Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Favorite Cookies

Cookies are my favorite food group. I have never met a cookie I didn't like but have never had a favorite until fairly recently.

And the winner is.... [drumroll]


I never thought a chocolate chip cookie would win my heart--I thought something more exotic & cutting edge would eventually beat out all the others--but, alas, I've fallen prey to the classic. The classic done EXTREMELY well--actually, it is pretty cutting edge with the yummy brown butter & all the toasted goodness!

I have baked up countless batches of chocolate chip cookies--ever on the hunt for the perfect recipe. None were bad but none left me with the feeling that I'd found the best. Until I found this one.

Allow me to introduce you to the creator of this recipe, Laura Flowers: culinary genius and food blogger extradinairre. (That should be the title of her biography--LOL!) Every week she posts new recipes--most of them her own--for everything from cookies to pizza (those are my favorite) to salads & pasta dishes. I have tried several and have yet to be disappointed. And I'm eternally grateful to her for bringing the torture of my endless search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie to an end!

Today I made them for Laura's "Project Cookie" and mailed them to her friend Ted & his platoon in Iraq (if you are interested in participating, click here for more info). Well, I mailed most of them (minus the usual dozen I can't keep from eating every time I make them!)

What this recipe taught me:

*Browning half the butter adds a subtle, unique & delicious flavor and leaving the other half alone helps the cookie's texture.
*Toasting the nuts heightens their flavor.
*Using a small amount of vinegar doesn't change the flavor but aids in producing a softer cookie.
*Toasting & grinding oats & using them in place of some of the flour also aids in bringing the flavor and texture to a new level.

OK, so are you ready for the recipe or what?!

Laura's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft to the touch
3/4 cups fresh light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar (You won’t taste it, I promise.)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups good quality all purpose flour
1 cup walnuts (Optional, but refer to notes for flour & chocolate changes.)
¾ of a 12 ounce package Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I just use a full bag of whatever kind I have--I know, I'm a heathen!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a nonstick skillet melt 1 stick of the butter over medium heat until foamy and lightly golden brown. Pour into a bowl and wipe out the skillet.

3. In the skillet over medium heat, toast the oatmeal stirring often until fragrant and some of the oatmeal is light golden in color. About 3 minutes. Transfer the oatmeal to a food processer and grind until fine and powdery. Set aside.

4. Spread the walnuts onto a plate and microwave in 30 second increments 2 or 3 times until toasted, stirring in-between. Let the walnuts cool slightly, and chop to desired size.

5. Mix in a stand mixer the softened butter, browned butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and vinegar into the and beat on slow to combine, and then on high speed until fluffy and lighter in color.

6. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Add the oatmeal and baking soda and beat for another minute. Next, add the flour half at a time and mix on low speed just until incorporated.

7. Add the chocolate chips and toasted walnuts. Mix on low until incorporated.

8. With a size 50 cookie scoop or a generous tablespoon, drop the dough onto parchment paper 3 inches apart.

9. Bake for 11 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let set on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Makes about 45 cookies.

1. If omitting nuts, add ¼ cup more flour to the batter and the whole bag of chocolate chips.
2. Cookies are best baked shortly after mixing the batter together. There is no need to refrigerate the dough.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I still need to make these! Lol They look so good!