Sunday, August 21, 2016
Have you ever watched Stranger Than Fiction?
Harold Crick is an IRS agent who has to audit Ana who owns a bakery. After days of making his job hell, she finally pities him and does something no one, not even his own mother, had ever done for him. She makes him fresh baked cookies.
He comes downstairs to say goodbye, and she has to bully and guilt him into sitting down to eat what she had just baked especially for him.
As he takes his very first bite of a warm, chocolate chip cookie, I have in my mind the exact taste that he's experiencing.
This cookie has cooled just enough that it isn't hot but still slightly bends if held by the edges. The outside has a tiny bit of crispness that your teeth break through before meeting the soft gooey middle. The semisweet chocolate chips are melted and coat your tongue while you chew. The aroma of vanilla floats up through your sinuses. There's a background flavor of which you know you know but can't quite place. (Oatmeal) And finally, the slightly caramelized bottom of the cookie creates just a tinge of toffee flavor. This toffee flavor fights with the bitterness of the chocolate, wanting to be the last thing you taste before you wash it all down with cold milk.
This. This moment of warm, gooey goodness pours comfort into your soul.
Even if you never had a mom who greeted you after school with a plate of fresh bashed cookies and a cold glass of milk, even if you're 39 years old and are too proud to admit that sometimes life is hard to bear, these cookies can make you feel better about life.
Tiana's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
1-1/2 c Crisco
2-1/2 c brown sugar
4 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp vanilla
3-1/2 to 4-1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 handfuls of quick oats
11.5 ounce bag of your choice chocolate chips
(Milk or semisweet work great. I used Guittard brand semisweet for the first time today cuz they were on sale which was AMAZING.)
Preheat oven to 375.
In a mixer (I use Bosch) with whisk attachment whisk crisco and sugar on high for 15 seconds. Add eggs. Reduce to low speed and add vanilla and milk.
Add salt, baking powder,and baking soda. Add 3-1/2 c flour until well mixed. Add Oatmeal. If needed add 1/2 to 1 cup more flour for a consistency like very soft play dough.
Change to paddle bit. Add entire bag of chocolate chips. Stir until chips are mixed in evenly.
I line 3 or 4 cookie sheets with foil (or you can grease the cookie sheets) then use a scoop to place 8 cookie dough balls on each sheet.
Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes until slightly goldened in spots.
The rest of the dough I scoop tightly onto a sheet that fits into my freezer. After they're frozen they go into a zip lock baggie so we can enjoy fresh baked again with ease. Frozen cookie dough balls bake at 375 for 10-11 minutes. (Also on foil or greased.)