Friday, October 17, 2008

Comfort Food: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently started my PhD program and one of courses I'm taking involves a weekly quiz - which constantly leaves me constantly stressed out, cynical and crummy. I'm usually that way anyway, but I swear this course has multiplied all those negative qualities by a billion.

Of course, when stressed, there's nothing better to turn to than alcohol and food. My comfort food is usually an ENORMOUS bowl of pasta, several bottles of ale and one other kind of bad-for-your-hips munchies. Pasta because it fills me up and it involves tons of CHEEZ, beer because it fills me up and it involves tons of hops... and I suppose chocolate chip cookies because it involves tons of gooey yummy melted chocolate.

This recipe is from David Lebovitz's The Great Book of Chocolate - which Deb of SmittenKitchen swears is her favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. So far I think it's mine too! For some reason, the bottom of the cookie is a little crunchy and the center is just soft enough without being mushy. I don't usually like walnuts, but the addition of it I think helped enhance the flavour of the cookies. Also, instead of using just a teaspoon of vanilla, I used two teaspoons and that made the cookies even more yumtastic (yes, yumtastic is a word in the Konosur vocabulary).

I might just pack this up for our trip out on Sunday to see Joe Biden in Tacoma. Chocolate chip cookies and a stop at Harmon Brewing Co. will offset whatever doldrumminess Monday will bring.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Based on David Lebovitz's The Great Book of Chocolate
Makes about 20 cookies (4" diameter)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick)unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or baking margarine)
1 large egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (or omit if you use salted butter or margarine)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped

Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop the cookie dough into 2 tablespoon balls onto prepared baking sheet, spacing the balls about 4-in apart. I used two tablespoon scoops and mashed them together and dropped them on to the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Anonymous said...

I agree- This is totally comfort food! Chocolate chip cookies are really the best thing to have any day! Your photos look yummy...I imagine I am munching on a big plate of your cookies right now:-)

Leslie said...

YUM! I agree stress= eating not so good for you food!!!

Anonymous said...

chocolate chip cookies sound like they'd be even better with walnuts-i'm surprised i never had thought of the combination before! such a good mood lifter treat :)

Anonymous said...

Yum, these cocolate chip cookies look fantastic. I want one right now.

Amanda said...

soulchocolate: I made so many I kinda wish there was someone to take it off my hands!

leslie: Stress is really bad for my hips!

megan: I'm not a huge fan of walnuts at all, but somehow it works with this recipe.

bobby: Thank you, and you have a fantastic blog.

Andrew Abraham said...

My proverbial favorite recipe...Chocolate Chip Cookies... adding walnuts... always a plus... bring on the milk...thanks


Anonymous said...

all the best for your phd! i find indeed, when stressed, a plate of freshly made cookies and a glass of milk makes everything better. these cookies are beautiful. i'm envious!! x

Leonor de Sousa Bastos said...

Your chocolate chip cookies look great!!!

I wish I could have one of these right now!!

(good luck to your PhD!)

test it comm said...

Those cccs look great! Now I am craving them.

Anonymous said...

Yep...I see what you mean!
Well cookies were the only easy thing I could come up with after the looong break!

eatme_delicious said...

What absolutely gorgeous photos! Those cookies look so good. I made them a while ago but wasn't in love with them. They looked a lot different than yours though - I think mine seemed more buttery.

Amanda said...

eatmedelicious: I used non-dairy baking margarine - so maybe that's why it turned out totally fine -- I think the problem is the baking time - I baked it longer than the stated time.

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

These look so tasty!

S said...

Hi Amanda, not sure if you check this blog at all anymore, but I wanted to say that I tried this recipe tonight and loved the results! I've tried several chocolate chip cookie recipes before with disappointing results, and I always assumed I was just a bad baker! Anyway, thanks, can't wait to try out some other recipes!