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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The essential chocolate chip cookie recipe ... for snaring a man
Last Christmas, my mom got me the King Arthur Cookie Companion. I have to confess that of the many sumptuous-sounding recipes it contains, I have thus far made only one: the Essential Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (distinct from the Essential CRUNCHY Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but if there are people out there who like crunchy chocolate chip cookies, I don't know who they are).

The recipe makes pretty much the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever eaten: light, buttery, loaded with chocolate, but not overpowering. No cookie I've ever made gets scarfed up as fast as these do. Let's face it: There's a stick and a half of butter and three cups of chocolate chips in this recipe. For them to be bad, you'd have to leave out the flour or overbake them until they were black. As an added bonus for the cook, the dough is particularly tasty.

While I have humbly accepted many compliments upon sharing these cookies, I didn't become aware of their full power until one of my co-workers made a spontaneous declaration of love for me upon eating one. That's when it struck me: these cookies are man-killers. Love Potion No. 9. If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then this is where you should start. Men who do not cook will stand in awe of your baking skills, while those who do will respect your prowess. It is not necessary to discuss the potato soup you had to throw out the week before, or that time you almost set a grilled cheese sandwich on fire. The cookies are all that count.

And, you know, other people like them, too. So if you're short a gift idea or need to bribe your roommate, you know where to turn.

The Essential Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar (light works fine)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon cider or white vinegar (I use cider vinegar)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease or line with parchment two baking sheets. (NOTE: It's crucial not to grease the pan too much, or they'll spread and get crunchy. You get the best results by using parchment.)

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, corn syrup and vinegar, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the flour and the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, until they're just set; the centers may still look a bit underdone. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

Consume with gusto.
(From the King Arthur Cookie Companion)

posted by Katie at 2:26 PM; 3 comments

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