Cookies for Ales

35 days.

Ya you know exactly what I am talking about don’t you? If you don’t I will give you a second to figure it out…

Got it? Not yet, really?

How about now? There you go.

35 more days until CHRISTMAS!

35 more days until opening presents and eating turkey and spending time with the fam jam.

But most importantly, 35 more days until the fat man is coming down the chimney.

And of course that means that there has to be a big old plate of cookies and milking awaiting him. So today I decided to try out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe, just to be prepared.

Ok that’s a big lie. I did make chocolate chip cookies but it had nothing to do with Santa.

At work today, Ales (our sous chef) wasn’t really feeling up to snuff.

How do I know this?

Well for starters he didn’t hit me in the head nearly as much as usual. Wait! Before you go calling the police or something I don’t mean it that way! He just likes to annoy me by knocking my hat off my head, and he hardly did it today.

And there was no usual Saturday morning trip to the market for waffles.
Or crazy humppa music for that matter.
He was just so quiet and sad, which made me sad because I hate not being able to cheer people up.

So tomorrow morning for our big inventory shift, I decided to bake Ales some cookies. After inquiring about what type of cookies are his favorite, I told him I had a surprise. Hmm, hopefully it wasn’t too obvious what this surprise was. Either way, if you are reading this Ales, surprise! Now you have something to look forward to in the morning 🙂

Chewy cookies

After reading numerous reviews and cookie debates, I landed on Alton Brown’s Chewy cookie recipe (courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, Joy the Baker). What makes them different from your average chocolate chip cookie is that instead of creaming the butter and sugar, you melt the butter, then add it to the sugar. The dough is then chilled before baking.

I had high hopes. People, this is a cookie that has over 900 reviews on the Food Network site. All of these average out to a 5 star rating. Regretfully, I cannot agree. They are good cookies, don’t worry Ales, you will like them, but are they the best I have ever made, unfortunately not. And no, it’s not because I took too many pictures, forgot about the actual cookies and ended up burning them 😉

There were a few parts that I adapted. I used all purpose flour because I did not have bread flour. And I didn’t have milk so I omitted that altogether. As for the quantity of chocolate chips, even I would say that it is slightly overkill (I, the chocoholic). There is no way that the dough can even hold the 2 cups (I did a half batch so 1 cup) that the recipe calls for.

But I don’t think that any of the factors listed above impacted the results as greatly as the cooking time and temperature. The recipe says to bake at 375 F for 14 to 15 minutes. This was definitely inaccurate, at least for my kitchen environment. I kept them in even less than that and they still came out too crisp for my liking. They are chewy in the centre though. Phoof. Did I ever mention how much I despise crunchy cookies? I HATE THEM. Honestly, I don’t care how good they taste, such a texture still ruins it for me.

Anyways, I will play around and try them again sometime. I am probably being way too hard on myself. I’m a perfectionist, what can I say? Also, I halved the recipe, it still made 18 decent sized cookies.

Chewy Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter (really, salted is fine)
2 1/4 cups bread flour (or AP)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk (this may or may not be necessary, I didn’t use it)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (again, don’t add more than your dough can hold)

Melt the butter (I did it in the microwave). Add the sugar and stir until combined.

Chewy cookies
Chewy cookies
Chewy cookies
Then add the eggs and vanilla (and milk if you are using it).
Chewy cookies
Finally stir in the flour, salt and baking soda. When this is nearly combined, pour in the chocolate chips.
Chewy cookies
Roll into balls, place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until the dough is chilled.
Chewy cookies
Chewy cookies
Like I said before, it says to bake at 375 F for 14-15 minutes. Maybe my oven is psycho but I would say 10-12 minutes would be more appropriate. Or lower the oven to 350 F and bake for longer.
Chewy cookies
Chewy cookies
Chewy cookies
  Enjoy! The more I think about it, these cookies are Christmas related. I’m in the spirit of giving. Hands down it’s what I love the most about the holiday season. Witnessing people’s reactions, whether you bake them yummy treats or buy a nice gift…priceless. Ales has done so much for me in short time that I have worked at the Brickhouse, he deserves a little treat. He can always make me smile when I am having a crappy day so hopefully I can do the same! I know that sounds incredibly sappy but we need more random acts of kindness in today’s world. Caring about those around you doesn’t just have to happen at Christmas time. It shouldn’t just happen at Christmas time. Makes sense, doesn’t it? And if we want to get technical, Christmas isn’t random. It happens every year, you know it’s coming. Moral of the story, take time to show your appreciation for those who make a difference in your life. Say thank you every once in awhile.
Here’s another thing that is Christmas related…my door! Happy holidays everyone (sorry to my American readers, I know you haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet but I am so ready for Christmas!)!!!

3 thoughts on “Cookies for Ales

  • November 21, 2011 at 1:51 am

    I hate when a new recipe has great reviews and then turns out rather blah. I’ve looked at his a few times, but I refuse to believe that the bread flour makes that much of a difference. 😛 Yeah, I’m not picky or snobby at all. I’m just a perfectionist right along with you and your dislike of imperfect cookies!

    I hope Ales feels better very soon!

  • November 21, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Ales is fine…always finding new ways how to get cookies from people…

  • November 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Such a mooch Ales…
    @Mary – I couldn’t agree more!


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