Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love bringing cookies to get-together's with friends. Or taking cookies to the neighbors. Or sending a package with cookies to friends that moved to San Francisco. It's nice. Everyone likes a good cookie. And if you don't like a good cookie there is something wrong with you. And you're probably not my friend. But if you like cookies, we can be friends. And I'll bake you cookies. Because that's what I do.

You know how they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach? Well, we have already established that you probably shouldn't bring cookies to a first date, remember? The whole thinking-about-his-mom thing? Not so desirable on a date. If you like him as well, though, and you've seen him on a few different occasions, you can bring him some cookies. The thing is that some researchers have established that boys commonly pick girls who resemble their mom in more features than just any random girl. So, after a few dates you want him to compare you to his mom, unconsciously, though. You don't want him to actually think you're like his mom. Just a little. Get it? By the way, for any boys who read this, if you bring a girl homemade cookies at any point, even on a first date, you're awesome! Well, in my book you are. And if she thinks you're being creepy, send her my way and I'll tell her a thing or two about what kind of guys bake cookies for girls. Or I might just beat her for thinking you're creepy. Actually if she doesn't like cookies, she's probably no good anyways. 

If you don't know how to bake cookies for the boy/girl you like, read this. It'll make him (or her) like you. I promise. Because he/she will love your cookies and then hopefully you, since you made them. And if he/she doesn't like your cookies, there is probably something wrong with him or her. 

Cookies. Chocolate Chip and Molasses Cookies. I've made too many batches of cookies to count. I've experimented with cookie doughs a lot. So much that I can't count the failed cookie dough batches either. I am going to share my secrets with you. My secrets to a great chocolate chip cookie. 

I hope my cookie recipe trumps your mom's. I'm not a competitive baker, but if my recipe trumps your moms or your grandma's, please tell me. If you're too lazy to bake some, come visit me. I always have cookies or at least cookie dough prepared. Because, guess what, the dough (or the baked cookies) can be frozen so that when you feel like having a cookie, you can just turn on your oven and take the prepared dough out of the freezer. And make yourself a damn cookie. Actually these cookies are very sweet and nice. They don't deserve harsh language. Be nice around them. Or I can bake cookies with you. That would be nice, too. Just do that. Come visit me and let's bake some cookies!

Bakeybakebake! Let's do this!
Get your butter melting in a small sauce pan. 
While the butter gets all liquid, gather the rest of your cookie dough ingredients. In this case flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, molasses, one egg and one egg yolk, and vanilla.
Also gather all the add-ins you would like to incorporate in your chocolate chip cookies. Set them aside.
Chocolate chips are good, and so are nuts as well as toffee bits. To get an outstanding chocolate chip cookie, though, I recommend getting real chocolate bars and cutting them up into smaller pieces. This is secret number one. By cutting up the chocolate bar, you get bigger pieces and those make for a mouth full of chocolatey goodness when the cookie is baked. 
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl.
You will get this! A mountain of absolutely clump free flour/salt/baking soda.
Put the sugar in another bowl (this recipe calls for a lot of different bowls, sorry)
Oil a measuring cup by either spraying it or pouring olive oil in it and using a small piece of paper towel or a brush to get it greasy. Now, pour the molasses into your measuring cup and then pour it into the bowl with the sugar. The oil will help with getting the molasses out of the measuring cup and keep it from sticking to the side. See how clean it comes out?
Mix the molasses and the sugar together.
Keep stirring until well incorporated. Will you look at that? It's just like brown sugar! This by the way, is the second tip to a good chocolate chip cookie. You could just use brown sugar, but the molasses gives the cookie a hint of caramel. 
Now get your melted and slightly cooled down butter.
Oh, and the egg and the egg yolk. You'll need those as well.
Cream the butter and the sugar together for about three minutes and then add the egg and the egg yolk. 
Now, drizzle in the vanilla. 

Keep on beating some more, because it's so much fun. Slowly add the sifted flour mix.
Mix the dough until it gets fairly smooth again. 
If you intend to make different batches (with different add-ins), this would be the time to divide the dough into separate bowls. 
Hey look! That's me dividing the dough into small ikea bowls. 
Now you need to put the bowls, covered with plastic wrap, into the fridge for a few minutes. While the dough chills, cut up the chocolate bars. I know it's extra work, but really, it's so worth it!
Get the dough out of the refrigerator and add in whatever you want to add in. I made three different batches. One with just milk and semi-sweet chocolate, one with chocolates and nuts, and one with toffee bits and chocolates.
Add as many chocolate bits as you can fit in. It should seem like you added wayyyy too much chocolate. It's good that way! I promise! Now put the bowl(-s) back into the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, and let the dough chill for at least 30 minutes. (I actually kept mine in the fridge overnight.)
When you're ready to progress in the cookie baking process, prepare your baking sheet (or sheets if you're using all the dough at once).
Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and grease the foil/parchment paper with oil or butter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and take the cookie dough out of the fridge. Scoop about walnut sized dough balls and place them on the cookie sheet. 
Sprinkle some sea salt on the cookies. It will emphasize the chocolate taste. It's good. Really. If you feel hesitant, at least try it on a few of the cookies.

Make sure some of the pieces of sea salt actually stick to the dough and they don't just all fall to the side.
Put your baking sheet in the oven for about 10 to 14 minutes, depending on how well you want your cookies baked.
Let the cookies cool down on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes. I know, I'm a big old meanie. Sorry. Then, transfer the cookies to a layer of paper towel to let them cool down completely. You may sneak one now. 
And that's it. Take some to your neighbors or send some to a friend who you haven't seen in a while. Or just eat them all!

Guten Appetit!

Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Alton Brown's The Chewy

Cookie dough
- 2 sticks of butter
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt 
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon of Molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Add ins
- 2 cups of milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup of any other add in (walnuts, almonds, pecans, toffee, peanut chips, white chocolate chips etc.)
- about 1 teaspoon of good quality salt (sea salt is good)

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low-medium heat. 
Sift together the flour, salt, and the baking soda in a medium size bowl. 
Pour the melted butter in a large bowl. If you have a KitchenAid, just use the mixing bowl of that.
In another bowl combine the sugar and the molasses until the molasses is well incorporated and looks just like brown sugar.
Add the melted butter to the sugar and molasses mixture and cream them together for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the egg yolk, the egg, and the vanilla extract. Mix everything unti it's combined. 
Slowly start adding the flour, salt and baking soda mix and combine with the rest of the ingredients until at an even and smooth consistency.  
If you intend to add different things to the cookie dough, divide up your dough into two or three different bowls.
Put the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 
Take the dough out of the fridge and add the chocolate chips and/or nuts. 
Put the dough back in the fridge or freezer for another 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with Parchment paper or Aluminum Foil and drizzling oil on it. Use a piece of paper towel or a brush to grease the foil or parchment paper.
Use a spoon to scoop pieces of dough out of the bowl and form them into balls. 
Set them on the baking sheet and sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt.
Bake the cookies for about 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown, depending on how "done" you want them. (For slightly underdone, doughy cookies go with 10 minutes for crunchy cookies leave them in the oven for 14 minutes)
Cool the cookies completely before taking off the baking sheet and store in an airtight container. 
If you only intend to eat a few, these cookies can be kept in the freezer and even taste good right out of the freezer.

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