Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cookies Are Good

The track of these entries, obviously, roughly captures the wandering of my mind as I face the test. But it's not all that.

The baker David Lebovitz published a recipe for chocolate chip cookies years ago that revolutionized the genre for me. He puts in a freakish amount of nuts and good chocolate, and he recommends rolling the dough, wrapping it tightly and freezing it. To bake the cookies, you unwrap the log, slice a few sections and bake them frozen. What this has meant to our family is that we can almost always eat freshly baked cookies. Starting frozen gives them better loft and shape -- no oozing all over the sheet -- and a magnificent crispness outside balanced by a liquidy melted center. The excellent blog Smitten Kitchen explains all here.

My own thoughts for better cookies, whatever your recipe: Use better chocolate, preferably chunks, not chips. Add salt to the dough. Toast your nuts (I rank pecans over walnuts, but toast either.) When in doubt, take them out. Underbaked cookies are better than tough dry ones, and they will finish baking (some) on the cookie sheet or rack. Try the frozen log thing. It will work with any recipe, including Tollhouse.

Can you tell I'm fasting?

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