Food Week 2010: Sweet Stuff

Now what would any good food week be without something sweet to round things off? And what better than a classic – chocolate chip cookies!

I’m one of those cooks that likes to try a variety of different ways of doing something until one just works. As in, my husband says that this is the winner and I shouldn’t change anything. Of course there is always tweaking, but when you find something fabulous, why not stick with it, right?

I have tried tons of chocolate chip cookie recipes, and most of them are really good. But this one, this one looked good, and I made it and accidentally made a mistake. One that I didn’t figure out until a day or so later. The first time I made them I put twice as much butter in as I was supposed to and they turned into these praline type things filled with chocolate chips. They were so rich one was all you could eat at a time. Chris said they were amazing. I’ve since played a little and the last time I made them we hit the mark and I was told to never use another chocolate chip recipe – ever again. In fact, our friend Lorraine was over for dinner the last time I made these, and she was almost rolling on the floor in happiness.

COMA OF HAPPINESS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 3/4 c butter (real butter in baking is so much better)
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 8oz. packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Cream butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until well blended and fluffy.
3. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
4. Add dry ingredients and blend well until all wet and dry ingredients are combined.
5. Add chocolate chips and blend until they are evenly distributed in cookie dough.
6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets about 2 inches apart (they will spread).
7. Bake 12-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on pan for a couple of minutes then remove to cooling racks.

These are amazing when they’re warm from the oven. My recommendation is to serve them as dessert after a casual dinner with friends. Make the batter ahead of time and refrigerate. While you’re eating preheat your oven. As dinner is winding down and people are still visiting put a batch in the oven. You can even have friends help drop the cookie batter onto the cookie sheets. Only do enough for everyone to have a couple, then visit some more while they’re baking. It’ll give dinner a chance to settle and everyone will be anticipating dessert. While they’re cooling throw on a pot of coffee and finish off the meal with something simple and homey – chocolate chip cookies.

Put the rest of the cookie dough back in the fridge and bake the rest of the cookies the next day. It’s a known fact that cookie dough develops more flavor the longer it is mixed before baking. Some gourmet cookie shops will actually chill their chocolate chip cookie dough for 48 hours before baking because it makes better cookies. Bet you didn’t know that!

Also, another gourmet cookie shop trick… grind sea salt over chocolate chip cookies when they’re fresh out of the oven. The salt brings out the flavor of the dough and kills some of the super sweetness. I’ve tried this and it’s yummy.

*******************

I hope you’ve enjoyed food week and gotten some new ideas. I love to cook, in case you haven’t guessed, and most of all I love to cook for other people. I love it when I can cook a meal that people get excited about. I’ve literally seen how food can be a platform for people to relax and open up. Food can make people feel loved and appreciated. I have seen shy new visitors to the mission start talking and enjoying each other and us over a good meal. I used to think that the only way to do that was to make complicated meals. When I did that I ended up with great food, but spent the entire visit in the kitchen. Over the last couple years I’ve made it a goal to find simple dishes, delicious dishes, that made people think I had slaved over a stove all day, but that really allowed me to be visiting and enjoying the people I was cooking for. I’m less crabby and I get to enjoy the whole purpose of the time with friends – enjoying them.

Have a great weekend!

~Leslie

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

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