Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think that just about everyone I know is constantly on a search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Most (myself included) have been let down by the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bag, and there are many recipes floating around the Internet that seem to gain popularity and become fads before dying off when people move on to the latest and greatest. I was really please with the cookie I created last fall, as it resulted in the chewy texture I was looking for. But these Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, they really take the cake. Big, beautiful, bakery-quality chocolate chip cookies. It’s official – my love affair with America’s Test Kitchens and the Baking Illustrated cookbook continues!

More on the cookies, another PSA for weighing dry ingredients, and the recipe after the break…

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TWD: Traditional Madeleines

This week’s recipe was chosen by Tara of Smells Like Home. I was so excited to see that Madeleines were chosen, as I have been wanting to try them for some time now. After a quick trip to Williams Sonoma to get my pan, I was all set to whip up these delicate, French tea cookies. I found these to be incredibly easy to make – the batter was a cinch to whip together, then a chill in the fridge and filling the pan mold, and into the oven for a short 11 minutes.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t love these. While the texture was very nice, spongey and light, I am not a fan of lemon so I wasn’t thrilled with the overall taste and my overall feeling was just “eh”. All in all, this is a nice delicate cookie, but I would opt for a muffin, scone or biscotti to pair with my hot beverage of choice. Even though Dorie states that these are best eaten the day that they are made (and even, warm from the oven), I would have to respectfully disagree. I thought they were significantly better after a night’s rest in an airtight container.

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Happy (Belated) Pi Day!

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I know this is a couple of days late, but I haven’t been at the computer much and so I missed all of the “official” Pi Day festivities. While it’s obvious that this is not a traditional pie, these are a variation of the famed Whoopie Pie. After watching an episode of Unwrapped on The Food Network late one night that was featuring whoopie pies, Nick said that there was a bakery near where he grew up that made them with a yellow batter a stiff, sugary icing. He asked if I could try to recreate them, and after having forgotten about it for awhile, thought that Pi Day would be the perfect day to try to whip them up.

I basically just altered some recipes for the chocolate whoopie pie and used a stiff buttercream icing. Nick said that these were really close to being what he remembered, and after sitting in tupperware overnight they were even better. If I make these again I will increase the amount of baking powder so as to give them a little more rise. Otherwise, these were a great sugary treat!

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An OREO® Knockoff

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I am admittedly not really wowed so much by chocolate cookies. I’m not sure why, as I love chocolate, but an actual chocolate cookie usually doesn’t do much for me. Give me an ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie any day. However, when I saw this cookie on Shawnda’s blog, I was reeled in. Yes, she had an awesome picture, but that wasn’t it. It was four little letters hidden in her description: O-R-E-O. I am a sucker for those little two-toned sandwich cookies… and my favorite cheesecake is an OREO® cheesecake. When Shawnda claimed that these tasted just like that little cookie, the deal was sealed. The post was starred, white chocolate was added to my grocery list, and off I went!

And let me tell you – these taste exactly like an OREO® cookie – a very moist, chewy OREO®. Perhaps the best part of this recipe is that there are no eggs, so go ahead and eat this dough straight from the bowl until your heart is content (I could be speaking from experience). I actually think that this dough would be wonderful frozen and incorporated into an ice cream cake or used in a million different ways. It’s just THAT good.

My cookies didn’t spread quite as much as hers did, which was a bit of a bummer because hers were so very pretty. But taste was not sacrified – these are fabulous! They take just a few minutes to mix together, so what are you waiting for? Go make them! Now!

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TWD: Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies (and my 100th!)

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Okay, first things first… you are reading my 100th post! I started blogging back in February of 2007 with the idea to share some recipes with friends and family that might be checking out my new hobby. Almost a year later I feel that both my blog and my cooking and baking prowess have grown significantly. I have a greater understanding of fundamental cooking and baking concepts, I have gotten much better at photographing my creations, I joined the Daring Bakers and have stretched my baking muscle, I have made connections and friends through the online food blogging community. I am having a great time and hope that my blog continues to grow and entertains and inspires you!

Now, moving on… what is this TWD business, you ask? Well, TWD = Tuesdays with Dorie, which was created by Laurie over at Quirky Cupcake. She received the Dorie Greenspan cookbook “Baking: From My Home To Yours” for Christmas and challenged herself to make one recipe per week (on Tuesdays) until she gets through the book. Having received the same book for Christmas and being equally excited to dive right in, I asked if I could be her partner in crime each Tuesday, and lucky for me, she said yes! We plan on taking turns choosing which recipe to tackle each week. Laurie started off by selecting Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies.

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I had somewhat of an advantage here since Laurie made these a day before I did and she said that her cookies spread an awful lot. She recommended popping them back into the refrigerator to chill after cutting them and before baking them. I did just that, for about 15-20 minutes and then baked them off as the recipe reads. Mine also spread, but not to the extent that Laurie said hers did, so we think that the additional chill may be the key. Perhaps even a stint in the freezer before going into the oven. The flavor, however, is absolutely fabulous. The brown sugar gives them a caramel cookie taste. And let’s be honest – spread or no spread, you really can’t go wrong with shortbread! To read Laurie’s take on the recipe, go here.

Quick note for any of you not yet aware of my allergy – I am allergic to all nuts, so that is why they are omitted from any recipe that calls for them!

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Christmas Baking: The Peanut Butter Blossom

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These are the quintessential Christmas cookie. They show up, without fail, at every cookie exchange and on every cookie tray. If there is anyone who tires of these cookies I’d love to find them. Yet another peanut butter cookie I can’t enjoy, but back in the “good old days” I’d gobble them up without abandon. This is your basic peanut butter cookie with a chocolate kiss pressed down into the middle as soon as they come out of the oven. Mmm, Christmas in a cookie!

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Christmas Baking: Chocolate Chip Tea Cookies

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I have made these cookies numerous times over the years and they are one of my favorites because of their light and airy texture. They taste like a buttery shortbread ball with little chocolate chips. You can’t go wrong with this one!

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