Jan 31, 2010

Guiltless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Throughout this entire process of learning to cook, I have, indeed, gotten better. I can now caramelize shallots, stuff a chicken breast and roast garlic with results that have me seriously questioning ever wasting money at restaurants again. But there's still one thing that continues to be a thorn in my side. And that, my friends, is baking. More specifically, cookies. 

I follow the recipes to a T. I peer into the oven while they bake like an overprotective mom. But still, out of all the batches I've made, I somehow managed to screw up each and every one of them. 

I made the chocolate spiderweb cookies too crunchy and the icing too thick. The dough was entirely too sticky to roll for the raspberry strippers. All kinds of problems with the lemon-honey drop cookies left them bottomless. I kept the chewy chocolate cherry cookies in the oven far too long. And as for these chocolate chip cookies,  I think "raw" sums it up best.

What's wrong with me? Is their lightness to blame? Their lack of exuberant amounts of butter and sugar? Are there hidden cookies codes out there that I'm unaware of? Did my mom simply fail to pass down the cookie gene to me?

If you know the answer, please enlighten me. Cookies are so quick and tasty that I just can't bare to give up on them. But at this moment, I'm considering making only cake from this point on, as it has proven to be the one dessert I can't seem to screw up. (Don't even get me started on my problems with pie.)

But for now, here's one more sad defeat. But let the record show that even though the score is an embarrassing 5:0, most of those cookies tasted alright regardless of their flaws, so all was not (totally) lost.



Things started out normal. Butter, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, chocolate chips. All expected ingredients. Sure, there was a lot less of each when compared to the contents of a Mrs. Fields or Otis Spunkmeyer creation, but at least they all made an appearance.



Scooping them was easy enough. The recipe makes close to 50 cookies, so it took a little time and about four cookie sheets, but all worth it for a nice stock of yumminess. Or so I thought.




Alas, it was the baking that did me in. In fear of overcooking the cookies, which I so often do, I took them out a little early. Because I was not going to be defeated by an over-crunchy, dry cookie ever again! No, these chocolate chip cookies were going to be my victory! The end of my cookie curse! 

But what I expected to be ooey-gooey awesomeness turned out to be a slightly hardened piece of raw cookie dough. Don't be fooled by their beautiful outward appearance. In fact, they were so raw that they were literally dripping through the wires of my cooling rack. So in a frantic dash I flung them back on the baking sheets until they were solid. Then I let them cool. Then I tasted. Then I cried.


Once I got past the undone middle, the cookies actually had a decent taste for being guiltless. Although, the fact that I ruined them still left me feeling quite guilty. Maybe one day I'll learn to conquer the cookie. But for now, nothing drowns out the taste of defeat like a nice glass of ice cold milk.

(Guiltless) Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cooking Light, June 2007
Yield: 4-dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

Cookbook Note: Store up to one week in an airtight container--if they last that long. We suggest keeping a dozen in the freezer for emergencies.

2 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces)
1  teaspoon  baking soda
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  cup  packed brown sugar
3/4  cup  granulated sugar
1/2  cup  butter, softened
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
2  large egg whites
3/4  cup  semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg whites; beat 1 minute. Add flour mixture and chips; beat until blended.

Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 88 (31% from fat), Fat: 3g (sat 1.8g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.1g), Protein:1g, Carbohydrate: 14.6g, Fiber: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Iron: 0.4mg, Sodium: 56mg, Calcium: 5mg.


Kathryn said...

They look delicious, so they couldn't have been too bad! :)

Crystal Escobar said...

mmmmm, yum, what did you do to me? Now I'm REALLY craving chocolate cookies and milk. They look so good, and how could they be guiltless :)
Thanks for visiting my blog, I really love yours, and could use some cooking tips so I'm definitely going to follow you :)

Amy said...

Guiltless cookies sound like such a good idea, too! I had this trouble over Christmas...my cookies just wouldn't bake all the way through. I had to throw them away, and then I cried. Aren't cookies supposed to make us happy?

Lesley said...

Oh yes.....be still my heart....and I've put you as one of my fave reads of the week!

Danielle said...

This looks delish!!
I must make these now! Thanks LOL

Stoppin' by from SITS!

Kathryn said...

Thanks for the comment! That is cool that your brother's name is Adam too! I am finding out more and more that it was a great choice in a name! :) Thanks for the encouragement, I am sure everything will turn out great! :)

Katie said...

I, too, have troubles with cookies. But, yours look good enough that I may give it a go today!

Shaunells Hair said...

Now I want some cookies!! Oh I love your blog! Stopping in to see how it's going! COme see my latest giveaway!

Jenny said...

Those cookies look soooooooo yummy! As much as I have baked I don't think I have EVER made choc chip cookies. I may have to try this recipe.

Stopping by from SITS!

Christian Mommy Writer said...

Yummy, yum, yum! :-)

Thanks for visiting me on my SITS day!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in to say hi! What a shame the middle was raw. They look delectable, though!

Lynn said...

Well I'm impressed that you can make cakes, because that's one area where I usually have major flops. But cookies, I can do. Don't give up! It sounds like you're almost there. This batch was probably just a matter of one or two minutes too few in the oven. One idea -- have you ever considered that maybe your oven temp isn't accurate? I know mine bakes a little hot, so I always take food outta there a minute (or more) early. Maybe you have the opposite problem. I believe you can get thermometers to test your oven's temp, though I've never done it. Also, I have better luck with cookies on my second shelf in the oven(of four shelf settings). Any lower and they're likely to burn on the bottoms.

Me, Myself and Pie said...

Thanks for the advice and inspiration! I'll have to check my oven. That could be part of it. Also, I'm layering the cookie sheets on top of each other on two racks...I wonder if that would have a negative effect? Hmmm....

Jenny Carden said...

Ok, funny to see these on the blog because I just made them about a week ago! They turned out fabulously, and I think the trick was refrigerating the dough overnight. I'd never done well with chocolate chip cookies, and someone told me to refrigerate the dough. This was the first time I tried it, and WOW! I baked these the next morning, and they were the best chocolate chip cookies I'd ever had. I would highly recommend trying these again with cold dough because they're fabulous. They taste great without leaving you feeling "cookie gross" after a couple... or five. Oh, my shame!!!

Elle said...

Definitely the oven temp and rack thing can be a huge issue- cookies are actually one of the things I get rave reviews on - even if the recipe says do them two at at time in the oven I have found it is always better to do one pan in the middle of the oven. Also I always do test cookies at the beginning to see how the batter and the oven are reacting on that particular day. Then I adjust the time accordingly. Hope that helps!

Me, Myself and Pie said...

Elle, this is a great tip! Thank you. I will do one tray at a time the next time I bake cookies. A test run is a great idea, too.

Anonymous said...

"So in a frantic dash I flung them back on the baking sheets until they were solid. Then I let them cool. Then I tasted. Then I cried." I have done this SO many times, LOL. I like your writing! Funny and genuine :) baking cookies *is* really hard :( I hope to improve as well

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