A couple of random things first. One is have you heard about the new vegan baking book My Sweet Vegan by the lovely Hannah? I haven't had a chance to look through it yet but I'm sure it's great - just look at her site! And two, I need to learn the lesson of being careful how much citrus I add to things. I made orange carrot soup a month or more ago which turned out tasting like orange soup (which I do not recommend). I forgot that I halved the recipe, and to measure the orange juice before adding it to the soup. It was pretty inedible. Then a couple of nights ago I made the lemon caper sauce I had previously made to go over tofu, but I put it with whole wheat spaghettini. I doubled the recipe and discovered that no amount of white wine or vegetable stock (okay maybe massive amounts) was going to tame the lemon flavour. Hopefully in the future I will be more careful with citrus fruits!
Moving on, I found possibly the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'm not sure I can commit to that statement yet but they're as close as I've found so far. They're the perfect texture (though of course that statement is relative because we all like different kinds of cookies), or rather the texture I've been searching for in a chocolate chip cookie recipe. The texture is the same throughout - just a nice, soft, chewy but not buttery and flat cookie. A cookie that holds its shape well and is a little bit crispy on the outside. Unfortunately they seem to go dry within a few days though. I'm not sure that I love the taste of the dough on its own (I think the Magnolia Bakery's or Didi Emmons' chocolate chip cookie doughs taste delicious), but I didn't add the espresso powder so I should try that next time. I'll also try adding extra vanilla (after all I have two 1 liter bottles to use up).
I'm really looking forward to trying these cookies with white chocolate peppermint bark, as discovered by Heidi. I've also tried making them with M&Ms, yum yum.
Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Neiman Marcus
Makes 2 dozen
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 300F. Cream the butter and sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.
3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.
4. Drop cookie dough (about 2 tbsp each) onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.