Friday, March 19, 2010

Best Ever?

If you've ever visited Two Peas and Their Pod, you know Maria has a serious affection for cookie recipes. I was browsing her sweet treats, and I found this post about chocolate chip cookies. I love cookies, but I'm definitely not a live-breathe-and-die-by chocolate chip cookies kinda girl. (Personal favorites include Girl Scout Cookies; and cousin Laura's oatmeal cookie hearts and chocolate whoppers) But there is nothing, nothing, that makes your house smell as good as chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.

Since Edwin and I are going to be in Raleigh this weekend for a wedding, I thought I'd whip up a batch of the supposed best chocolate chip cookies ever for our hosts, the Estradas. We love the Estradas and their four children like some people love chocolate chip cookies.

Thursday night I set out to make the best ever chocolate chip cookies. The Two Peas post is actually a reference to another blog, so here is that post and recipe.

I have to say, this was one of the more challenging recipes I've made. Alice is really specific-- she wants you to measure your flour on a scale to get exactly 3 cups. I'm not a drug dealer or an actually fancy cook, so I don't have a food scale. I did my best.

I had to buy new baking powder and baking soda, because what I had been using was 3 years old. Alice is very anti-old rising ingredients. Though this wasn't a challenge, it did require a stop on the baking aisle (I always have the rest of those ingredients in my baking drawer). I'm thinking the fresh baking powder and baking soda are going to revolutionize my cakes, which tend to sag in the middle. Surely they sagged because my rising ingredients were old?

You preheat the oven to 360. Seriously? 350, sure. 375, great. 360?

Creaming the butter and sugar together was tiring, mostly because I don't have a stand mixer (it's on the short list of items to buy) and had to use my hand mixer. It took closer to 7 minutes to make my butter-sugar mixture look like Alice's picture, and I'm still not sure I got it right.

I also don't have a cookie scoop (alternate post title: why my kitchen isn't fancy). I first tried to use an ice cream scoop, thinking it was 2 tablespoons, but you should be familiar with my math skills by now. The cookies would have been way too big to get 40something of them out of the batter. I realized this after the first batch had gone in to bake, so I have 8 gargantuan cookies and 36 regular sized ones, which I hand rolled.

The large ones obviously took longer to bake. They are thick and cakelike. I sampled one while batch 2 was baking. They're good, but very sweet.

Batch 2 produced more reasonably sized cookies and took about 15 minutes in the oven. While they were baking, I was enjoying and analyzing the flavor of batch 1 (giant cookies).

I was hoping the sea salt would make more of an impression. There just isn't enough salt in the batter to give you a crunch (Edwin calls sea salt and its crunch gristle) in every bite. So while the second batch was baking, I sprinkled a little sea salt on each cookie ball for batch 3.

I need to pause for the cause (holla Emmel) and discuss the transfer process. Is there an easy way to pick up parhment paper with cookies on it and transfer to a non-porous surface? And is my kitchen island top non-porous?

I sloppily transferred batch 2 to the counter and waited for batch 3 to finish baking.

Okay, the smaller cookies with sea salt? I love them! I love the combination of salty and sweet, and they have that satisfying crunch of sea salt.

I didn't sample batch 2, the smaller cookies without sea salt. I'm thinking the Estradas will do a taste comparison with us this weekend and I'll get back to you with results.

I hope you like it. I made it.

1 comment:

  1. Those look pretty awesome. I don't want to make them, but I do want to eat them.