Thursday, February 16, 2012

My favorite cookie.

I love chocolate chip cookies. I don't make them very often, because when I do, I'm liable to make myself sick from eating half of the dough as well as half of whatever actually lives to see the oven. It's a problem-- for my waistline, anyway.

It seems like there's always a bakesale going on in the music building at school. Last week, the percussion studio was having a bakesale, and I bought a delicious brownie one day and a gorgeous (and tasty!) cake pop on another. This week, it's Phi Mu Alpha, also known as Sinfonia. They are an all-male music fraternity. But let's get back to the real story here.

This morning, their bakesale started, and I felt like supporting them, and having a treat to celebrate my last 7:30 class of the week. But mostly I just wanted a treat. The table held some unidentified truffle-looking blobs, some saran-wrapped pieces of red velvet cake, cookie-dough swirled brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. I think we can all figure out what I bought.

As I was walking away, I eagerly opened the bag and broke my cookie open, where I found an Oreo lodged in the middle. I was totally ok with that, but not after I took my first bite. I think it's safe to say that the men of Phi Mu Alpha made the treats themselves. :( The cookie was hard and tasted like it had been made at least a week in advance and not stored well. I couldn't even bring myself to finish it!

They made a good effort, and the Oreo inside was a good idea (especially if judging by it's apparent popularity on Pinterest, thanks to Picky Palate). It just wasn't working for me.

So, I did what any reasonable and slightly hormonal 20-year-old would do. I went home and made my own dang cookies!

I used my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies, which happens to be a slightly adapted version of the one that you find on the bag of Nestle chocolate chips. And instead of just making a normal batch of cookies, I decided to change things up, so I made 6 big cookies, 8 Oreo-stuffed cookies, and used the rest of the dough to make normal-sized cookies.

For the giant cookies, I scooped out the dough using my ice-cream scoop and baked them for about 18 minutes. Look at how big that is! I think they're comparable to the bakery down the street from me that makes the BEST gigantic chocolate chip cookies. I also got a little cray and sprinkled some sea salt on the cookies before putting them in the oven.

For the Oreo-stuffed cookies, I followed Picky Palate's instructions. I put a scoop (normal-sized) of cookie dough on the top and bottom of an Oreo, and sealed it up! These took about 14 minutes to bake in my oven.

Oh, man. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with all of these cookies yet, but I'm sure I'll find something. :) I guess I really shouldn't leave you hanging though, so here's my go-to recipe!

My Favorite Chocolate-Chip Cookies
adapted from Nestle

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup of Crisco shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) bag of Nestle Semi-Sweet chocolate chips (or more if desired!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat butter, shortening, sugars, and vanilla extract in a large bowl (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer) until smooth and creamy.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well-combined after each addition.
4. In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir it together to evenly distribute everything.
5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat until combined.
6. Add the chocolate chips, and either fold them in with a spatula or give them another spin in the mixer.
7. Scoop cookie dough onto baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper, allowing them room to spread a little as they bake.
8. Bake cookies for about 8-12 minutes, or until golden. Keep an eye on them! Sometimes ovens can be ornery.
9. After they come out of the oven, let cookies stand on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
10. Store in your favorite cookie jar or storage container, if they stick around that long! :)


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