Tonight after dinner I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I'm planning to give them to the maintenance guys who keep our physical plant up and running here at east coast groovy hq. That way they won't be around the house saying "eat me!", and next time we need the guys to fix something perhaps they will remember us fondly and act swiftly! Some may call this bribery, but I call this a perfect arrangement. I get the pleasure of baking, they get the pleasure of eating. ;)

I love baking in general, but there's something about making a batch of chocolate chip cookies. My current recipe is based on the Nestle Toll House recipe, with a few variations and twists of my own. I always hand cream the butter and sugar (good for getting any residual frustrations out) and always use frozen butter that has been recently thawed so it's still really cold. Somehow this makes the cookies better in the end. (In High School I swore by the Hershey's Chocolate Town Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but always used Nestle chips.)

Aside from working out frustrations by hand creaming, I also find there's a centering effect to baking cookies. After I get the dough just so, I carefully measure out each cookie and place it on the baking sheet. Into the oven go the cookies while I wait 10 minutes for them to be baked to perfection. I take them out for 2 minutes, then carefully use the spatula to transfer them to the cooling racks. I then repeat the whole process for 3 more batches.

There's something about the incremental periods of waiting and activity that soothes me. Not to mention the smell of delicious chocolaty goodness that pervades the kitchen.


grace said...

that's not a bribe. it's common sense (this is a recent college grad talking here).

Soutenus said...

I really like that frozen butter hint. I am going to try it!
Sometimes I replace a little of the flour with blended up plain dry oatmeal.

Have you ever tried that?

I love your blog!

xsquared said...

Ah, yes - baking! You've hit on why I love it too - I find it very meditative. The smell helps, too :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, you are so totally tagged to send me a care package of these purportedly wonderful cookies whenever I finally get to the novitiate! ;)

I do not enjoy baking at all. Even less so, the cleaning up. I am a complete klutz, especially in the kitchen. Hence I make lots of little messes ALL over the place. Rice Krispy treats are more my speed!