Saturday, December 5, 2009

Arguing semantics...

I think I finally figured it out. The mental difference between "cooking" and "baking" and why I'm good with one and not so much with the other. Whilst my "cooking" has always been met with mixed reviews, my "baking" is usually met with yummy sounds and exclamations of joy (at least in my head that's what those sounds mean)...except when I go all crazy and add nuts then the Husband gets grumpy until I point out that he has his own batch of nut-free whatever. Not only that but an afternoon spent cooking only to have whatever it was that I cooked to be gone in mere minutes--whether consumed or thrown out--is just discouraging. Baked goods last a little longer and their enjoyment is prolonged--depending on how much is baked.

"come to the darkside, we have cookies..." ~V

Baking allows me to get all creative and to pull stuff out of my arsenal of secret weapons...

And create goodies such as Chocolate Chunk Cookies with brown butter and pecans*...and, yes, there was a batch without the pecans for the picky one...erm, for the Love of My Life. Whole wheat flour, Smart balance butter, egg beaters and dark chocolate? They're like health food!

It's actually a combination of recipes and something I read about in Cook's Illustrated. I really don't follow directions well and I really, truly dislike being told what to do (amazing I made it through four years in the military!) so I take what I like, discard what I don't and add what I want. There's always the chance that something is going to explode and that makes my baking just that much more exciting...that and the Bon Jovi apron.

*recipe if you just can't resist...

Sift together:
2 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 1/2 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar (yes--just add the sugars with everything else...don't waste time with the whole "cream together sugars and butter--it just takes longer to be cookies that way!)
1 cup brown sugar (don't attempt to sift this--it's not pretty)

1 cup butter--divided. Brown one half in a skillet--watch it closely because once it starts to brown it's like a nano second from Brown to Burnt. It's an extra step but it makes such a difference in the finished cookie--just don't taste the raw dough or you'll find yourself unable to stop...or so I've heard. Once brown and emitting a delightful nutty aroma add it to the other 1/2 cup of butter, stir in 1 tsp vanilla and dump everything in with the flour/sugar mixture.

Add 2 eggs (beaten if using real eggs--I use egg beaters and I've adjusted the flour amount accordingly. Real eggs...maybe cut out 1/4 cup of flour)

Stir until just combined then add a 11.5 ounce bag of chocolate chunks and 1 cup of nuts of choice.

Put the cookie dough in the 'fridge while oven preheats to 375.

I have a 1 ounce scoop I use for cookies. Or just use the old fashioned tablespoon method--the chilled dough insures that these don't spread out a whole lot. Bake 10-11 minutes--just until brown along the edges. Cool in pan for a couple of minutes just so they don't break up when taking them off. Enjoy!


9 comments:

Christina LMT said...

ZOMG...*droool*.

Want! I can haz cookie, plz?

Seriously, those sound incredibly delicious. I'm exactly the opposite, btw. I can cook fairly well, when I make the effort, but anything involving the oven is usually a bust.

Sean said...

Christina, they are quite yummy! And this from a cookie snob.
I'm the same way, love to cook, but can't bake for crap... fortunately it balances out that way in our house - keeps us and the munchkins well fed.

HENHOUSE POTTERY said...

Those cookies look lovely, and I'm going to try the recipe out.

I feel the same about baking versus cooking. I don't know that I'm that good at either, but it's the difference between making food for survival and making food for FUN!

KD said...

I am SO WITH YA! I love to bake but hate to cook... my baking gets rave reviews and my cooking gets, um, "thanks for your efforts" lol.

mrs. fuzz said...

Those cookies look really good! And I don't like nuts in my cookies or bread either. Sometimes I pick out all the nuts AND the chocolate chips and I end up with a few crumbs. I love the shirt btw. :)

Marit said...

now that is EXACTLY why I like baking too. My one creative outlet. And if the home front doesn't like what I produce, someone outside the home is sure to appreciate it!

Dori said...

Mrs. Fuzz...I love my geek shirts! The picture was taken from the laptop's camera which is why it's backwards...and not so good quality. But I was sitting here writing the post and realized what shirt I had on so I just had to take a picture. :D

Cookies are all gone but there's a bunch of perfectly smooshy bananas on the counter just begging to be made into bread...

Erin said...

I firmly believe that anything with whole wheat in it is a health food.

Because of Love said...

So I will be making these. And I too enjoy baking where cooking isn't my fav. However I was lucky enough to find a husband who doesn't mind me throwing some nuts in. That is a must for me!