Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SSC Presents: Chocolate Chip Cookie-tastic Edition!

Uggh its March. You're hoping for Spring, but no matter how hard you wish otherwise, mother nature has at least one more big snowstorm up her sleeve. On this, the most depressing of seasons, there's nothing better than to stay in, crank the heat, curl up with a cocktail and get into some intense baking action!

Since cookies are warm, fun, highly sharable and great for parties, SSC has put together a kickass variety of our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. There are about a million different variations of the traditional chocolate chip cookie, so if you like your cookies chewy, cakey, crunchy, munchy or magical, not to worry, we've got them all!

- Christa

Christa's White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal
Cranberry Cookies

Say what you will about oatmeal cookies, I've never had anyone think this recipe was anything short of totally awesome!

2/3 cup butter (softened)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz white chocolate chips
8 oz sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixture. Add eggs. Combine flour, baking soda, oatmeal and salt in a medium bowl. Add gradually to butter mixture. Stir in white chocolate chips and cranberries.

Spoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Each cookie should be about a tbsp of dough.

Bake 10-12 min or until golden brown.

Jamie's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

Sarah's Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Sweet, savory and wonderfully chewy-gooey this recipes suits any taste!

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking pan (which is an 11 X 7 pan-I used a glass Pyrex dish) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.

Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

Bake cookie bars for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.

Mom's Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is the recipe my mom would use to make the most perfect, cakey chocolate chip cookie imaginable. I grew up helping her make these so they've always held a special place in my heart and of course my stomach!

2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup Crisco
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk
3 tbsp vinegar
1 package chocolate chips (6 oz or more)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or more)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl cream together sugar, Crisco and eggs. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, add vinegar to milk. (This basically the same as using buttermilk, but I've never actually tried it with buttermilk.) Add the milk, flour and baking soda to the dough. Once dough is well mixed add walnuts and chocolate chips. Dough will be lighter and fluffier than a normal cookie dough.

Spoon on to a lightly greased cookie sheet, making cookies about a tbsp in size.
Bake 7-10 minutes or until light golden brown.

Jamie's Vegan Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe is adapted from Veganomicon and works quite well if you're looking to make your cookies a bit more magical than usual ;)

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (You can use all all purpose- I just like to attempt to throw in a whole grain!)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 ts salt
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1.25 cup sugar
1.5 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 cup soymilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (most store brands like Shaws or Trader Joes are vegan -- aka no milk- but if you are not vegan- use whatever you want!)

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl mix flours, cocoa , baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl mix oil and sugar. Next mix in flaxseeds, soymilk, vanilla and almond extract into the oil and sugar mix. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little bit at a time. Next mix in the chocolate chips. Mixture will be stiff.

Prepare a two baking sheets with parchament or foil. Roll ~1 inch balls of the chocolate dough. Flatten balls slightly. Space balls about 2 inches apart.

Bake in preheated oven for ~10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool at least 5 minutes.

Anne's Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
About 30 years ago, when my Mom worked as a secretary in NYC, one of her co-workers gave her this and several other fantastic recipes. I've never met Anne, but I've always been thankful for the wonderful culinary experiences she gave us, especially this one!

2/3 cup Crisco
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour (heaping)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
12 oz package chocolate chips

Cream sugars and shortening together. Add eggs, then gradually add dry ingredients. When mixed thoroughly add walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Booze Pairings!

I myself do not know how to make cookies. I have tried many times, and it always ends in disaster. I always end up with a burnt, yet somehow undercooked, over salted mess! I can sear a steak, I can cook a curry, I can even use the oven to make a pretty great pizza, but when you say cookies, I say "I know a place." I can however, eat the shit out of a cookie, and tell you what it will pair nicely with.

- Phoebe

Wine and... Desert!

When pairing a wine with cookies I start with the color of the cookie. If its dark (chocolate, lots of cinnamon, etc.) go with a red and I'd recommend a nice rich Cabernet. If it is a lighter cookie (sugar, lemon, oatmeal etc.) I would go with a white, like an oaky creamy Chardonnay. I find that chocolate chip cookies go well with both. If you have any kind of fruit or jelly on your cookie seek out a sweet rose wine. The most important thing to remember however, is that all sweets go with bubbles! You can also pair cookies with Tawny Port, if you are feeling like a 90 year old man.

Dark cookies = red
Light cookies = white
Fruity cookies = rose
All cookies = bubbles!

Beer and Cookies!

Sarah's Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars & Lindemans Framboise

Sweet, salty and tart makes a timeless combo. The chewy cookie’s salty, sweet caramel fudge and sugary cookie dough, with a splash of this framboise adds a layer of sweet, and tart raspberries that sink into the cookie. With the tongue properly coated in gooey goodness, the beer’s carbonic punch sweeps the mouth clean.

ALSO TRY: Dogfish Head Fort, Mort Subite Framboise

Jamie's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies & Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin

This creamy, almost opaque stout is intense and deep, with hints of cloves, blackstrap molasses, and a whisper of smoke. It's not sweet at all, but it balances perfectly with a nice spicy pumpkin cookie.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar & Christa’s Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

Give this a try. The sweet malt, oatmeal cookie pair great, while the hazelnut plays off the super-sweet white chocolate which adds a very interesting dimension. Also, the chocolate and the brown sugar really bring out the hazelnut in the beer. The cranberry wraps everything up by adding a little tart tang at the end that really puts a finish to it.

Other beers that go will with most cookies...

Kona Coco Brown
Young's Double Chocolate Stout
Young’s Banana Bread Beer
BBC Coffeehouse Porter
Good Old Guinness
Bitish Style Bitter (Ales go surprisingly well with cookies too!)

Christa, Phoebe & the Ladies of SSC

About Christa
Christa is a comedian, artist and graphic designer living in Boston. Because most of her family is fresh off the boat, she knows a thing or two about traditional European cooking and baking, provided that the recipes are in English (Thanks a lot, crappy American school system!). She also has a vast knowledge of fancy-smancy beers made by smelly hippies. Although she has no food credits to speak of, generally speaking everything she makes is considered to be "damn good." Check out her other blog Shameless Pomp and Circumstance if you feel like it!

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