Cookies and I have had a long and rocky relationship. Supposedly one of the easier baked goods, in my earlier years I oft struggled with and was defeated by the chocolatey little demons. My cookies used to always turn out all flat and crispy, melted into one giant sheet stuck to the bottom of the pan. My early attempts to remedy this travesty only resulted in other oily variations of the same failure. Finally I realized that “cream the butter and sugar” does not mean mash the butter into bits with some sugar thrown around. It means they actually have to be creamed. What a concept. So I cast away my lazy baker habits and my cookies improved radically. But I still struggled to make the perfect cookie,
always having them turn out too thin. You know when the dough part gets all flat and the chocolate chips stick up? Yes, that’s what I always got and always hated. Edible but not pretty. My best pal Lauren makes the most perfect chocolate chip cookies on earth. This is not hyperbole! She can make three things and three things only: ramen, tuna sandwiches, and cookies. Though she is not a woman of diverse cooking talents, the things she does make are things of utter perfection. She can bribe anyone to do anything with her cookies. Seriously, these are peace-in-the-Middle-East cookies. (Clearly I am missing LP and her cookies) Anyway. My cookies never could match up to the perfect Lauren cookie I had in mind. I even tried opting
for the most complicated, wild, fancy cookie recipes I could find–which were tasty and all–but to no avail. Still, I forged onward in the search for cookie nirvana, especially in the preparation for Lauren deserting me for college. At this point I know you’re thinking, why doesn’t she just use Lauren’s recipe? Well, I will tell you. Because she will never give it to me. She makes it from memory, adding secret ingredients with her back hunched over her handi-work, so not a single soul can ever follow along and discover the key to baked good happiness. (To the left, exhibit A: Anne, the addict, with Lauren’s famed cookies) Which makes the cookies all the more mysterious, and consequently all the more delicious. But back to my quest. Seeing as it’s the end of Ramadan holiday right now, all the help at the house have gone back to their families, leaving us to our own cookie-making devices. I was tempted to do complicated cookies again, but refrained and stuck with Smitten Kitchen’s “Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.” I almost made the ones listed as the favorite chocolate chip cookies, but they were described as the kind of cookies that are chock-a-block full of chocolate with barely any cookie matrix, which I despise. So I opted for the quadruple C cookies. I did quite well at following the recipe,
except for the fact that on about every other measurement I lapse back into laziness and estimate. But that’s alright. And now here is reason number one why I love these cookies: the recipe calls for melted butter! Yes! Melted! No butter/sugar creaming to be seen! Hallelujah! Much easier, at least for us mixing-challenged folks. The recipe does make you sift the dry ingredients though, which I think is dumb, but do anyway, in compliance with my new instruction-following attitude. Now here are my few small changes to the recipe: as always, I did more brown sugar than called for and less white (1 and 1/4 c. brown, 1/4 c. white), and the dough seemed a little to wet at the end so I added a little extra flour, maybe somewhere between an eight and a fourth of a cup. And now here is the big change that really made all the difference; hagelslag. No this is not a new slang risen out of the streets of Jakarta. They’re those maximum-yum Dutch chocolate sprinkles that are usually on toast! I had to run to the store (which is a quick walk involving a shortcut and a monkey and sometimes tiny baby kitties) to get eggs and as I was leaving I saw the tasty little guys and couldn’t resist. They’re good on toast, why not in cookies! Holy smokes, was I ever right. Not to brag or anything, but I am a genius of extraordinary proportions. (Even though someone’s probably done this before, oh well. Let me have my moment.) I considered making this my secret ingredient for my very own secret
perfect recipe, but it’s not in my food-blogging nature to keep food related secrets. So there you are, the secret to extra yum. Once the cookies are baked, you can’t really see the sprinklies, so I’m hypothesizing that they melt and disperse goodness throughout the cookies. However the magic happens, it’s workin’. The cookies turn out just like the name hints at; cripsy and chewy. If I have to go one way on the soft v. hard cookie debate, I trend toward the hard side of things, just because I hate doughy cookies. But I don’t like when they produce an enormous shower of crumbs when you try to bite into them either. These little babies have found the balance. Crispy edges with a chewy middle. Chewy, not gooey, a crucial differentiation.
So. Finally. I’ve found my cookie soul mate.