Taking the House by Storm

The trials and tribulations of the average gal trying to navigate through life, love and the pursuit of domestic bliss.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cookie Monster

Last night, I was in the mood for something sweet. What with not leaving work until 7:30 and not feeling like stopping off for some ice cream, I decided to make some cookies after eating leftover Shepherd’s Pie, courtesy of my loving husband. More on his delicious dish in another post. For now, back to me.

A former coworker of mine once made a batch of what I daresay might just be the best darned chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. When pressed (very softly), she said her secret was making them with Crisco.

So I went to their site a looking for a recipe. For some reason, all I could find was this Chocolate Chip Cookies version that was way out of the scope of what I was willing to put together. Coconut? Oats? Rice Krispies? Not what the doctor ordered.

Of course, today, when I go to find it again to link to it in this post, I find their recipe for the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, which is exactly what I was looking for last night. Figures.

Suffice it to say, I went looking elsewhere. My husband, Rick, suggested I use his tried-and-true recipe from Joy of Cooking for Chocolate Drop Cookies. A good back up plan, but I was bound and determined to find an easy recipe using the shortening.

Gave up on finding a usable recipe on FoodNetwork.com. Type in “chocolate chip cookies” and you get 300 and something results. Not my idea of quick, which is what I was looking for.

Allrecipes.com was no better. Butter, butter, butter. No Crisco. Then I sifted through a few pages of Google results before I landed on a fun site that just happened to link me through to an Alton Brown recipe I wound up using. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

The site was Cooking for Engineers, for those with an analytical mind who like to cook. Who knew such a niche was even out there? Thanks to one of their faithful readers, I learned of a Good Eats episode entitled Three Chips for Sister Martha.

There, I found three (surprise, surprise) recipes: one for thin, one for puffy and one for chewy chocolate chip cookies. I chose puffy because, well, it was the only recipe made with shortening.

They were pretty tasty. At first, I thought the 375˚ temperature was too hot – seemed like the bottoms were getting too brown – so I lowered it. Wound up raising it again because lower really cooked the bottoms while the tops were undone.

Some of them turned out better – puffier – than others. I think there might be something to chilling the dough before baking, which I only did for one or two batches. Never heard of this before, but I think I will employ the technique in the future. And I think I’ll add in some nuts to give them even more substance.

My little experiment also resulted in a new appreciation for parchment paper. Never really liked it before, but last night I had to question myself as to why not. Clean up is a snap. Plus, I finally used my Pampered Chef scooper I bought probably 10 years ago for just this purpose. My glass is half full – of milk, to go with my delicious chocolate chip cookies.


  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger Cara said…

    Man, those look good! I need to make cookies from scratch again. I haven't in so long. I'm a sucker for the break 'n bake kind. But, nothing beats a real homemade chocolate chip cookie.


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