We report, you decide.
So I know I keep saying that I hate to bake, and yet I keep baking things. I really don’t like baking. But I really do like baked goods. And last night, I was bored. Boredom + want dessert = make cookies. Cookies are my favorite baked good of all time. And after I spent a long summer testing out a bazillion different methods and recipes, I finally nailed down a perfect basic chocolate chip cookie. I can churn out a batch in an hour. I have this down pat. And when the method is followed correctly, it makes perfect, round, soft, moist little cookies. In fact, I actually make all sorts of cookies with it. The base is a great delivery mechanism for all sorts of add-ins but chocolate chips are my favorite.
However, this time I thought I’d do something a bit different. Not drastic, but different. I said to myself, how about you throw in a little bit of cinnamon, since it is fall after all. And then other me said, hell, why not just toss in some pumpkin pie spice? It has everything. It’ll work. Trust me. Then I thought, sure. She looks legit.
So I did it. Josh loved them. And I have it on email record from several co-workers that they are “the best cookies I have ever made.” And these people know their cookies. So there you go.
Chocolate chip (and pumpkin spice) cookies
makes around 3 dozen
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 sticks butter, very cold (I know this is counterintuitive; it’s explained below)
2 tbsp vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c. old fashioned oats
1.5 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
enough chocolate chips to make you happy
Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer. I know the cold butter seems odd, particularly since other recipes swear by using room temperature or softened butter. I don’t. In my experience, the colder the butter, the better the cookie holds its shape and the softer and flakier it is.
Add in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and then pumpkin pie spice.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add slowly to the butter mixture, incorporating thoroughly but not overworking the flour.
Fold in oats and chocolate chips by hand. This is important. If you use the mixer to blend these in, the chocolate chips will get smooshed and broken. You want to fold them in carefully.
If your dough still feels fairly cold from the butter (you know you’re going to taste it), then go ahead and make a first batch. If the dough feels warm, place it in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes. This keeps the butter cold and firms up the dough a bit. What this means is that the when the dough hits the heat from the oven, the butter actually melts a bit slower and the cookies don’t spread out as much, and remain soft and flaky. You get nice, thicker round circles instead of flat, crispy ones. If you like flat crispy cookies, by all means, do whatever you want, but I like mine soft and chewy :).
You can drop the dough by spoonfuls onto an ungreased (and NOT nonstick) cookie sheet, but I generally roll it into little one-inch balls with my hands (messy but delicious) and place them on the sheet.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven, and remove the cookies when they’ve just begun to brown and firm up. Let them sit on the pan on the stove while you prepare the next batch (if you have a second cookie sheet). The residual heat from the cookies will let them continue to bake while they sit, keeping them softer longer. If the cookies look done when you pull them out, they are overdone. After a minute, move the cookies from the cookie sheet to a plate to finish resting.
Easy as cookie pie.