Saturday, April 16

Neiman Marcus Cookies (Chocolate Chip Cookies)

This is the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I have ever found.  Without a doubt.  Even better, it requires less butter and sugar than the cookies on the back of the Toll House bags.

neiman marcus cookies (chocolate chip cookies)
from 500 Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups (8 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat the butter and sugar together, and add the eggs and vanilla.

butter, sugar, egg, vanilla.  yum.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients, including the coffee powder.  Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix in chocolate chips.
Roll into balls.  Use your fingers to flatten onto a non-stick baking sheet 2 in. apart.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes.

look at 'em with all their current and potential goodness

Store in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
Makes 2 dozen.

Okay.  Comments.  I do not sift things, especially not in college.  First of all, who has a sifter?  And secondly, why would I dirty another bowl AND a sifter?  However, the point of mixing and sifting the dry ingredients is to ensure that the ingredients of lesser proportions (ie. the salt, baking soda, coffee powder...) are evenly distributed.  Oh, and that there aren't any clumps.  I can deal with the clumps (I'm wicked with a spatula) but the apparent homogeny thing is a bigger deal.  My solution is to add the flour last.  That way you can mix the other dry ingredients thoroughly into the dough.  When you do add the flour, do not panic.  Against all odds, the butter and egg will work their little hearts out and absorb all that flour to make delicious cookie dough.  Go ahead and try some.  You know you want to.

I will say that I also make my life easier by softening the butter in the microwave.  Clearly remembering to take the butter out hours before making cookies to soften is just as hard as remembering to preheat the oven before starting.  Also, don't freak out too much about the brown sugar.  Sure, the cookies are better and more delicious with light brown sugar, but if you only have dark brown sugar, the cookies will only be slightly inferior.  Finally, this recipe doesn't call for an entire bag of chips.  But I think we can all come to terms with that fact that there is extra chocolate in the room.

ooh yeeaaah

You will need more than one baking sheet if you mind waiting for the cookies to bake and cool.  Although the recipe says 8-10 minutes, I usually have to keep them in for another 2-4 minutes.  I hate overdone cookies, which usually results in underdone cookies.  When the cookies look perfect to you in the oven, it's possible that you've over cooked them.  I look at the bottom of the cookie.  When the edges are crispy-looking and browned and you flattened the cookies before putting them in the oven, take them out.  If you didn't flatten them and they are nice and puffy, wait another couple minutes to make sure the center is baked enough.

The first time you make cookies, or bake anything for that matter, it is going to set you back a couple dollars.  I think all of these ingredients cost me in the range of about $25-$30, and I already had the coffee powder and salt.  Plus, the baking sheet itself costs about $10 and you need a bowl, measuring cups, and maybe a spatula.  It's okay to be frustrated.  But these are start-up costs.  You'll use the baking sheet and utensils forever and now you can make cookies whenever you want, usually for the additional price of a bag of chocolate chips and possibly some brown sugar (these are the two ingredients that go fast).

The first thing I did today was make cookies so I can bring some to my sister when she flies in this afternoon.  And in celebration of morning cookies and anticipation of the fantastickness that is to be this week, I've been listening to Ida Maria's "Oh My God".  I first heard this song in the trailer It's Kind of a Funny Story and it got me through finals last semester.  It pretty much requires jumping up and down.  And cookies.

Vanstone, Philippa.  500 Cookies: the Only Cookie Compendium You'll Ever Need.  Portland, Me.: Ronnie Sellers Productions, 2005.  Print.

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