Cookie Times

Winter is the perfect time of year for cookies. For starters, if you make too much cookie dough, you can freeze it just by throwing it outside (in a sealed container to prevent attracting raccoons and other rabies-laden but surprisingly adorable critters). For seconders, completely disregard that first point and just continue to use the traditional, patented A-A “freezer method” of storage by shoving the dough in the freezer.

OK, that got at least some of the silliness out of my system, so now, the two best reasons for making cookies this time of year will follow. First, with the temperatures dropping faster than pins during awkward moments, now is the absolutely top notch best time of year for cranking the oven way up past 11 all the way to 350-425°. Second, a warm, inviting kitchen is even more warm and inviting when it is full of cookies. Who doesn’t love cookies? And with the cold, the damp, the dark, and the endless carols that drone on and on until one yearns for the days of endless One Direction and Maroon 5 jams, cookies are a particularly crucial part of the winter survival kit (along with dark beer, a good book, a furry creature you can con into sitting on your cold feet, and a lot of lights).

Honestly, I am not much of a baker anymore. In my apartment, the Dude is more likely to whip up a batch of snickerdoodles than I am. He’s much more patient when it comes to getting proportions totally right (something crucial for the science of  baking) and I am much more of a seat-of-my-pants DUMP MORE IN!! spice and ingredient fiddler. When I visit my folks, my much more meticulous (yet somehow younger) sister takes care of the heavy baking while I cheerfully smash up potatoes with splashes of milk and butter and just enough salt and pepper and oooh maybe we could add some roasted garlic?

However, I have been known to make chocolate chip cookies on occasion, and I rather like them. They are the cookies for people who do not bake because there is no cream of tartar, there is no chilling of the dough, and there is no other fiddliness. Besides, it is worth the effort since the chocolate is its own reward within the reward of the cookie. Oh, and the recipe is hearty to some futzing around (huzzah!) like adding different types of chips, nuts, and coconut shreds. So enjoy!

  • 2 ¼ cups of flour
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar (TWO TYPES OF SUGAR!!)
  • 1 cup soft butter or margarine
  • 1 egg or applesauce equivalent
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 oz package of chocolate chips
  • Dash of milk or soy milk

Get the oven up to 375 degrees north latitude. No wait, that’s both impossible and would involve a truck. Get the oven up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the dry ingredients except for the sugar together. Mix the sugars, butter/margarine, egg/applesauce, and vanilla together. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar-butter mix. The dough should have a hefty consistency but if it is crumbly or too hefty for any manipulation, add some (soy)milk. Add the chocolate chips and anything else you deem necessary. Throw the dough down in tablespoon size dollops and bake for 8-10 minutes. It’ll be hard, but let them cool a bit before digging in.

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