Sunday, May 1, 2011

#1: "What's the secret ingredient? ... Love"

Stephen and I took on Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookies. Truth be told, I had already tried this recipe twice prior to Tuesday with mixed results. I was DETERMINED to get a decent batch following my mental breakdown on the kitchen floor when I completely decimated 4 dozen cookies one Thursday evening. The result: the BEST homemade chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted. Seriously. We could attribute the success to Mothers Baird suggestion of adding almond extract to the recipe, but I'm gonna go with what I told Dave- "What's the secret ingredient? ... Love."

Recipe (as followed from the website such a cool site. Check it out):

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 twelve ounce bags of chocolate chips
*2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (not in the recipe, but seriously, DO THIS)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, *and almond*
     - Note: Don't do what I did. Thinking I knew what I was doing, I didn't listen to Midge's advice, and put the first stick of butter in a bowl in the microwave to soften it. Silly me. She put out a plate, insisted I heat one stick at a time for 16 seconds each. I did what she said on the second stick, and it worked perfectly. Humph. Needless to say, being the stubborn girl I am, I went ahead and tried to beat the two sticks of butter into the wet ingredients anyways. After about five minutes of that, Stephen grabbed the bowl from me and used the hand-mixer on it. Pretty confident that's what made the cookies rise so well in the oven. Dang it, I was out baked by the Bairds...

3. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients
     - We poured the wet ingredients into the dry a little at a time as we stirred the mixture. I don't know if this really matters, but I'm trying to be a precise little lady.  

5. Stir in chocolate chips
     - I use a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate. Best of both worlds, baby. This time I used an entire bag of semi-sweet and about 3/4 a bag of milk (I added a little extra, whoooops!)

6. With your fingers (the LOVE I described), place golf ball sized portions of 2 inches apart of ungreased cookie sheet.
     - Mine were pretty true to this size, the batches Stephen put on the sheets were much bigger, buwhaha.

7. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
     - I think we went a little over 10... maybe. Sheer luck that one batch turned out perfect: we forgot to set a timer. Eeeep.

This apparently makes two dozen cookies. I think we got around 32 cookies out of it, if I remember right.

Here are the results, soooo delicious. Definitely going in my future family cook book.

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