Friday, October 16, 2009

Chocolate Chip Heaven

Yesterday morning we woke up to snow.  There was some rain mixed in there.  There may have been some drizzle.  Whatever the precipation of the hour, the fact of the matter was it was wet and there was no playing outside.

Time to entertain the natives.

So, I pulled out the cookbook.  My sister is currently trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe (you can follow her efforts here and here).  She and I were talking and about changes she could try.  I started thinking about a book I have from America's Test Kitchen. 

Have you heard of these people?  I LOVE this show.  It's on PBS.  They test, test and retest recipes until they get them "perfect".  But they try to use ingredients people have, and time commitments that are realistic depending on the dish.  Anyway, they have several cookbooks and I've thought about ordering some, but I never do.  Then, awhile back while my parents were living here my mom came home with a couple books from a coworker.  They were extra "America's Test Kitchen" cookbooks and he had given them to my mom.  I commandeered ownership of these from my mom...I might have called it rent...and haven't given them back.

So, the kids and I set about making the chocolate chip cookie recipe from America's Test Kitchen.  There wasn't too much special about this recipe other than the fact that it said you needed to melt the butter before incorporating it.  That and it used an egg and extra yolk.  Tracy was skeptical about the melted butter so I had told her I would test it out (at the time she'd already made a few too many dozen cookies to have to want to try again so soon).

Here's the result:

Don't they look scrumptious?  They were.

The kids rolled them into balls and stuck them on the cookie sheets and disappeared to play back upstairs.  They yelled over their shoulder, "Call us when they are ready."  They both love to bake.  It's the waiting around part they can't stand.

I watched these like a hawk.  I was NOT going to let these burn!!  I've realized in my last few batches of cookies that walking away is a bad idea.  Things can start cooking quickly and you have to be very zealous about the right second to take it out.  Then you have to be extra zealous in letting them cool on a pan.  Getting that perfect brown color can be very frustrating - especially if I walk away.

I didn't take one picture of the baking process.  Maddie noticed this and mentioned the phenomenon.  I would have but my hands were too greasy.  Afterward though?  I took about 35 pictures - they were too pretty to not mess around with the camera.

I tell myself it's for educational purposes.  Then I tell Mike about the 35 pictures and he says it's because I'm a dork.

But I'm a dork who now holds the recipe to a pretty darn-good tasting cookie.

The kids had a good time - eating AND playing.

Not to be outdone...

(By the way...if you witness any finger biting by anyone particular, please stop her.  We are really trying to work on this.)

We ended up with 27 cookies.  These are all the cookies we have left after taste-testing five.  Five?  ("But there's only four people in the family" - you say.)  That's right.  Mike Someone we won't mention kiped two of them to taste-test while those of us that did the work only got one. 

Somebody didn't read "The Little Red Hen" when he was little.

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