a little and a lot

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The "Perfect" Cookie

You are about to receive a wonderful treat from me today.
It is a cookie recipe that is near and dear to my stomach.

Recently, I put this recipe to use as part of a baby shower hostess gift.
I so, so wish I had taken a picture, but alas--I failed you my bloggie friends.
Instead, you will have to use your imagination...

I was looking for a hostess gift that was fairly inexpensive (as I needed many of them) and thoughtful, but not "cheap." I love to cook & bake, and I ended up on the tried and true gift of baked goods. First, I came up with a very fancy and beautiful cookie--it was a shortbread raspberry/cream cheese cookie that looked like a jellyroll that had been cut into tiny pieces. I had never made it before, but I loved how dainty it looked.

Just as I was pulling out the ingredients to make the fancydainty cookie, my heart pulled in another direction. And I pulled out this favorite recipe instead...

I read about this cookie in the New York Times. Ruby et Violette's chocolate chip cookies, which they entitled "Perfect" cookies, were oh-so-buttery-and-delish. I had made them awhile back, and then the recipe became buried in a stack of papers. Recently when cleaning out the nursery, I found the beloved recipe once again! (And good thing I had saved it--it is no longer printed in the NY Times! However, it can still be found in a summarized version at Chowhound.)

I baked the cookies, and put them in pint-sized canning jars, with a swatch of fabric from Rhet's nursery under the ring. On the label, I printed "Thanks for blessing our pint-sized sweetie!"

Voila! A gift I could be proud of! Three friends have asked for the recipe, and two people have said it is their favorite new cookie--I think it was a success!

Now that I have you chomping at the bit to try them, without further ado I present to you:

Ruby et Violette's Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Notes added by Yours Truly)

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract**
4 cups semisweet chocolate chunks***

* It's okay if all you have is light brown sugar--the cookies will be a butter yellow color (instead of "chocolate chip cookie" color, and they will be just as delicious.

** Quality matters, people. Use the best vanilla you can find/afford. I like using organic eggs & butter for this reason, also.

*** I echo the quality matters mantra when it comes to chocolate. (That is an understatement.) Here is my favorite for this recipe: Ghirardelli's Milk Chocolate Chunks. Ghirardelli's are my fave chocolate chip of choice--nice and big with a fabulous taste. The milk chocolate is unexpected in a chocolate chip cookie, but I love the way the creaminess blends with the buttery taste of the cookie. Trust me. As far as using 4 cups--that's up to you. I have used less when I'm running short--depends on how chocolatey you want your cookies.

1. Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add sugars & beat until light & fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until mixed.

2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, & baking soda together. Add to butter mixture @ low speed until just combined & add vanilla. Beat on medium speed. DO NOT OVERMIX.

3. Add chocolate chunks & mix. Refrigerate batter until cold.
(This is what is fabulous, because you could whip up a batch of dough and make a few cookies at a time if you'd like. The goal is for the dough to be hard when you're scooping & putting on the cookie sheet.)

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Drop heaping spoonfuls 2 inches apart & bake, turning tray once. Bake about 9 minutes. Cool.


Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more