Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Worst Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Back in college, we used to joke that I should host a cooking show called cooking with the clutz. Back then, every time I cooked something I made an enormous mess. There was the time I dropped an entire bottle of olive oil on the kitchen floor. What do you use to clean that? Water? There was the time I left the soup cooking on high and came back from a run to find it burned to the bottom of the pan. And there was the time I made 200 sugar and gingerbread cookies for a Christmas party. We didn't have a rolling pin ... so I used a glass ... that broke while I was rolling ... we still ate the cookies.

Lately though, I thought I had grown out of it. I can brag about my chocolate chip cookies. I only use the recipe on the chocolate chip bag, but I promise they are the best cookies you ever ate. The difference is in two things: butter (not margarine) and Mexican vanilla. Joy of Baking says,

The Mexican vanilla bean is a thicker and darker bean that has a smooth, strong,rich fragrance and flavor.

I don't know about the chemistry and makeup of the Mexican vanilla bean versus hothouse vanilla beans, but I do know that these cookies are usually awesome. It all started out fine with the wet ingredients, but then Eric and Mark came over to watch Obama inspire the nation and it all went out the window.

This is the first batch of cookies I pulled out of the oven, at which point I realized I had only added half the flour. OK, so I added more flour, stirred (a lot) and threw another batch into the oven. I pulled that batch out 8 minutes later. Still not right ... because I hadn't added the salt or the baking soda. Third time's a charm, but these were definitely the (second) worst cookies I have ever made. (There was the time I forgot the flour completely, the cookies melted, ran off the baking sheet and started a sugar fire in the oven). Sorry to Megan, Eric or Mark who may have inadvertently biten into a pocket of salt and/or baking soda. Eric said he liked them and obligingly took some home. Chocolate Chip Cookies: 1 cup softened butter 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon (Mexican) vanilla 2 1/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels Pre-set oven to 375 degrees. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and beat it (while singing and dancing to Michael Jackson songs). Sift together all of the flour, baking soda and salt. Add gradually to the wet ingredients while mixing. Mix until the consistency is smooth. Add chocolate chips. Place spoonful of cookie mix a couple inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Enjoy. (And don't forget to turn off the oven).


Craig said...

you win some, you lose some.

Maria said...

Wow, those are some pretty funky cookies.

The first week of my theory class this semester, the professor gave us each a plastic bag full of chocolate chips and told us to make chocolate chip cookies without using a recipe or getting advice from anything/anyone. One or two turned out pretty tasty, but some were a joke. There was the guy who used 3 TABLESPOONS of baking soda. Oh, and the girl who microwaved her Brummel and Brown and poured it, still hot, into the mixture. Can you say melted chocolate chips? One guy (of course) wimped out and just put chocolate chips in cupcake papers and melted them.

The next week we all had to follow the directions on the package to the t. Again, only some turned out to be "normal."

Did I mention the professor made us try all the cookies?

Lainey Seyler said...

so what did that have to do with theory? and what did the one with the 3 tablespoons of baking soda taste like?

maria said...

They tasted like...baking soda? Really dry and blah tasting. I could tell he used too much before he told us.

What was the point of the exercise? Basically, we all have an idea of what a chocolate chip cookie is, and we all (more or less) know what makes up a choc. chip cookie. However, we all put those ingredients together in different ways. This is like a theory of crime. We all pretty much share the same idea of what crime is. Each theory has specific components (ingredients), but when they're tested (when cookies are made), the components are used and defined in different ways. Thus, our final outcome (test of a theory or making cookies) is different. I think that was his point...

Lainey Seyler said...

wow. insightful. i like a class that involves cookies.

Jenny said...

you both know these cookies look a helluva lot better than any of mine did. At least they are separated. Mine always came out in one big blob. Cookies are not my forte.

lindsey baker said...

i am also a forgetter when it comes to baking, my only "forte" in the kitchen (i can make a mean scone when i have the energy). i once made a batch of apple-something-or-other scones and forgot to put in the cream of tartar, thus causing my scones to actually be apple-flavored rocks.

but sometimes, i think mistakes can result in something even tastier--in college, i had a friend who baked all the time, and her hit cookie for a while was an orangey cookie we had discovered. after she'd made it maybe 20 times for american idol night, meaning we'd eaten probably 100 of these cookies, we realized we'd consistently bought cream cheese to put in them, instead of the sour cream the recipe called for.
i am sure the sour cream version was delish, but ours was damn good.