Thursday, 13 February 2014

Me Want Cookies

Last week, my Professor in my Food and Finance class asked the students: if they could choose their "last meal", what would it be?  While people dreamt of grand meals full of expensive wines and foie gras, the first thing that came to my mind was warm chocolate chip cookies.  And prosciutto (of course).

The chocolate chip cookie is an amazing thing. It can be slightly crispy yet chewy, a little salty and sweet. It's perfect. I decided to make these cookies for a co-worker on her birthday. It was also a really good excuse to have freshly baked cookies on a Thursday evening. 

While I'm not an advocate for the consumption of excessive sweets, I think eating something you really love is so worthwhile.  When it comes to higher calories meals or desserts, I always try and focus on "mindful eating." This practice attempts to bring the focus back to the food itself by removing distractions during eating (TV, internet, etc), taking smaller bites and really tasting the flavors and complexities of the food.  

Studies have shown that practicing mindful eating can help aid in weight loss and allows for higher appreciation of the food.  By putting the focus back into what you are eating and eating more slowly, it can help increase satisfaction with a meal and hopefully reduce cravings and overeating of high calorie foods.  

With that said, everyone should enjoy a really great cookie once in awhile and I guarantee this one is worth eating! 

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie 

This recipe can vary in how many cookies it can make depending on the size of the cookie.  I made around 3 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted 

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with oil. 

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set to the side. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well incorporated.

3. Beat the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk into the sugar/butter mix until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.

4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand or with a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) at a time onto the baking sheets. Space the cookies around 3 inches apart as they spread while baking.  

5. OPTIONAL STEP: If desired, refrigerate cookie dough for an hour or more (can leave it for more than 3 days but who can be that patient?) Refrigeration helps the dough develop flavors and gain a better texture. This of course, is not mandatory, but certainly makes for a delish cookie.  

5a. OPTIONAL AGAIN: another addition to the cookie would be to add a really flaky sea salt like Maldon to the top of the cookie after it's baked and cooled slightly. Seriously, who doesn't love a salty-sweet combo? 

6. Bake the cookies off for around 15 minutes (that was my sweet spot) but I recommend checking around the 10 minute mark for smaller cookies and around 18 minutes for VERY large cookies. 

7. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely a few minutes after they're removed from the oven.

8. Enjoy with a nice cold glass of milk!

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