Monday, March 19, 2012

World Domination via Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Equinox Eve! Today's treat was loosely adapted from The All New Purity Cookbook (ISBN 1-55285-13-4), a Canadian guide to cooking alchemy that was first published in 1967 and is not all that "All New" any more. Astreja K.'s copy of said tome is the 2001 printing (5th edition) and falls open at certain places.

This is one of those places.  You can tell by the break in the spine of the book, and the penciled-in notation "Use ungreased parchment paper," but mostly because of all the chocolate on the page.  Here goes:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (Original version used shortening)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup lightly packed golden-brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, but feel free to add a bit more
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (1 standard 6-ounce bag) chocolate chips (We suggest milk chocolate rather than semi-sweet)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (Original version used ½ cup chopped walnuts)

Allow the unsalted butter to soften at room temperature, or very quickly microwave it (10-15 seconds, tops).  Cream the butter together with both sugars until blended.  Add the egg and the vanilla.

After the wet ingredients are ready, it's a good time to preheat the oven to 325°F. (Original version says 350°F; don't do it! Keep the temperature down, and your cookie-making success is virtually guaranteed. They taste better, too.) Make sure the rack is roughly in the center of the oven, not too close to either element.

In another bowl, mix the flour and baking soda; then add the chocolate chips and the pecans.  Mix the dry ingredients well, then mix into the creamed butter mixture.

Put a sheet of ungreased parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Start forming the cookie dough into small balls, a bit more than an inch in diameter, until you've arranged 12 of them in a 3 x 4 array spaced about an inch apart.  Pop them into the oven and set a timer for 12 minutes.  Check them at the 12-minute mark; they may need 1 or 2 minutes more, depending on your oven.

When they're done, carefully pull the whole sheet of parchment paper onto a cooling rack, cookies and all.  If you have 2 cookie sheets, you can let each batch cool for a couple of minutes before you do this.  If you only have 1 cookie sheet, after you get the cookies safely onto the rack you can put on a fresh sheet of parchment paper and start rolling the next batch.

Makes 24-36 standard cookies, depending on the size of the dough balls.