It’s a ‘snow’ day here in Nashville–well, really a lot of ice & a little snow– so, many folks are keeping off the slick & dangerous roads and staying at home. We’re just plain stuck here at home as we can’t get down our steep, ice covered driveway!
And on days like today, I want to cook…and I also have to work on my taxes-ugh. I’m going to make a batch of Charlie’s favorite cookie–chocolate chip. I don’t really have a new, whiz bang chocolate chip cookie recipe that I use because I believe if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Nestle’s Toll House recipe has never failed me so that’s the one of choice. But I do have a few tips for baking & storing the favorite cookie that might just improve upon perfection.
1. Room temperature butter and eggs. If you do any baking at all, you probably know about the need for room temperature butter in certain types of baking. But what about eggs? I think having the eggs at room temperature too helps in the blending & creaming process and helps the cookies or cakes rise better. Room temperature butter is easy to achieve quickly in case you forget to sit it out (pop it in the microwave or in the oven while you’re preheating) and the eggs too have a little trick of their own. Place them in a bowl of some really warm tap water (not boiling or they will cook) and let them sit while you’re getting all of your ingredients out–5 or 10 minutes should do the trick.
2. Chill the dough. When I finish making the dough, I like to chill it it the fridge for about 30 minutes or so. It helps in handling it–when it’s a bit firm, you can scoop it out & make uniform sizes more easily, ensuring more even baking. Plus, I think it helps all the flavors meld together, so you’ve got a better tasting cookie.
3. Bread in the box. Once your cookies have cooked & cooled completely, store them in an airtight container with a slice of bread. Charlie showed me that trick when we first got married. I didn’t grow up with many homemade cookies around (it was more about pies & cakes where I’m from) so I thought all you had to do to keep cookies from drying out was to seal up the Chips Ahoy bag ! Putting a slice of bread in the container helps keep the cookies moist and soft. And good ole white bread is probably the best–you don’t want to taste 12 grain honeywheat when you’ve got mouthwatering chocolate on your mind.