Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Chocolate Chip, M&M, and Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

I'm at my folks' house until this weekend, reading, relaxing, and running. We've gotten quite the heatwave here-- so oppressive that, were it not for the treadmill my parents' have, I would have fallen off the training bandwagon.

My dad thinks that the treadmill, when I'm running at my training pace, sounds like a washing machine. This morning, he called out from the kitchen "What're you doing in the washing machine?"

To which I replied, "Running in circles."

I'm pretty sure that my love of running is still a mystery to my family (though my mom gets it)-- however, it is no mystery that running means that I can have several of these beauties (I'm convinced, still, that that must be how it works, right? right?)

A while back, I was lucky enough to win the Secret Lives of Baked Goods, signed (!!!) by Jessie Oleson Moore (aka Cakespy), from Debbie at the Culinary Cellar (Thank you thank you thank you!!!), and only just recently got around to making the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Let me tell you-- this is, HANDS DOWN, the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe I have EVER made. So good, that I played around with it, adding M&Ms, and then adding cocoa powder on top of it.

Seriously. You will never find a better classic chocolate chip cookie recipe (though I am still fond of this one and this one... and this one...).  I have no words for how perfect, chewy, crunchy, and wonderful these are. I just... I can't even...

I know it's hot. I know you don't want to turn on the oven. But if you can stand it, make these... and add some ice cream to beat the heat.

Thank you SO MUCH, Debbie, for selecting me as the winner of this drawing-- the cookbook is being treasured and loved more than you know!

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Basic Recipe

Adapted slightly from The Secret Lives of Baked Goods

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 pound semisweet chocolate, cut into chunks (~2 cups_

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a clean bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars, and nutmeg together. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between. Scrape down the sides as needed with a spatula.

Slowly add the flour mixture in in two parts, mixing well in between. Slowly fold in the chocolate chunks. For the best cookies, loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the dough in the fridge for at least an hour.

Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough out onto baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for spreading. Bake for 8-10 minutes; be sure to remove the cookies when they still look slightly underdone to maintain chewiness. Transfer to cooling racks and wait until cooled (if you can!). Devour with a tall glass of milk.

Variation 1: Swap out chocolate chunks for M&Ms, or add the M&Ms in with the chunks.

Variation 2: Add in 1/2 cup extra dark cocoa powder to the flour mixture; continue as before, but add in M&Ms and/or chocolate chunks at the end (I love the dark cocoa against the bright colors-- so pretty!)

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