Monday, June 06, 2005

Mike's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Follow the Toll House recipe, but with the following alterations:
  • Don't preheat the oven before you start preparing the ingredients. There'll be time later.
  • Instead of 3/4 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar, use 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar.
  • Instead of 1/2 teaspoons of salt, use a level 1/4 teaspoon of fine grain table salt and a slightly heaping 1/2 teaspoon measure of course grained sea salt. The fine grain salt takes care of the chemistry side of things, and seasons the dough, while the larger grains stay partially intact and give you the occasional zing of saltiness that makes your tongue sit up pretty and ask for one more bite, please.
  • For the nuts, use Missouri Northern Pecans (pieces, not halves). Don't bother chopping them. Let the mixer crush them up into the dough.
  • After adding the chocolate chips, split the dough into two parts, wrap it in plastic wrap (I like to press it out to about 1 inch thickness), and put it in the fridge to cool. While that's happening is a good time to preheat the oven. Cooling the dough keeps it from spreading in the oven, giving you a thicker, chunkier cookie. Good stuff.
  • Chop the cooled dough up into roughly 1.5 inch squares to bake. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes.
Note: The fancy-pants pecans are, strictly speaking, an option. But I find most grocery store pecans just a tiny bit bitter, even when baked, while these are sweet and buttery. They're also grown just across the border from La Cygne, KS, where I learned how pecans are supposed to taste by eating the ones that grew on the pecan tree in my grandparents' front yard. Chopped dried cranberries are a festive and tasty addition, but I actually prefer my cookies old-fashioned and unadulterated.

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