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Artsy me - by Micha

The very long post about cookies

This is mostly just for my own reference, as I plan on baking cookies to sell at school for some extra cash, but there's also some funny stuff near the end, if you're interested.


From here.
The real, the original, the authentic Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] (190 degree Celsius) oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.



From here.
Secrets of really good chocolate chip cookies

updated October 30, 2005

The recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House Morsels [tm] bag makes fine cookies, and if you were to follow it precisely, you couldn't go too far wrong. However, based upon my own experience and that of others, I advise a few minor modifications and refinements.

First, always use real butter. Don't let anyone convince you that butter vs. margarine doesn't make any difference. It does.

Second, TRIPLE the amount of vanilla extract recommended. This means to use a tablespoon where a teaspoon is specified. Also, always use real vanilla extract and not "vanillin," which is bogus, although cheaper, and sold next to the genuine article in many grocery stores. Feh.

(Incidentally, vanilla is a wondrous and versatile substance. Click here to find out everything you ever wanted to know about vanilla, and some things you never suspected.)

Third, and this can make a big difference, don't just let the butter sit out at room temperature to become soft. Instead, melt it, very carefully, so that it doesn't burn (you can use a double boiler -- if anyone out there still has one! -- or else a microwave oven that is set very low and which you are watching like a hawk). A microwave can burn the butter in a second if you turn your back at an inopportune moment. (Use a Pyrex or other microwave-safe transparent container if you do this, so you can watch the butter closely.) Melted butter, because it is both warm and liquid, does a much better job of dissolving and melting the sugar than a room-temperature creamed butter can do, improving the consistency of the dough as you are working with it, and also improving the texture of the cookies after they are baked. My friend Lizabeth says that she gets much better results using melted butter and superfine granulated sugar, and I believe her; however, I have never had a problem with the texture of cookies made with ordinary granulated sugar.

Also, if you're like me, you have often had a problem with your brown sugar clumping together into giant bricks, which you are then banging on the edge of the kitchen counter in order to break them up enough to use the stuff; still, big lumps of brown sugar survive even into the baked cookies. Well, if you take the big solid mass of brown sugar, roughly the volume you desire, put it into the microwave with the melting butter in the Pyrex cup, and let it melt on a very low setting for a few minutes, you will find that the brown sugar will liquefy very nicely. It will help it along if you stir the contents for a few seconds after removing the cup from the microwave. It will then pour smoothly into the mixing bowl. Let it cool briefly before adding the eggs, so they don't poach before you can mix them into the other wet ingredients.

Many correspondents have written to tell me that a slice of white bread, placed into the sealed plastic bag with the bricklike mass of brown sugar, will soften it within a day. My mother likes to use a slice of apple. In either case, put it into the plastic bag with the brown sugar and seal it up and check it again in 24 hours.

Fourth, add a little milk, maybe just a tablespoon or two, when you are mixing the dough. This will make it less stiff and the cookies will be less hard and crunchy when they are done. If you do this, though, make sure the dough is nice and cold as you drop it onto the cookie sheet, and also make sure the cookie sheet is room temperature or cooler when you put the dough on it and put it into the oven. If the dough melts around the edges before it starts to bake, sometimes the edges will burn or get too brown.

Fifth, if you like, try leaving out part of the sugar. I find sometimes that these cookies are easier to take if even 1/8 cup (two tablespoons) of the sugar (white or brown) is omitted. Don't leave out more than that though.

If you like, try adding a 10 ounce bag of Reese's peanut butter chips, along with the chocolate chips. This makes a great cookie, but if you do this it is probably best to omit the nuts. Or, try adding a bag of butterscotch chips and substituting oatmeal for the nuts.

A lot of people have written to tell me that they love to add a package of instant vanilla pudding mix. This does sound good and it makes sense for a lot of reasons. I will try it sometime soon.

You can also experiment with untraditional mixes of white and brown sugar until you achieve the version you like best. In addition, although I have not yet tried this myself, I am told that it is possible to substitute honey on a one-to-one basis for the brown sugar, resulting in nice chewy cookies with a longer shelf life. I recently received mail from someone who likes to use almond extract in equal parts with vanilla, and who also tells me that the honey trick didn't work for her. But she does recommend substituting bran for a small part of the flour (I would make it not more than a tablespoon or two) to make the cookies chewier. She sometimes adds cinnamon "to taste," (I'd say, not more than a teaspoon total, and perhaps less) and observes that stirring chopped-up Heath bars into the dough can create a great cookie. (She didn't say this specifically, but I'd advise against using the cinnamon and Heath bars in the same batch.)

Note that Toll House dough, without chips but with a fair amount of cinnamon, might be a nice variation on the traditional American cookie called the "snickerdoodle."

So many people write to me to ask about problems they run into making Toll House cookies, and the #1 problem I hear about is: "My cookies come out flat! What can I do?" This is such a common problem. Here are the first few things you should check:

-make sure your cookie dough is cold when you put it on the cookie sheet. If you have to chill it in between batches, that's what you should do;

-make sure your cookie sheet is cooled to room temperature between batches. I usually rinse mine under the tap to clean off the crumbs and cool it down;

-mix the dough thoroughly but don't over-mix it;

-don't overbake.

Some people experiment with adding baking powder instead of, or in addition to, the baking soda which is part of the recipe. I haven't tried this yet. Other people swear that if you use butter flavored Crisco instead of real butter, this problem goes away. Again, I am a butter loyalist and so I haven't tried that (although in the interests of science, someday I will).

A correspondent in Canada urges that real maple syrup (emphasis on the real; no Mrs. Butterworth's, please!) also makes a fine substitute for the brown sugar. (I think I'd also advise against using Heath bars and maple syrup together; maple syrup and cinnamon might be OK.)

Another correspondent says that adding a "dollop" of sour cream improves the texture of the cookies, making them chewier and increasing their shelf life. She swears that the sour cream can't be tasted, and I'm sure that's true; sour cream assimilates well into other foods, and these cookies have enough other strong flavors in them that some sour cream shouldn't be noticeable. The $64K question, of course, is: how much is a dollop? I'd say, take a soupspoon and spoon out a heaping scoop of sour cream, maybe an inch or so above the top of the bowl of the spoon at its highest point: that's a dollop. YDMV (Your Dollop May Vary). Experiment and see what you like.

Whether or not you use Heath bars, cinnamon, maple syrup, or other non-standard ingredients, the nuts are optional. Many people prefer chocolate chip cookies without nuts. Alternatively, you can try adding oatmeal (even if you don't add butterscotch chips) in the same volume as the nuts called for by the recipe (but if you do this, be sure to add more liquid). My friend Susan says that she doesn't bother adding more liquid and her cookies turn out fine, but I prefer always to add that extra tablespoon or two of milk. Also, if you add the Reese's peanut butter morsels as discussed above, they melt and create some additional moistness in the cookies.

The morsels don't have to be Nestle. However, in my experience Nestle morsels do melt in a most satisfactory way during the baking process. Ghirardelli and Guittard morsels are very good. I also like the Hershey mini-morsels for this. The standard-size Hershey Morsels, however, do not melt properly -- at least not in the eight-to-ten-minute baking time of cookies -- and I do not recommend them for use in cookies (although they are terrific in brownies, which bake for a much longer period).

The morsels MUST, however, be semisweet (i.e. dark) chocolate. Milk chocolate morsels, which are sold in similar bags to the undiscerning, are massively too sweet to put into these cookies.

I do feel obligated to point out, for that matter,that both the morsels and the baking itself can be optional. Those of us who make chocolate chip cookies know how important it is to sample the dough before baking! And I'd have to confess that sometimes the raw dough (I prefer my raw dough chipless) is even better than the cookies.

If you do like to eat raw dough, though, be careful. Any foodstuff containing raw eggs can harbor salmonella and/or other nasty little bacteria. Don't use eggs that were cracked before you opened them. Wash the eggshells in warm soapy water (and rinse them well) before cracking the eggs and using them. Alternatively, use one of the pasteurized egg substitutes. And remember that raw dough can be risky. It is especially risky for anyone with a susceptibility to infections or a compromised immune system. So be cautious.



From here.
Q - How long can I store cookie dough in the refrigerator?

A - I would store it no longer than a week, as with most perishable foods. If you need to store it longer than a week, you should just go ahead and freeze the dough right after making it. And don't worry, I do it all the time with my cookie doughs and they bake up just fine! :o) - Michelle



Q - I want to mail some homemade cookies to my Mom for her birthday, do you have any suggestions for how to ship them safely?

A - We sure do! I've been shipping cookies to friends and family for many years and have some great tips for you - read them here at How to Ship Cookies So They Will Arrive Fresh and Undamaged. - Michelle



Q - How do you get cookies to be soft and not crunchy?

A - Keep cookies soft by following these steps. First, do not over bake them. Bake the cookies just until they are golden brown, not dark brown. Next, don't leave them on the cookie sheets for more than a minute or two. The cookies will continue baking on the hot sheet even after you have removed them from the oven. And finally, store them in an air-tight container as soon as they are cooled. If you leave cookies out in the open for too long even soft baked cookies will turn into crunchy ones. - Michelle


Q - Do you recommend using butter, margarine or Crisco® for baking cookies?

A - Unsalted butter, butter, butter! For the most delicate, delicious cookies, use butter. Margarine will compromised the taste, and Crisco will change the texture as well as the taste. If you use salted butter, you can often cut back on the salt in the recipe. - Michelle



Q - I've seen a lot of cookie recipes say to use a cookie rack for cooling cookies after baking, do I really need to use one?

A - Well, you can certainly make delicious home baked cookies without a cooling rack, but I do recommend them. When you allow cookies to cool directly on the cookie sheet, the bottom of the cookies continue to bake. Although it may be just a slight difference, the cooling racks do help that perfect cookie stay perfect. I have a set of three that stack on top of each other to save counter space. - Michelle



Q - Can you help me find a recipe for cookies and or muffins using soy or whey protein powders?
A - Here is one recipe to get you started: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Protein Bars. - Rachel


Q - Do any of your low-fat healthy cookie recipes have no sugar in them?

A - Finding a sugar-free recipe cookie is nearly impossible. Most of our healthy, low-fat cookie recipes are reduced calories, sugar, or low-fat. We are always on the look out for great healthy, low-fat, low-sugar recipes (or no-sugar recipes for our diabetic friends or those trying to limit sugar consumption). Check out our Healthy Cookies section for what we've found so far. - Rachel


Q - I live in the UK, and having lived in the U.S. for 4 months, I wanted to bake some cookies from a recipe book I had. The problem is when I bake them they spread out too much on the sheet. Any tips on preventing this?
A - If your cookies spread during baking, first make certain you are using completely cooled pans. If you place cookie dough on a warm pan, it will spread. Also, don't grease the pan unless the recipe specifies to do so. Rich cookies will spread too much on greased cookie sheets. Other reasons for dough spreading include the following: not enough flour, dough not chilled, or using poor quality margarine. You can perfect your cookies with the "test" cookie. Bake one cookie. If you see that it spreads too much, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour to the dough. If the cookie comes out too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or water. If you need more cookie tips, check out Secret Tips for Successful Cookies. - Rachel



From here.
Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages vanilla instant pudding mix (I used the regular kind once and it worked fine, also used chocolate and it was fine)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts (I left these out)
72 cookies (depending on size of cookies) Change size or US/metric
Change to: cookies (depending on size of cookies) US Metric
27 minutes 15 mins prep

Preheat oven to 350°F (190°C). Sift together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Mixture will be pretty thick! Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts (if you use them). Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.


From here.
Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter
( or substitute 1/4 cup golden Crisco for 1/4 cup of the butter)
1/2 cup light brown sugar - packed
1/2 cup dark brown sugar - packed
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips or coarse chopped, semi sweet chocolate chunks.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the butter with the brown and white sugars until well blended. Stir in vanilla and egg. Fold in flour, baking soda, salt and lastly, chocolate chips. Chill dough one hour.
Form into rounds the size of a golf ball and place, two inches apart, on baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated 350 F. oven until just light brown around the edges (14-16 minutes). Too much baking will make cookies hard. Cool on racks. They may seem a little underdone, but will set up as they cool.
makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

From here.
Ingredients:
1/2 lbs Butter or margarine
1 C Light brown sugar -- packed
1 C Sugar
3 Eggs
3 C Bisquick
1 C Cornstarch
½ C Nonfat milk powder
2 Tbs Sanka or coffee powder
1 Tbs Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs Vanilla
12 Oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Pieces
4 Oz Pecans -- well-chopped


With electric mixer, high speed, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugars, beating until very creamy. Beat in eggs, then each remaining ingredient, except chips and pecan.s When dough is smooth, work in chips and pecans with spoon. Make grape-sized pieces of dough for each cookie, placing 1" apart on ungreased sheet. Bake at 350~ for 14 minutes or until golden brown. 12 dozen itsy bitsy cookies.Freeze unbaked cookie dough to thaw, shape and bake within 4 months.


Here be the funny stuff:

From here.
Reasons why Cookie Dough is better than men

It's enjoyable hard or soft.

It makes a mess too, but it tastes better.

You always want to swallow.

It comes already protectively wrapped.

You can make it as large as you want.

It's easier to find in a grocery store.

You can put it away when you've had enough.

It won't complain if you chew on it.

It comes chocolate flavored.

You won't get arrested if you eat it in public.

You don't have to change the sheets if you eat it in bed.

It won't wake you up because it's hard.

You don't have to find an excuse not to eat it.

It won't take up room in your bed.

You never have unwanted cookie dough chasing you around.

You know what the extra weight is from.

It is very pliable.



From here.
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1. 532.35 cm3 gluten
2. 4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
3. 4.9 cm3 refined halite
4. 236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride
5. 177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11
6. 177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11
7. 4.9 cm3 methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
8. Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein
9. 473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao
10. 236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation. In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogenous. To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes of the homogeneous mixture in reactor #1.
Additionally, add ingredients nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation. Care must be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise that may be the result of an exothermic reaction.
Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture piece-meal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm). Heat in a 460K oven for a period of time that is in agreement with Frank & Johnston's first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown. Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25C heat-transfer table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium.
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Comments

cookies! I bet your cookies will be wonderful!
I hope so, money's been kinda tight...