Wednesday, June 28, 2006
WFMW - Perfect cookies every time
Don't you just love a perfect cookie - thick, chewy, and fudgy? Here are my tips for baking luscious cookies every time.
1. Use real butter. If you're going to indulge, why not make it worth your while? My philosophy of sweets is that I'd rather have a small portion of something really great than a large portion of something marginal. Don't EVEN talk to me about Splenda or "diet" desserts.
2. Get a good cookie sheet. I have one of those "air pocket" ones (about $7 at Wal-Mart and worth every penny). It makes all the difference in the world. To make cleanup easier, line with aluminum foil.
3. Refrigerate the dough. Especially in the summer when the butter gets runny and makes the batter sticky. If I'm actually thinking ahead (on a RARE occasion!) I like to refrigerate several hours or overnight, but even an hour makes a difference - the dough will set up so that the bottom of the cookie bakes golden while the center remains chewy and moist. Mmmm!
If you are like me, and always in a hurry, use the butter straight out of the fridge (you can let it set out a few minutes so it's not rock hard, but still cool). It takes a bit longer to mix, but your first batch into the oven will still be cold. Keep the dough cold by putting the bowl in the fridge between batches.
4. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet a minute before you think they are "done." The bottom and outside edges should look golden, but the center should still be a bit gooey. I put down a piece of wax paper or Saran wrap on a cool countertop and unload. Cookies keep cooking for a few minutes because of their own heat, and they come out perfect!
And now, to test my theory, I'll let you try my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies. The recipe is adapted from an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and is just a bit different than (okay, I'll just say it - BETTER than) the Toll House recipe. Check it out!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream together in a large bowl:
1 c. butter (cool, if you're in a hurry; otherwise at room temp)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
Stir together in a bowl and add to wet ingredients:
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
(Refrigerate the dough, then) drop by teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes.
Works for me! Enjoy!
For more Works For Me Wednesday tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's best ideas!