chocolate chip cookies: simple yet complex

I love cookies. They’re simple and yet complex at the same time (haha.. sound like any people in your life?). You can find the recipes for the original Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips on the backs of bags of choco chips so it seems deceivingly simple to bake a great batch of cookies from scratch. However, baking a good cookie takes planning and care. A number of things can go wrong. Comes out to crunchy, too light, too dark, not the shape you want, etc. I say all this because I’ve baked many batches of cookies, many that were just so-so. The worst disaster has to be the time I added large quantities of salt instead of white sugar by failing to read the container. I’ve reached a level of contentment with this recipe and my skill at baking cookies. The rice crispy cereal gives it a nice crunch. I would recommend even adding dried cherries, cranberries, or even orange zest for a zing. The latest craze is topping cookies with fleur de sel right before baking.

Advice: know your oven since every oven is different and so the length of time it takes to bake and get that golden brown color is going to vary. Invest in good quality baking sheets that are non-stick and will evenly distribute heat. You’ll use these for everything from roasting vegetables to baking other things so buy good quality ones since they’ll last you awhile and relatively inexpensive. I like the Wilton brand. Just don’t get the cheapest ones because they’ll end up burning your cookies and whatever else you try to bake. Use quality, fresh ingredients. If your baking soda is over a year old, toss it and get a new box. For flour, I recommend using the King Arthur brand (check Target). It costs a bit more but it makes a difference. Don’t be in a rush since baking is a process but its worth the effort.









chocolate chip rice crispy cookies (adapted from weekofmenus)
makes 5 dozen
2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt (I used sea salt)
2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, unsalted and softened
3/4 cup white (granulated) sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 ½  cups of chocolate chips
2 cups of rice crispy cereal
1 cup of walnuts

1.    Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, salt, baking soda).
2.    Combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract and cream them together (this is work, especially if the butter is not softened, like mine). Then add the eggs one at a time.
3.    Gradually add in the flour mixture and incorporate. Mix in the chocolate chips, cereal, and walnuts.
4.    Refrigerate the dough in plastic wrap for at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours. This is optional, but, I do think that the cookies taste better. They brown better, are crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, all in all, a more sophisticated, better tasting cookie.
5.    To bake, preheat the oven to 350F and drop in rounded tablespoons on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. After 10 minutes, check on them and adjust additional time as needed. I only baked mine for 11 minutes. Let the cookies rest on a baking sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to wire racks to cool. Enjoy!

Food from the weekend~ yay for trying new places!

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