Thursday, 20 May 2010

Would you like another cookie?

I increasingly find myself baking cookies these days. I think because working six days means I have lost my lazy Sundays of baking, and my weeknights are taken up with either frantic knitting to finish projects (I've become newly obsessed, and last week stayed up until 2am and got up at 8am just to finish something in time to wear for work! - more on this in another post...) or crashing out on the sofa trying to keep my eyes open and my cat happy with some cuddles.

As time has become precious, I want quick fixes. I still want to bake and cook, but am aware that the window for doing so is a lot smaller, especially with all the other things that also get missed and need doing in my snatches of time.

Cookies are perfect, you can whip most recipes up in one bowl, and either cook then and there, or rest the dough in the fridge overnight and pop them in the oven the following day.

This is one of the reasons I chose today's cookie. It meant I could whack it all together last night at ten, and get home to ready mixed deliciousness to be formed into balls and baked. Perfect. There is nothing quite like the smell of cookies baking after work, with the late afternoon sun gently dipping across the garden, and a breeze coming in through the open patio doors. It would be completely idyllic if it wasn't for the stack of washing up on the side, the drying clothes on the rack (and still piles of dirty ones loitering in the bedroom) and the mountains of fur that are beginning to taunt me as I'd rather be baking than hoovering!

Cookies are also a great little gift, a nice homemade thing to say thank you. This weekend I shall be sharing them with a lovely girl I work with at my new job. She makes brilliant cups of tea, humours my love of sport, helps with my knitting disasters and is the perfect company on a rainy Sunday afternoon when work is quiet and we are knitting and nattering. She rocks.

Some shall be going to someone else too, who's husband very kindly presented me with a Ottolenghi cookie a few weeks ago, as he didn't want me to miss out. How lovely is that?! I shall pass on a batch for her and the family as a thank you (She's also the wonderful woman who got me the job, there will be a lot of cookies (and the curd I promised) going her way!)

I borrowed the recipe from Nicole, who adapted it from the ever-great David Lebovitz.

I made a few changes, mostly due to necessity than will. I couldn't bare to part with my entire chocolate stash, so only used a scant two cups (200g) and I used only one cup of nuts, pecans, as I didn't have any more. I also sprinkled them ever so lightly with salt to balance the flavour. I won't pass on my version as Nicole and David have already done such a good job and deserve the credit. I have to admit too that I still found these a little disappointing, and I wonder if my changes are the fault (which is the most likely reason frankly). Don't get me wrong, they are a very good cookie (*nods and munches from the background*), but I still feel like I am searching for my "perfect"  chocolate chip cookie. Perhaps I should just give in and buy the book so I can give the original a go? And really, I don't mind having to bake a few more cookies in the quest for the perfect one. We're troupers in this flat, we'll do out best to try as many cookies as it takes!


  1. It sounds to me like you might be ready for this:

    Maybe we should do a little cross country chocolate chip cookie challenge! Even though I continue to claim I have found my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I still made a different one last week! It was the old David Lebovitz recipe from his chocolate book. I didn't care for it as well, mainly because it was good straight out of the oven (what cookie isn't?), but not so good the next day. So, you can avoid that one!!

  2. You know, I tried the NY times recipe. I thought it was very much "okay." Perhaps it's me that's the problem? Maybe I don't know what I want from a cookie?!

    Ooh, yes a chocolate chip cookie exchange sounds like a wonderful idea. I know a few people who might want to get involved. Hmmm....*ponders*

  3. I think the thing with creating the perfect cookie is you have to fully understand what you want from said cookie... I LOVED David's cookie recipe - more than the NY times one, mainly as it was easier. Found resting it overnight really gives the best flavour but the main thing I found was that, as a chewy cookie lover, I've spent the past 26 years overcooking them! Tend to err on the side of really quite undercooked now... Like brownie logic I suppose. Potentially a topic for further discussion this weekend?! xx

  4. Oh yes, we shall indeed spend much time discussing the perfect cookie! I think that is a highly suitable topic of conversation over coffee and pastries, don't you?!

  5. Aww, I am the 'lovely girl" in your link! How... lovely! I can vouch for the tastiness of the cookies you made - it's too bad we couldn't have tea to go with them on Friday! I have to say, being your typical American, I swear by the good ol'Nestle Toll House cookie recipe. Maybe that's just because I grew up with them and they just seem right! See you Friday :)

  6. Dorie Greenspan's World Peace cookies, made with Amedei or Valrhona chocolate is the best chocolate choc chip cookies...have you tried it?
    P.S. what is the new job?

  7. I admire your dedication to the cause of the perfect cookie. The closest I ever came to it was this chocolate chip cookie where the dough tasted great but the baked product wasn't...
    I see in your previous post you have a copy of cherry cake and ginger beer, is it great?

  8. I just found your blog (via Arctic Garden Studio), and I have to say that my favorite chocolate chip cookies are Dorie Greenspan's. They are crispy on the outside, a little bit chewy in the middle, and just a little bit salty. Yum!