Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thomas Keller's Cookies

Today I blog about a newly acquired recipe and my incredibly strong feelings about all the important attributes of a homemade cookie. Though perhaps as a 23 year old, unmarried, mother of none I don't quite fit the profile of a baked goods blogger, the usage of a new chocolate chip cookie recipe was too great an event in my life to go undocumented. I have for my entire childhood (and adult life) used one single chocolate chip cookie recipe from a Kid's Cooking cookbook. I have baked these cookies so many times that I have the entire recipe memorized down to the color of the spoons in the picture on that page. Today, an outside source emailed me a copy of Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip cookie recipe recorded on a baking blogger's page. At first I balked at the idea of using any other recipe but I was soon won over by the blogger's enthusiasm and insistence that the cookies stayed soft and moist even to the edges. A scan of the recipe and my cupboard revealed I had just enough butter and eggs to make it. Fate. Half a Law and Order episode and one sore arm later I realized I must invest in an electric mixer for my baking adventures to ever go beyond banana bread and cookies calling for melted butter. Apart from my lack of a mixer all was going fine until I saw that the recipe called for an entire teaspoon of salt. I stopped dead in my tracks. I rarely ever threw more than a pinch or two of salt into anything I baked. But would I really question the recipe of Thomas Keller? Was I so arrogant a baker that I would diminish his salt to a pinch (and add some uncalled for vanilla while I was at it)? I did not diminish the salt, but did (just before rolling dough-balls) add just three drops of vanilla. As promised, my cookies came out thick and moist, and in exactly the prescribed amount of time (a rare occurrence in my crapshoot of an oven). However, there was just a hint of too much salt and not enough vanilla. I should have listened to my gut, the final recipient and judge of cookies after all. The cookies were good, but I didn't happily make myself sick eating as many as I could while they were still warm. All in all I will sleep peacefully tonight knowing that in my eyes, my childhood chocolate chip recipe has not been surpassed.

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