The Dallas Camera Club meets twice a month and members take turns bringing in snacks (chosen by rotating through the membership list). Tuesday’s meeting was my turn to bring in snacks and so I decided to bake some cookies. Sure, some people just stop by Kroger and buy a box of cookies, but I figured that baked cookies would be much nicer.
I stopped by AllRecipes a few days ahead of time to select a recipe. Once in their Cookie section, I headed straight for the subsection on Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's not that I had ruled out other cookie types, but I thought I had a good chance of finding a workable chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Fortunately, all the recipes at AllRecipes are rated (on a scale of one to five). With dozens of chocolate chip cookie recipes, I just ignored all the non-5-star entries. And, I had in mind more of a soft cookie (rather than crunchy) and that further narrowed the playing field. And one that I finally settled on was called (simply) Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. In particular, the tagline sounded enticing: “Crisp edges, chewy middles”.
As the recipe called for chocolate chips (as you would expect) but also chopped walnuts, I thought I'd have to make a special trip to Super Target for sure. But, I glanced through my pantry beforehand and it turned out that I had all the ingredients already.
When it came time to bake the cookies, the recipe was actually a little easier than I expected. There was no melting of any kind (neither butter nor chocolate) and there're only three steps in total (the first of which is “preheat oven”, so that one hardly counts, even). The one nebulous portion of the recipe was the baking time — “Bake for about 10 minutes […] or until edges are nicely browned”. I don’t like guesswork when it comes to recipes and so I just went with an even 10-minutes for the first batch (well, actually 5 minutes + 5 minutes, as I swapped racks halfway through).
After that first batch, the edges were slightly browned, but who was I to say if that meant “nicely”? To be sure, I baked the second (and third) batches for 11 minutes (5 minutes + 6 minutes) and those were slightly more golden-brown around the edges.
Once they were baked, I set them aside on cooling racks and, as soon as they were cool enough not to burn my tongue, I snarfed one. It was still gooey, of course, but rather tasty. In some ways, it still even had that cookie-dough flavor (as opposed to most other recipes where the cooked product is decidedly different from the raw edition). But, I made a mental note that I'd have to allow them to cool fully before forming a final opinion.
So, the next day, I had one with breakfast (ooh, decadence) and it wasn’t quite the cookie that I recalled from the night before. It was soft, to be sure, but the edges never hardened. Really, it was just soft the whole way through — and some people like it that way, but not me. I wanted that delicate ying & yang of crispiness and softness, but to no avail. So, sure, these cookies are good in the general sense that all cookies are yummy, but I get the feeling that there may be a better chocolate chip cookie recipe out there.
In any case, here’s the recipe.
“Best Chocolate Chip Cookies”
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar [or Splenda, natch]
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350° F (175 degrees C).
Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. [11 minutes was an improvement for me, and 12 minutes may be even better]