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In some cruel, cruel parallel universe where I were forced to choose between cookies and cakes, cake would never win, even if one of the cup variety topped with the most perfect plop of pink butter cream frosting (because pink tastes better, oh yes, it does) and brightly-colored confetti sprinkles.
I don't mean to diss on cake. I've had some good cakey creations in my time here, but even the most spectacular rum-doused pineapple upside down cake or flourless chocolate creation feels at times an uphill battle with the fact that cake, deep down inside, wishes to remain dry. Cookies, on the other hand, desire balance - crisp exteriors, supple interiors, and each and every one of their ingredients gets to make a stand-up, rah-rah appearance in the final flavor. Plus, they keep for almost a week.
Thank goodness I've never been forced to make such tyrannical decisions, but were I, I think I'd start with some of the creations in Thursday night's Chez Smitten Cookie Fest 2006, in which I tried to bake as many oversized cookies as a could in one night, to be assembled into ice cream sandwiches at my friend Dup's luau-style surprise 30th birthday party (the surprise in no way that he still puts up with our antics) last night.
- Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie - Recipe from AllRecipes.com via Hilary The recipe is perfect as-is, except for that whole "1/4 cup scoop per cookies" which even by giant cookie standards, is utterly insane. 1/8 cup or 2 T makes a more-than-big-enough giant cookie.
- Molasses-Spice Cookies from the Cooks Illustrated Best Recipe Cookbook, via this gorgeous Flickr stream
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies - from Retro Desserts, copied here.
Sounds so yummy!!! Ahhhhh....
Thank goodness! I was beginning to think you'd given up cooking. :)
Do you wanna be my new best friend? My only requisite is for you to send a box of cookies a week to Buenos Aires? No biggie really haahahaa
Now, seriously, you are going to destroy what is left of my willpower to give up cookies and most of that kind of sweet delight for a while in order to lose a few pounds, you evil woman!
Oh and a recipe suggestion, if you can get hold of dulce de leche (called "cajeta", of all names, by the Mexican), which I am sure you can in NYC: a triffle-like dessert made out of, brownies, dulce de leche, vanilla icecream. In one word: heaven.
Jennifer - QUITE the opposite, but more to come on all of that soon. :)
Joc - Great party. Is that Creepy Uncle Seth on the other end of the totem pole with the birthday boy? I mean, it has to be, right?
Marce - I've actually always wanted to make dulce de leche. Does this recipe sound about right? http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/107665
well, that is not the traditional recipe at all, but maybe it can work. Traditionally it is just milk and regular granulated sugar, in some cases with corn syrup to give it a thicker consistency. IÂ´ll try to find a good recipe later and either post it here or email it to you.
On a side note also related to cooking, did you hear about the food photo contest Food and Wine is organizing? You should definitely sign up: http://www.foodandwine.com/photocontest/
6 | Marce | July 30, 2006 07:01 PM
Oooh, cookies are the best. I usually double (or triple!) the recipe, and the cookies last forever (especially when kept in tupperware). I started making ice cream sandwiches last summer, and my family just flips over them. It's fun to make my family flip...especially when it involves cookies.
Thanks for posting this when i just started the south beach diet! :P
8 | S | July 31, 2006 01:45 PM
Deb, I have tried to make cookies, but the bottom ALWAYS burns to a crisp (think nice black crispy bottoms).
What do you place your cookies on when you back them? Yours look gorgeous!! Cookie sheet? Air bakes? What is your secret!!
9 | cookie monstor | July 31, 2006 02:31 PM
I baked these batches on parchment paper - easier cleanup, no greasing required. (I've heard silpats are great but am skeptical about using silicon to bake.) I watch cookies like a hawk unless I've baked them before and trust the baking times. As soon as they hit the color I want, I take them out, whether the tops look done or not (they usually settle as they cool, too, and who doesn't like a soft-in-the-middle cookie?). I amost always use the lower end of the cooking time range. If yours are really cooking too fast, your oven temp is probably off - try 25 degrees lower to start.
S - I made a peach crisp this weekend that's a *bit* more South Beach friendly. Peeled, pitted and baked with a tiny bit of sugar, flour and cinnamon. (I thre in some blueberries, too.) If you want a healthier topping than the traditional butter/nuts/outs mixture, try crumbling low-fat graham crackers on when it's done baking. Happy now? :)
One of the best non-dry cake recipes ever is the 1-2-3-4 gold cake in the Joy of Cooking. Never gets dry--nice and yellow and moist without getting gooey. Not competition for homemade oreos, but if you're ever looking for an easy change...
11 | Emily | July 31, 2006 10:00 PM
Mmmmmm...I think I'm caving & turning the oven on Thursday night - it's supposed to dip back down to 90 then! Those cookies are just relentless in their wooing of me.
Last Christmas I made some to-die-for gingersnaps...real grated ginger & a little orange oil in the batter & sugar coating. So, unbelievably good. Recipe came from "1001 Cookie Recipes: The Ultimate A-To-Z Collection of Bars, Drops, Crescents, Snaps, Squares, Biscuits, and Everything That Crumbles"
by Gregg R. Gillespie. I thought it would be a really crappy cookbook - but it has some real gems in it.
12 | LMB815 | August 1, 2006 09:40 AM
Thanks for the inspiration, Deb! I made key lime white chocolate chip cookies on Friday night for a BBQ on Saturday. They were amaaaaazing and so easy. Now I'm wondering how they'd be with vanilla ice cream! Mmmmm, I may have to check.
13 | Eileen | August 1, 2006 01:45 PM
Oh my goodness, how good are the Cook's Illustrated molasses spice cookies? I made them at Christmas and haven't been able to make any other cookie since then because hubs keeps requesting molasses over and over. I'd never thought about doing ice cream sandwiches with them- thanks for the inspiration!
I like the silpat mats for baking, but I'm curious- why are you suspicious of silicone for baking? Do you know something I don't?
Oh if only it weren't 9000 degrees in my kitchen, I would SO bake. I'm craving all sorts of cookies...and I know George at the shop is getting antsy that he doesn't have any homemade ones to nosh...the Sam's Club big-ass bag-o-cheap cookies just isn't doin' it for him...
Gotta say those silpats ROCK. I have four of them--what is it about silicone you don't like tho?? That worries me.
15 | Teresa | August 1, 2006 11:22 PM
I agree--cookies trump cake ALWAYS. It can be 110 degrees (and it has been here in LA recently) and with no decent air conditioner to speak of, I will still fire up my oven for cookies, glorious cookies.
About the silicon baking frenzy - I might have spoken too soon as I much prefer my silicon spatula to the traditional rubber ones in the kitchen, but given the choice between baking on boob implants, I mean, silpats and a greased pan or parchment paper, I'm not picking the baking mat.
Like teflon, a lot of these silicon things are not oven-safe above 450/500 degrees. So, would I rest easily baking something at 400? Not particularly.
And yet another aside: A few years ago, nonstick cookware was considered the end-all, be-all on the stove. Now reports emerge left and right (a good roundup over here http://www.mightyfoods.com/archives/2006/01/teflon_takes_a_slide.html) that it might not be so great for you. This year it's all about silicon baking goods and I just don't buy it - yet - and certainly not while my metal baking pans haven't failed me.
I know this is a second go round for the chocolate sugar cookies, but I only got around to making them when reminded in this entry. Amazing! I only eat the cookie part of the oreo anyway, so these were absolutely perfect. Thanks for them!
18 | cassie | August 3, 2006 04:13 PM
Oh! I have to say that between cakes and cookies I would choose cookies for sure! They have a big advantage. I can always hide some in my bag when I leave for work, but with a cake, things become harder. :P