February 26, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Rushed Mama

This is the only photo I have to document these cookies.

I have a lot of one-offs on my camera these days. I start making something and decide I'm going to capture it and write about it. So, I take a picture, maybe two if I'm really on a roll. And then before I know it, the whatever I'm making has made its way to my plate and I'm halfway through eating it before I remember that I was going to capture it.

Cooking with an 8 month old isn't relaxing. It's hard. There isn't a whole lot of time for photo snapping. This is how it generally goes:

I place her in her high chair and pray that she doesn't start whining the second I put her in it. Sometimes I use an excited tone of voice to make it sound like we're doing something fun. Sometimes I act normal and hope she'll accept this as a normal daily task. I haven't seen big differences in the response.

I frantically scoop up some things I hope will keep her occupied and place them on her tray before she gets bored.

I watch her pick one up with interest and immediately / quickly go about my prepping and making.

I look over and realize that all of her toys have made their way to the floor. I tell her she's silly for throwing her toys on the floor in hopes that if I talk to her and distract her, I can finish the step I'm on in the recipe.

I put the recipe on hold to collect the items from the floor and place them back on her high chair tray.

I watch her reach for me as I put the items back on her tray; she thinks I'm going to pick her up. I give her a kiss on the head and hope that it will be an acceptable substitute for me picking her up (ha).

I quickly start moving on to next step in recipe. I simultaneously start to sweat that the high chair isn't gonna work for much longer.

I hear her start grunting and whining, see her start arching her back and looking around at all of the places she'd rather be.

I feel her eyes staring me down, wondering when I'm going to save her from her high chair.

I start narrating every single step of whatever it is I'm doing, again hoping and praying that maybe she'll find it interesting. "Now we're going to measure out a half cup of whole wheat flour because whole wheat flour is healthier than plain all-purpose flour. You have to make sure it's level like this, so that we get good results. See? Like this? Isn't this fun?!"

I see that she doesn't care and doesn't think it's fun.

I hear the whining and grunting intensify.

I give her some different objects to play with, which buys me about two extra minutes.

I hear them land on the floor and see her start staring me down again.

I hear more whining and grunting, which sometimes turns into crying at this point.

I then repeat a few of the steps, mix them up a bit...

You get the point. I'm always in a hurry when I'm cooking or baking these days.

So.........this weekend when I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies, I wanted a recipe I could whip together quickly. My go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe requires that you make the dough a day or two in advance and let it hang out in the fridge--that wasn't going to happen this weekend.

So, I decided to try this recipe from Canal House Cooks Every Day. This book, which I bought on a whim a month or so ago, is amazing. I know I've been singing the praises of a lot of books lately, but this one takes the cake. I've been cooking out of it a lot. More to come on why this book rocks in an upcoming post.

Back to my cookies. These cookies are simple but perfect and delicious. Lots of butter, lots of chocolate chips. The standard flour, baking soda, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla...

They get super thin (they aren't the prettiest cookie) and just a little bit crisp. And they taste all buttery, sweet, salty, and chocolatey. They're wonderful.

I have a feeling for the foreseeable future, this recipe will become my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'm not quite organized enough right now for recipes that require planning and prep days in advance. One day...

Thin & Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted very slightly from Canal House Cooks Every Day

2 1/2 sticks unsalted room temp butter
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 c plus 2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt with electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment until light (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and mix on medium speed until blended (about 2 minutes).

Whisk the flour and baking soda together and add to butter mixture. Mix on medium speed for a couple minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop batter by small ice cream scoop onto trays lined with parchment. Make sure to leave adequate space between (about 4 inches)--these cookies spread a lot. Bake until golden brown, about 11 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes; then transfer to wire cooling rack.

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