Friday, October 22, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 42

It's hard to believe there are only ten more cookie recipes to go until this Cookie Journey comes to a grinding halt.  It has been a bittersweet journey so far.  As much as I love to bake cookies and try out new recipes, there have been weeks that this has truly become more like a job than a "fun experiment" as I recall referring to it back in January.  Perhaps I shall rethink that dream job title of "test kitchen baker."

It's ironic that I would choose the recipe I did this week considering the whole reason I started this project was to get away from always baking the same-old-same-old.  But, in keeping with the integrity of the rules I laid out for myself, this honestly is a recipe I have never tried before and there's a spin on it I have always been curious about.

Without further ado, I give you...

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here's What You Need:
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.5 oz) package, instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Here's What You Do:
Heat the oven to 375 degrees and line your baking sheets if you like.

Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Add the pudding mix, eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.  While I was making these, I noted the absence of salt.  I double-checked the recipe to see if it called for salted butter.  Many southern cooks prefer salted butter and some regional recipes will note the use of such.  No, that wasn't it.  I thought something just didn't seem right, so I threw in some salt.  Admittedly, I didn't measure it and knew at the time that it probably wasn't enough.  But I didn't want to chance it.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl until all ingredients are well-combined.  Throw in your chocolate chips and you are ready to begin scooping and baking!

I used my larger cookie dough scoop.  It's not ice cream scoop large, mind you.  I pulled this recipe from All Recipes and one reviewer said her cookies came out in little heaps and recommended smooshing the dough down before baking as the dough doesn't spread.  I heeded her advice and my end result was right on the money.  I love cooking websites where people can post comments about recipes.  It can be quite useful.  Once you have your cookie dough smooshed down, bake for 8 minutes or so.  Remember, under bake for softer cookies.
These cookies have some heft to them!
I liked these cookies.  They needed more salt.  Live and learn.  I like that salty-sweet contrast that is sometimes in a cookie.  I'm still not convinced these are the end-all-be-all though.  I've had this thing about chocolate chip cookies my whole life.  I can't keep away from them.  I have been on a constant hunt for THE ONE RECIPE that will make me stop my quest.  My holy grail of cookie recipes, if you will.  I still don't believe I have found it yet.  I'll keep looking and testing and sampling.  My family doesn't mind!

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