. Some like them chewy, some like them crunchy. So obviously, my version of perfection might not be someone else's cup of tea at all, but it's nice to have a signiature. some of the tweaks I've made have been inspired by things other friends have done, some of them I made up on my own:

Cinnamon: During my freshman year of college, my friend Kristin brought chocolate chip cookies back to the dorm after one of our fall breaks. As soon as I bit into one, I noticed a subtle, unique and delicious flavor - I asked her what it was, and she said it was cinnamon! From that point on, cinnamon became a regular addition for me.

Milk Chocolate Chips: I even have brand loyalty on this one - always Guittard or Gihardelli. I'm not sure why, and I know using milk chocolate goes against every foodie trend in existence but I just like the flavor balance better with milk chocolate. Totally personal preference - but it has to be the good stuff, Nestle and Hershey's won't cut it!

Dark Brown Sugar: I discovered this purely by accident one day when I bought dark instead of golden brown sugar, figured it couldn't hurt and went ahead and made the cookies anyways. I am pretty convinced that dark brown sugar is the secret to awesome chocolate chip cookies - can't explain why, but it does something to the texture.

Silpat: No, this isn't really a recipe trick but if you're at all serious about cookies you need to have one of these. They're pretty critical for getting cookies to bake evenly, with that perfect crispy around the edges but soft in the middle thing going on. Unfortunately my silpat, while still perfectly usable, has a huge gash in it from being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting in the way of a Wusthof... which is why I registered for two more at Williams Sonoma. Buy them for us please. They're cheap (as wedding gifts go) and useful. Kthanks!

OK now about that recipe....


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar (I use dark brown) 2 eggs

  • 2 and 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour

  • 3/4 tsp salt (sometimes I leave this out)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 bag (or slightly less than) high quality chocolate chips

  • cinnamon (to taste... I just add enough until you can taste it but it isn't overwhelming)

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and vanilla. Then add dry ingredients in 3 parts, stir to incorporate fully. Add chocolate chips and cinnamon and stir again. Spoon on to a baking sheet (with silpat or parchment), bake for about 10 minutes but keep in mind this will depend on the size of the cookies and how crappy your oven is...for example in my oven, it would take 10 minutes. In my parents oven god only knows, because it is posessed by demons. OK not really, it's just a terrible oven and I can't figure out the cooking times...whatever.... anyways I like them when they are just barely starting to brown around the edges and on the bottom... crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside ;)

I bring these things everywhere - parties, potlucks, the student lounge, road trips, etc. They are my favorite... but like I said, everyone has their chocolate chip preferences, what are yours?


  1. My favorite are yours...but I'm biased :)

    I have also had, and loved chocolate chips that use that fancy cumin/red-pepper flake/chipotle bar from Vosges...very good...but again, I <3 spicey

  2. Yum! That sounds delicious :) I made them with Cadbury mini-eggs one time, because I was convinced my love for cookies combined with my irrational obsession with mini-eggs would yield the perfect combination...sadly it wasn't nearly as awesome as I'd hoped, partly because of the labor-intensiveness of chopping up the mini-eggs into palatable chip-sized pieces. I ended up decided normal old chocolate chips were better... but flavored chocolate sounds fantastic. I'll have to give that a go soon :)


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