I have been known to do some stupid stuff every so often. I don’t mean big-stupid, like drinking four Midori sours and then deciding to apply to law school…oh, wait, I did do that. But at the moment I’m talking about little-stupid, like trying to headbang and play air drums to Aerosmith while at the same time trying to walk in a straight line (and if you’d like to add to that already bizarre image, I was wearing a suit at the time).

Tonight’s stupid is that I was about to watch last week’s Top Chef: Just Desserts on the TiVo. And I decided that before I could watch, I really needed some chocolate chip cookies (my remaining cranberry-hazelnut oatmeal cookies had gone stale while I was away, plus there is pretty much never a time that I don’t want chocolate). Where does the stupid come in? For the past couple of months, I’ve been aggravated by tennis elbow in my right elbow (certainly not from playing tennis – more likely from all the cleaning I had been doing). It’s been particularly painful today. And, of course, I’m right-handed. So an activity that involves scraping and scooping and moving trays around in the oven? All adds up to OW.

Enough of my stupidity. On to more important matters – cookies!

I’m pretty much always on a quest for an amazing chocolate chip cookie. I don’t like packaged cookies, hard or soft (I hate the taste of all the preservatives), so that leaves me with two options: bakery (last winter a couple of BU students did an article for BU Today, trying to find the best chocolate chip cookie in Boston.  I haven’t tried them all, but I must say that Paradise Bakery at the Prudential Center does indeed have an awesome, reasonably priced cookie) or making my own.

Which means I am also always on a quest for an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have several cookbooks dedicated solely to cookies, not to mention desserts/baking in general, but I’ve realized that when it comes to chocolate chip cookies I’m more likely to turn to the Internet, as it’s makes it a hell of a lot easier to find famous recipes on the spur of the moment, rather than having to wait and see if I can find it at the library because I can’t justify purchasing the book, or even if I could, I can’t exactly get it at 8:30pm when I don’t have a car.

But even before the dawn of the Internet, when I did have to rely solely on cookbooks and the back of the bag of chips, in the 24-ish years that I’ve been baking on my own (since I was 8 – I probably would have started earlier, but I wasn’t allowed to play with knives or fire as a toddler), I’ve tried a ton of different recipes. The original Toll House recipe on the back of the Nestle’s bag. The recipes on the backs of the Hershey’s and Ghirardelli bags. The Mrs. Field’s clone in the first volume of Top Secret Recipes (that was my go-to recipe for quite some time). The supposed Neiman-Marcus recipe (HATED IT). The “Chewy” version from Good Eats (also a former go-to recipe). Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookie (too much salt and didn’t like the addition of corn syrup; using Rice Krispies as my “snack food” had also been a bad idea).

Tonight I tried a recipe I found on The Amateur Gourmet, originally from Marcel Delsaulniers. Several things about this recipe – I had never seen a chocolate chip cookie recipe a)baked at so low a temperature/so long a time; b)with 24 oz. of chocolate chips (most I had ever seen before was 18 oz.); and c)using booze (not that I never use booze in my baking – ask me sometime about my and Blanche’s rum brownies). The recipe calls for rum; I used bourbon, because that’s what I had in the house (I don’t tend to keep a lot of liquor in the house, anyway, but rum is like being back in middle school – it pretends to like me on the surface, but then sneaks around and stabs me in the back).

They are indeed a very yummy cookie. But I think they can be better. Like The AG, I would also prefer the outside to be crispy (just a little bit more resistance to the outer “crust”; unlike The AG, I like how thick these cookies are). My original thought was to substitute white sugar for a portion of the dark brown sugar (I’m thinking about 1/2 cup), but I also wonder if using all light brown sugar would make a difference. I’m also intrigued by flavor variations with the booze – I have butterscotch schnapps, so I can try that. I’m also thinking that Frangelico or Kahlua would be awesome to try. Maybe even Grand Marnier.

I also realized tonight that Shaw’s store brand parchment paper works just as well as Reynolds, and doesn’t slide around nearly so much on the cookie sheet (that really annoyed me). But how I still long for Silpats…

And now to add to the stupid of tonight – Top Chef: Just Desserts is still paused at the beginning, I had one cookie (they really are pretty big), and now I’m full. So my must-have-cookies yen was kinda pointless in the end.  And I want ice water but my Pur pitcher froze (note to self: move pitcher back to other side of fridge).

Advertisements