Welcome to The Cookie Monster, a blog about the most marvelous, versatile, and beloved bakeable item in the land: The cookie. You may see occassional forays into pies, bars, and other sweet treats, but my main focus is and has always been on the bite sized genius behind my very favorite snack. Happy Baking!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Any-Kind-of-Chip Cookies

When it comes to whipping up some no-fail cookies fast, I have a utility recipe that I always rely on. This was one of the first cookie recipes I attempted, in my early baking days, and probably the one I have used most often. it is also the only cookie recipe that I know by heart. I've used it for chocolate chip and mint chip, M&M and white-chocolate macadamia nut. I even mixed these up with candy corn for Halloween once. If you need a great, buttery cookie base to show off some of your favorite candy morsels, this is the best one out there. And now, my friends, I share it with you :)

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups flour
Splash of milk (optional)
12 ounces of chips/nuts/whatever

First off, as always, start by creaming the butter. Butter temperature is IMPERATIVE for this recipe. I like to leave the butter out on the counter overnight, to really get it to room temperature all the way through. if your butter is cold and you need it immediately. chop it up into tablespoons and nuke it, 10 seconds at a time, until you can easily press your thumb into it. DO NOT MELT the butter. cookies made with melted butter will spread out while cooking and become paper thin. cookies made with cold butter will not spread at all and be very dense.

Add in the 2 sugars, and cream together. scrape down the bowl, and add the vanilla and eggs. beat until well mixed.
Add in the dry ingredients, with-holding 1/4 cup of the flour. I've known people who will systematically omit salt from recipes. RESIST. The salt is so important, small as the quantity may be. Once the dough is mixed, check out the consistency of the dough. if it is already very thick and sticky, you may be able to omit the last 1/4 cup of flour. if it's still pretty smooth and creamy looking, definitely add it in. This last quarter cup can vary depending on how you did with the butter temp. If you end up with crumbly dough that just looks dry and unappetizing, throw in a splash of mil to moisten things up.

Then it's time for the chips. Put your mot creative ideas to the test. Last night I threw in half a bag of white chocolate and half a bag of chocolate chunks that had been sitting around in my cupboard-of-fun. The sky is the limit.

Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and inch or so apart. Parchment is particularly important if you're using sticky candy like toffee, candy corn etc.... trust me, I've destroyed many-a-cookie sheet in my day, and this was one of the messiest mistakes ;)

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Check the cookies at 8 minutes, they're done when the tops are slightly browning. The cookies will be very soft when you take them out of the oven, so give them a few minutes to set up before moving them from the cookie sheet. if you have some vanilla ice cream on hand, I would highly suggest putting a cookie in a bowl with a big scoop of it, and eating it with a spoon. Yummiest. Thing. Ever.
Happy Baking!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Hello Folks! So sorry for being MIA this month. I've been on two back to back business trips and overall just insanely busy. I haven't forgotten about my blog though! nor have I stopped baking. But seeing as my camera is still busted, and I've had very little free time, I have admittedly, been slacking on the blog-front.

I've made a couple things over the past few weeks, both repeats, so I haven't posted recipes. but in case you're curious:

I made my from-scratch brownies again, this time mixing in some white chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks, directly into the batter. yum.

And just this past week I had some quickly-browning bananas, so I whipped up some B-Bread once again.

Joe and I devoured this whole thing in about 1.5 days. seriously, try this recipe. now.

Anyway some things to look forward to in the near future: Apple pie from scratch, a birthday cake, a new fun experimental cookie b/c I haven't done that in eons, and a complete cookie platter for my cousin's bridal shower.

Until we meet again!

-The Cookie Monster :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Never Make Brownies from a Box Again

When I was growing up, I thought I wasn't a big brownie fan. fortunately I discovered later in life that I was sorely mistaken. Brownies rock. Brownie batter rocks even more. Upon reflection, I realized that I've never actually attempted to make brownies from scratch. Ever. With all my baking experimentation, this clearly needed to be remedied quickly. I'm headed up to Vermont this weekend to ski (it's going to be 75 degrees there, but you can still ski apparently. Sweetness). So I decided to give some brownies a shot. Firstly, because I hate making things from boxes and I wanted to prove I could manage this tasty treat, and secondly because I've had my sister's brownie dish stowed away in my cabinet for 8 months or so and I'm pretty sure she wants it back. So she'll get it tomorrow, with some yummies inside :)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then remove it from heat.
It a large bowl, mix together the melted butter and the sugar. Do this step first, as adding eggs to hot butter will likely result in scrambled eggs.

Add in the eggs and vanilla and whisk together. I took a bit of delight in the fact that this was a 100% manpower mixing job. Take the day off, trusty kitchen aid :)

Add in the dry ingredients. I would suggest doing this bit of stirring with a spoon, and not a whisk, as the thick batter will clump together and become very annoying, very quickly.

Once everything is well mixed, have a taste. seriously. I wasn't sure if the made-from-scratch batter would have quite the same gooey-delicious quality....but it was silly to doubt. MAN is that yummy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the batter out into a greased 8 x 8 baking dish. Spread it around evenly.

At this point, I chose to top the brownies with some mint chip[s and chocolate chips I've had laying around for a while. I don't think this was necessary at all but, I'm a big fan of the mint chocolate combo so I gave it a whirl.

Bake for 25 minutes. The recipe says it is very crucial not to overbake, so get those puppies outta there and onto a wire rack pronto.

Let cool, slice and enjoy!
P.S. sorry for the crappy pics, my digital camera is pissed about all the saltwater and sand I exposed it to last week. I'm trying to coax it back to life. Thanks for the backup, iPhone.