Thursday, August 30, 2007

And the best wife in the world award goes to...

Me! This morning I woke up at 4:30 to make my world famous chocolate chip cookies for one of my husband's Physical Science classes. They actually all behaved during a fire drill so he wanted to try a little positive reinforcement. He was first going to do donuts, but then asked me to make some cookies.

Now, I don't mean to brag here (maybe I do), but it is generally accepted that I make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world (at least according to me, my husband, and a group of StuCo students from Farmington, MO who stayed with us a few days last semester). I cannot reveal the recipe, but let me say it is from my grandmother, Nestlé Tollhousé (anyone? anyone?).

While some say that it is the recipe that makes the cookie, I would have to completely disagree. The recipes don't usually vary all that much. One recipe is pretty much as good as the rest. And as we all learned from Monica Gellar and Phoebe Bouffet, the one on the back of the chocolate chips is pretty darn good.

What makes a good cookie is the technique, so rather than sharing a recipe, I will share my technique. I really do think these things make all the difference, but feel free to disagree! But remember, my cookies are the best. I now have another class of 15 year olds who agree (and asked for more!).

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
According to Linda

1. Always start with softened butter. Not solid. Not melted. Softened. Leave on the counter for about 30 minutes or so. It usually does the trick. The finger should just depress, just like testing doneness on a steak.

2. Beat the heck out of the butter and sugar before adding the vanilla. And I mean beat them. We're talking beating the crap out of them. There is a point at which the butter and sugar look fluffy- this is when they are creamed. If you're not sure, keep beating them. There's no such thing as over beating it, at least not in my book.

3. Mix in the vanilla after the butter and sugar are fluffy. Mix really well after the vanilla and after each egg.

4. SLOWLY mix in the flour mixture. I mix it in about a spoonful at a time. It really doesn't take that long and it makes less of a mess. I'm not sure if it does anything for the cookies, but this is the only way I don't end up with a cloud of flour flying all over my kitchen.

5. At this point, follow the recipe. I check my cookies really often to make sure they don't cross that fine line between perfect and crispy. I also try to get a few pans that aren't all the way done so we have some super soft ones.

This is what I have learned about chocolate chip cookie making. As long as I am totally tooting my own horn, I would also like to add that a very popular DJ in Columbia, MO raved about my cookies on air when he had them at an event held by the bookstore I helped open with a friend (and closed, unfortunately) in Columbia. People came to the bookstore just to try the cookies! Too bad they didn't buy more books.

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