Saturday, September 11, 2010

superlative chocolate cookies

Well, I made it out of the desert unscathed. In fact, some of the best things about Burning Man were moments of food-sharing: a fried bologna sandwich first thing in the morning, getting the last marshmallow and roasting it on the back of a stranger's bike, the guys who brought a SOFT SERVE MACHINE to the middle of nowhere and let me have as much ice cream as I wanted, despite the half-hour line winding around the block behind me. I think I had about four-cones worth of ice cream in my mug, and I ate it as I walked back to camp-- sweaty and exhausted-- while I cried.

First-year exams are in two days. My normal reaction, I guess, to anything, is to prepare foods just in case. Just like during the "great quick-bread frenzy of late August" the oven is again in high gear while my actual work-ethic dwindles... there are worse things, I hope, than compulsive cookery.

These cookies are nothing new in the blogosphere, but maybe you haven't made them yet. They are far better than Tollhouse or the How To Cook Everything cookie (my two standbys), even if you only let the dough rest for a few hours. Other than the rest-time, the key is the saltiness (something my mom discovered a long time ago, I have to say), the quality of the chocolate, and the audacious chip to dough ratio. This version-- halved-- makes enough cookies for a weekend of self-indulgent critical-theory-agonizing cookie-monstering.


1 1/2 + 1/3 cup flour (yeah, you do the math)

1/2 + 1/8 teaspoons baking soda (Yeah, sorry. Easier to think it through in fractions I think)

3/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons coarse salt

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter

1 + 1/8 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1/2 cup regular sugar

1 egg

1 t vanilla

1/2 + 1/8 pounds (10 oz) dark (at least 60%) chocolate chips, chunks, or feves, as classy as you can afford. So in my case... Trader Joes.

1. Cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients (making sure there are no unseemly clumps of baking soda!) and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate gently and swiftly.

2. NOW! Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate as long as you are able. I don't know what it is about aged dough but it does make a difference. 12-72 hours is best but even 2 or 3 hours in the fridge makes a difference.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop the dough into golf-ball sized cookies. You might want to flatten them slightly, as the "aged" dough is fairly stiff. Sprinkle the tray with some sea salt-- never a bad idea, actually, in general.

4. Bake about 18-20 minutes, let cool, eat them all.

1 comment:

Rachel G. said...

Yummmm. I always use the recipe on the back of the Ghiradelli chocolate chip bag, but this looks awesome.