“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'” – Kurt Vonnegut.
I love to cook, and I love to bake. Something about the almost-scientific measuring and combining of ingredients makes me feel like I’m actually achieving something, and as someone who tends to show affection and respect through gifts and actions, making a home cooked meal is pretty much, to me, the greatest way I can say “I love you, thank you for being my friend”.
Unfortunately, life (well, shows) often get in the way of my moments of quiet in the kitchen, and I’ve realized that along with spending shitloads of money on terrible food during rehearsals, I also feel dissatisfied– like I’m missing out on something pivotal and important when I’m not cooking. I’m no suzy homemaker by any means, but cooking is something I’m good at (usually) and I enjoy (always).
I like winter especially because it’s “cold weather food time”, meaning that my affinity for pasta, soups and roast potatoes is someone more acceptable than in the middle of July.
Awhile ago, I posted a blog about my diagnoses of fibromyalgia, and somehow wound up mentioning chocolate chip cookies in the same post, because I am awesome.
I’ve gotten several emails from different readers asking me what is so flipping fantastic about my chocolate chip cookies, and could they have the recipe.
Yes. Yes you can.
I don’t know what makes these so goddamn good, but they are. Over the years, I have added and adjusted things to get them to the pinnacle of cookie perfection. When I was in college, I entered these cookies into a baking contest and won enough money to pay for two semesters of textbooks. So, that good.
At some point I will go back and illustrate this with gorgeous food-bloggy type pictures, but it is disgustingly grey outside so everything looks tragically Dickensian. Your patience, please.
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Evar
(Based on THIS RECIPE from allrecipes.com)
Before you start:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Really. If you have a shitty oven like mine, pre-heat that shit like a good 1/2 hour before you plan on making these, or they will flatten out and you will have sad flat cookies. No one likes sad flat cookies.
Procure yourself the following:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- check your expiration date on your Baking Soda and Baking Powder– if they are old or have been sitting out, toss them and get some new stuff. These cookies are dependant on the chemical rising process and they won’t turn out right if your BS and BP are oldballs.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
MAKE SURE YOUR BUTTER IS MELTED. It also helps if it is at room temperature. So pop it in the microwave and then let it sit for a little bit so it can cool down. Don’t like, leave it sitting out overnight or it will be all disease-ridden and disgusting, but ten minutes or so (I usually let it cool while I’m mixing the dry ingredients) seems to work the best).
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- This is one of those annoying “feel it out” things– I normally wind up using closer to 1 1/2 cups, just because I like my cookies chewier.
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 bag of chocolate chips
- The most I have ever put in is 2 bags, but I added an extra 1/2 cup of flour to hold it all together.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.** I have made these cookies a million bazillion times. I have done them by hand and also used a mixer. I have found that generally, mixing the ingredients by hand using a wisk gives you chewier, more solid cookies, whereas using a mixer will give you cakier, fluffier cookies. I like chewy cookies, so that works for me. If you like them the other way, then use a mixer.
- Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
- Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. you know those big-ass cookies at Starbucks and Jimmy John’s? This is how you make that size cookie. You have to cook them at a low temperature for a long time.
- The original recipe says bake for 15-17 minutes, but I don’t think I’ve ever left mine in longer than 12. Just check them out, and when the EDGES are toasted (brown-ish) take them out. Don’t wait until the middle looks cooked or you will have some hard-ass crunchy cookies. Unless you’re into that, then by all means.
- DON’T FUCK WITH THEM RIGHT AWAY. The cookies need time to set before you take them off the cookie sheet, so let them sit for about 5 minutes. Then transfer them to wire racks (or a piece of wax paper if you’re poor like me and don’t have racks) to cool completely.
- Enjoy your cookies.