Have you ever wanted to just have a plain old chocolate chip cookie that hasn’t been mussed with or fussed with—and wanted it now? Right now?
That day came. Today.
I wanted a chocolate chip cookie that reminded me of youth-- when I’d sit in front of Scooby Doo on the tube after school with a glass of WHOLE milk and a plate of cookies on my saucer that I’d take a bite of just so…so I could fit it into my milk glass and dunk it. And the cookie would saturate with milk and it would yield gently in my mouth, dissolving into sweet crumbly bliss. The chocolate chips tasted of blackness and I’d chug the glass until I’d spy the sandy chunks of lost cookie bits trailing with the wave of white. I’d tilt back to let it ride the milk into my mouth.
From the myriad chocolate chip cookie recipes and adaptations I’ve tried, I know the Toll House recipe I found on the back of the bag of chocolate chips would yield that taste sensation I was seeking. However, that would be so boring. After all, I do have a duty to try as many of those chocolate chip cookie recipes waiting patiently on my massive bookshelf of cookbooks as I humanly can.
But what book would possibly address my immediate needs? The Barefoot Contessa’s cookbooks have always pleased my palate when I yearned for traditional full-fat unadulterated ingredients and the recipes have always proven to work. I mean, how can you go wrong when you see on the Food Network Ina Garten smiling her smile and unapologetically calling for “a pound of butter” in her recipes? I must say, her life is fetching. Who wouldn’t love to be surrounded by that gorgeous garden and have all those handsome gay hunks dropping by so frequently for dinner parties while her husband is away?
I just love watching her show. She has everything I covet. I want her lovely white kitchen, her fantastic garden and her beautiful house. I even think she has the perfect husband: he loves everything she bakes and eats her food with relish (unlike Stomach who hates sweets and out of sheer kindness sticks out his pinky to indicate the size of the “sliver” of cake he would like to be served).
Life is so unfair.
Hey, I have passion but no at home’s up for ingesting my goodies. People fear the bulge, as do I. They fear the full-fat sugar-laden richness of desserts. As do I. My only recourse is to distribute my real-butter’n-white flour’n sugar cardiac bombs to my colleagues. They are so generous to risk their arteries for me!
They say moderation is key to maintaining a healthy diet. So, I profess that the low-fat versions of cookies will not do! What good will it be when you polish off the whole sheet of cookies and your blasted brain still isn’t fooled? It knows. It hasn’t forgotten the amazing chocolate chip cookie you ate when you were 7 sitting in front of the t.v. watching Scooby Doo.
Thus, with a cautious heart I dare you to make those full-fat cookies and give away 3/4 of them (or more if you have the will-power!) to friends and colleagues to maintain good karma and a lithe figure. It’s the only way to go.
The recipe below was easy to make and quick too. There isn’t any “aging” of the dough or any weird ingredients. There’s absolutely nothing really healthy in it either in the way of added fiber. No oatmeal; no ground flax…and everything’s refined. Oh well. My eggs are always free-range because I have an organic veggie bin delivered every 2 weeks, but that’s a small consolation. I have organic evaporated cane sugar and organic unbleached flour, but heck, that might jeopardize the memory of the 1970’s version of the cookie I was seeking. The result? Good. Very Good. Not like I remembered though. I’m not done going through all those other chocolate chip cookie recipes.
CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: Parties!
makes 36-40 cookies
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (I omitted these as my kids have nut allergies)
- 1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350 degreesF.
- Cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the butter with the mixer on low speed, mixing only until combined. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chunks.
- Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.