Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on $10/day.
We interrupt this week with squash to give you a really great and fabulously easy chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Several weeks ago Lisa from Sweet as Sugar Cookies went on a quest to find her perfect chocolate chip cookie. It put a bee in my bonnet that I haven't quite been able to shake free. We really really--and did I mention--really love chocolate chip cookies in these parts. I love Kip's, and mine of course, and my sister Katie's, which will one day make a noble appearance on this site (pinky promise). I like the New York Times recipe. And I liked the one that Lisa put as her top pick. But none of them has really been my holy grail in chocolate chip cookies. If you want to know the truth, I'm beginning to believe that the holy grail of chocolate chip cookies doesn't really exist. There are just so many good ones (and yes, some dreadful ones too) that I find it hard to say that one is It.
In this way cookies are a little like love because (warning: horribly un-romantic comment will ensue) at the end of the day we choose to love the person we love, even when they have flaws. We choose to accept that they aren't perfect and won't ever be perfect. And we hope that they will accept us, flaws included as well. It's kind of refreshing (who am I kidding; it's totally refreshing) to give up the illusion that there is one perfect one out there waiting to do and be all that we have wanted them to do and be since we started dreaming about such things at age 12. Of course that one we choose to love can still be mighty tasty and really quite a few things we've dreamed of as well.
And now I've digressed so very much that I'm finding it hard to segue back to cookies. Oh dear. My point is that there are a lot of cookies out there with a lot of great qualities. And I'm sure we can all be friends. But at some point I'm just going to have to choose a favorite and stick with it.
Kip--a more loyal person, apparently, than I--has already done this. I'm not quite as ready to settle down. I still flirt with other recipes here and there. And one of the lovely things about cookies is that they don't care. Sometimes when you're in the midst of a very committed life (one in which your children quite regularly fight over your lap), this can be a little refreshing. And sometimes it can yield a really great recipe. Which is what happened on Sunday. (Note: I do not, for the record, take this same approach to marriage. And I don't think you should either. Stick with your man. Flirt with your cookies. That's my motto.)
Not only is this recipe really really delicious--it's also easy to make. You melt the butter (which is supposed to make the cookie chewier and I believe it does), which means there's no creaming the butter and sugar and you can mix everything with a spoon. I really love recipes I can mix with a spoon. Oh, I love them so very much.
Now I should warn you: The dough comes out very wet. It comes out so wet that I was sure these cookies would all run together and be a big flat pan of cookie with some bumpy chocolate chips sitting in it. To my shock, they kept their shape better than any other cookie I've made that contains all butter. Cheers to you, Best Recipe. Cheers to you, spoon-only cookie recipes. Oh--and if you wanted to take it a step further and brown your butter, well maybe, just maybe, you will have found that cookie recipe you've been looking for all your life. I'll let you know when I do.
Stir 'Em With a Spoon Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Best Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12-18 minutes
(flour: .20, butter: .45, egg: .20, brown sugar: .32, white sugar: .10, chocolate chips: .90)
2 C plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit so it's not, you know, hot
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1-1 1/2 C chocolate chips
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Melt your butter if you haven't already. Mix it with the sugars. Add the egg and yolk and mix them up good to incorporate. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The add the chocolate chips. (I did 1 1/2 C and thought it a bit much).
Drop onto baking sheet. Bake at 325 (yes, it's much lower than normal) and bake for 12-18 minutes (yes, that's a wide range--the first time I made these they were big; the second time, the dough was cold; thus mine took a while, but I'd hate to tell you 15-18 minutes and have yours get too brown, so have a peek at 12).
Note: These are great if you throw them in the oven as soon as you make the dough, but they're a bit better if you let the dough chill for a day.
Linked to Sweets for a Saturday and Something Swanky.