September 18, 2011
We’re paying homage to a favourite (unnamed) local bakery with this week’s lunchbox treat: COOKIE METEORS
Insert yourself into the little tale below.
Then, try the recipe!
It’s the kind of treat you’d empty your pockets for. There’s this bakery downtown that sells a certain chocolate chocolate chip cookie. This cookie’s shiny. In fact, its surface glimmers. Yet, that surface is cracked, too, so that you can see the soft, brownie-like interior riddled with chocolate chunks and larger walnut pieces. You don’t even like walnuts all that much, but you’ll pay whatever you’ll have to pay for these cookies. They have this great self-service set-up at this bakery, see, where you fill your own bag with far too many cookies than you likely ought. Then, you pay by the pound. This way, when you go up to the register with your bag full to bursting, you might be absolutely gob-smacked by the price. However, you’ll be too infatuated with the idea of having one of those cookies (you’ve pretty much had your hands all over them, anyway) and too embarrassed by the sheer weight of your haul to even think of asking to put a single cookie back. They’re worth the ridiculous price, you reason. Yes, yes, they are absolutely amazing. And, you’ll go back again, too, most any day, at the drop of a hat.
Later on, when you’re not studying or working near that bakery anymore, you get the idea that you want to try and recreate this ideal cookie in your kitchen at home. You substitute cocoa powder and melted chocolate for some of the ingredients of your traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe — no luck. You make brownie batter and attempt to drop it on a pan — even worse. Then, one hot summer day, you’re sitting in the dentist’s office, about to have an x-ray of your please-just-don’t-let-them-be-rotten teeth, when you come across a picture of a shining chocolate cookie in a Christmas magazine for seniors, a magazine, unfortunately, whose name you’ve already forgotten. (Your apologies for having been so completely absorbed by the prospect of a potential “cure” that you cannot now give credit where credit is due…) This cookie, you think, looks eerily similar to the cookie you’ve been trying to knock-off with no luck for over three years. So, you grab a tooth-brush-shaped pen from the counter and jot down the recipe on the back of an advertisement for clear braces, you know, the kind you think would probably make you lisp if you wore them every day.
Stopping at the grocery store on the way home from your surprisingly stellar x-ray, you gather all of the ingredients you’re sure you’re missing back at home. And, at this point, you’re getting a little angry, too, because the sum total for a whole batch of these potential replicants, even if you’d had absolutely nothing on hand at home, seems to be about a quarter of the price of maybe two or three of those cookies you’d purchased from that favourite bakery of yours. Though, you’ve forgotten all your cares in thirty minutes, anyway, because your hair and your entire kitchen smell like melted butter and chocolate. You barely wait to let those cookies cool before you test them, too. They look just right, bright, crackling, fudgy, studded with nuts. And they taste almost…almost…So you try the recipe again (why not?) with a few tweaks of your own…and there you have it, the bakery cookie that you thought you’d never be able to recreate.
These Cookie Meteors are now your go-to cookies for almost any special occasion, and, more often than not, with a change or two, here and there, in terms of what you put into that last measuring cup of mix-ins, your favourite weekly treat.
Cookie Meteors (nut-free for school, of course)
makes 16 large or 32 smaller cookies
1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet or dark
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1.5-2 tsp vanilla
1 additional cup of semi-sweet, dark, or milk-chocolate chips or chunks
1/2-1 cup white chocolate chips or other mix-ins (chips, candies, dried fruit, etc.)*
*You can use nuts as mix-ins. too. However, don’t bring them to school or to places where you might find someone with nut allergies. Best bake on the safe side!
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
- In a high-heat-friendly glass bowl set 0ver a pot of boiling water, melt the butter, the first cup of chocolate chips, and the chopped unsweetened chocolate.
- Set the bowl aside to cool for a few mintues OR transfer the melted chocolate mixture to another mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar, flour, and baking powder to the chocolate mixture, stirring until combined. The mixture will now look thick and slightly grainy.
- Stop to test that the mixture is cool enough, at this point, to add eggs without scrambling them and chocolate chips without melting them. It might be hard to leave things at this stage, but better to be careful than to have to start over.
- Once the mixture is relatively cool, add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla. The mixture will now begin to shine.
- Add your additional 1 cup of chocoalte chips and your 1/2 – 1 cup of white chocolate chips (or other mix-in).
- Using a large tablespoon, drop large dollops of the cookie dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. (Use a teaspoon if you’d like to make smaller cookies.)
- Bake for 7-9 minutes, until the cookie looks shiny. It will still be soft to the touch, though. Don’t overbake!
- Carefully move the parchment or silpat of cookies onto a wire rack. Cool for as long as you can before sampling!