Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chocolate Chip, Dark Cherry Cookies

Ah, tis the holiday season when your in-laws will no doubt bug the shit out of you, push all your buttons and make you swear that next, year you are going far. far. away for the Holiday Season.
First, without getting to far into it just let me say that CB's father hasn't worked a day since 1986. He inherited a family business when he was young, and in 1986 sold the business and has not worked a day since, for 20 years. He has been savvy enough to make investments and live off of the profits from those investments. We should all be so lucky. Don't get me wrong, that's great, I think most people would like to live that way, more power to him. Now, let me clarify that CB and I work our asses off to afford the things we have. We have not been offered nor would we accept money from his family. CB works two jobs, he's a residential architect at a design firm and also teaches architecture at a local university. My job is rarely 8-5 and includes multiple late night events it also involves copious amounts of travel, mostly over weekends, never usually falling in the normal work week time. I'm not complaining. I like earning my own way. I love the fact that CB and I owe not one person for the things we have. We've earned it, together.

Another piece of this puzzle is CB's father's girlfriend, surprise surprise, she doesn't work either. She has also been lucky enough to make smart investments that pay dividends that she lives off day to day. My problem is not in the fact that neither of them work, I think most people would love to have the wherewithal to make smart investment decisions that allowed us to live a life not rules by going to work. My problem is this; both of them have enough money to live comfortably without working. This year they decided that they would downplay spending at Christmas and only spend $20 on each other. Great, bravo, you really don't need anything, so don't just buy for the sake of buying.

After they make this decision (the $20 decision) his father turns around and gives us a few ideas for things that we can buy them for Christmas. His father, asked us for a toaster oven, no big deal right? No, he asked for a specific toaster oven that he saw online, to the tune of $100 fucking dollars. He then asks us to get his girlfriend a wooden salad bowl and wooden serving utensils, which generally cost about $50.00. Ok, so let me get this straight. Neither of you work, and yet you're only going to spend $20.00 on each other, but you want us, who work our asses off, to buy your $100 fucking dollar toaster. No. You're not getting the toaster. You're getting a book. Reading is fundamental.

That was my rant for today. Sorry if you were looking for shiny happy people holding hands. Ain't gonna happen today.

However.

These cookies should brighten your day. I adapted a recipe from the Baking Illustrated cookbook from, yep, you guessed it. America's Test Kitchen.

Recipe
2 cups plus 2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and then cooled until warm
1 cup packed light of dark brown sugar
NOTE: I used 1/2 light and 1/2 dark
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus one egg yolk
NOTE: I used a vegan substitute which was 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp oil and 1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped dried cherries (optional - not in original ATK recipe)

1.Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium size bowl, set aside.

3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk (or substitute) and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of of both hands and pull into two equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base. again forming a single ball and being careful not to smooth the dough's uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

5. Bake until the are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool cookies on the sheet, then remove with metal spatula. Enjoy.

Rating = Damn Good

6 comments:

Patricia Scarpin said...

You are such a teaser. ;)

Anonymous said...

I've never heard about that vegan egg sub. I'm not a vegan, but don't often have eggs on hand (and sometimes I just want to bake!). Do you know what the sub would be for one egg?

Hope you had a nice holiday!

JB said...

The vegan substitute for one egg can be the following:
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cornstarch
Mix together as you would whisk an egg and include as such.

Let mw know if you have any luck with it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info about the vegan egg sub --- I will give it a try.

Jessica said...

Hi! Thanks for the awesome-looking recipe - I plan to try it soon.

However, step 4 has blown my mind. i.e. what in the name of heaven are you talking about? Forgive me if this just means I'm dumb... but could you expound on this step?

JB said...

Jessica,
I know that step sounds weird, but it's basically their way of making sure that the cookies aren't flat.

So you take the ball of cookie dough, tear it in half, turn the torn sides up, and then smash it back together. I know it sounds weird, but it does make the cookies look really good.

I hope that this answers your questiom. And sorry it took so long for me to get back to you.