Friday, June 28, 2013

Cooking with a Little Cookie Monster

Cookie

A Facebook (and foodie friend) recently mentioned that she loved cooking with her 20-month-old son and that he had recently made his first item all by himself (she did measure out all the ingredients and closely supervised him). I love cooking and I really want to help foster that love in Molly.

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After her nap yesterday, I decided that it was the perfect day to teach her how to bake. It was a rainy day and there was no way we were going to head to the park for our usual afternoon jaunt. I set up all the ingredients to make the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. I originally posted this recipe back in 2009 and they are still my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.When Molly woke up, I told her that we were going to bake! She clapped her hands in excitement and ran toward the kitchen. I got her up on her learning tower and showed her the ingredients. She started immediately eating the chocolate chips! Pro-tip here, hide the chocolate chips until the end so that you have some left for your cookies.

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I showed her how to pour the ingredients into the mixer and we started baking. She loved putting her hand on top of the KitchenAid Mixer and watching it go. There were a few bumps in the process such as when she poured most of the salt onto the counter but I was able to sweep that back into the bowl without a problem. Overall, Molly was so proud of herself and we had so much fun!

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Once everything was mixed, I scooped out the dough onto the cookie sheets while Molly licked the beater attachment. I remember that was my favorite part of baking as a kid and I had to let Molly do the same. She LOVED it and wouldn't give it back to me when all the dough had been licked off. I created a cookie dough monster who wanted to eat all the cookie dough.

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The cookies as usual come out just right and were delicious. Sadly, Molly didn't have any of the finished product. She was too full from eating the dough and stealing chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is the recipe again. It's so good that I encourage everyone to make some cookies this weekend! 

makes 34-36 3″ cookies

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1 3/4 cups packed, dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup + 1 tbsp bread flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (not table salt!), plus either fleur de sel for sprinkling over top
18 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

2. Add the vanilla extract, the flours, the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. On low speed, beat the mixture until the dry ingredients are well-incorporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a Silpat. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it until it forms a sphere between your palms. Place the dough on the baking sheet (8 cookies per sheet), giving them room to spread. Dust the tops of each ball of dough with a little demerara sugar, and a tiny bit of fleur de sel or vanilla salt.

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 12-13 minutes. (Do not bake these on the bottom rack in the oven–the high proportion of brown sugar will cause the bottoms to darken too much.) At this time, the cookies should have taken on a golden brown color all around the edge, but still look very soft in the center–like hot cookie dough. Remove the tray from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool directly on the tray for 10 minutes before eating.

Cookies
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