Lynn was kind enough to send me these pictures of cookies she made with the cookie cutters I sent her. Her daughter had a birthday and a Super Bowl party, so Lynn used the football cookie cutter, as well as the birthday cupcake cookie cutter.
I am so impressed! Don't you love the perfect lacing on the footballs and the candles on the cupcakes? I bet everyone enjoyed them, Lynn!
Helena Georgette, who won cookie cutters for her Raggedy Anne Cookie recipe sent me this beautiful crocheted snowflake. It has a special place on my kitchen wall and reminds me of Helena Georgette every day. She also sent some favorite recipes. I've advised her to hold onto one for our Christmas Recipe Contest this year. It might become a Christmas tradition at my house!
And in case you missed it, Dru posted these photos on Facebook. She made Misa Ramirez's Spanish Rice with the Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Legs. To quote Dru, "They were GOOD!"
It's such a joy to know that people like Dru, and Helena Georgette, and Lynn are here with us sharing the good times. Thanks to all of you who make Mystery Lover's Kitchen such a warm and lovely place to visit each day.
And now, can you stand another cookie recipe?
I have come to the conclusion that I am the cookie monster. Years ago, when I lived in New York City, every errand, every movie, even just our paths home from work, took my roommates and me by a David's Cookies. I think we paid the rent for the David's Cookies in the Citicorp building.
That was a long time ago, but things haven't changed. After baking all those wonderful cookies in the Christmas contest, wouldn't you think I would be burned out on cookies? But nooooo! My mother dropped some major hints that it was time for more cookies, so I'll blame it on her. Although I have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, this time around I tried Bobby Flay's recipe, which is posted at Food Network.
When I read his recipe, I couldn't help musing about the number of variations on a simple chocolate chip cookie. Would Berkley let me do a series called the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mysteries? Seriously, eggs and vanilla extract seem to be the only unwavering ingredients. We could use whole wheat or gluten-free flour, not to mention a variety of brands of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
Then there's sugar. White sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, or in the case of Bobby Flay's recipe, muscavado sugar. I had to look it up. The Gourmet Sleuth says it is "partially refined brown sugar with sticky crystals."
Let's not forget the very controversial subject of butter vs. vegetable shortening. There are those who believe a chewy cookie must contain vegetable shortening or a combination of vegetable shortening and butter. And there are those who think butter is the only way to go in any cookie.
You think I'm through with the ingredient dilemmas don't you? Not quite. There's baking soda vs. baking powder or a combination thereof.
Like eggs and vanilla, I thought salt couldn't possibly be a variant, unless it was to leave it out altogether, but Bobby Flay has even made salt an issue by using Kosher salt!
We're talking about the most simple sort of cookie and look how many possible variations there are. Unbelievable.
I followed Bobby's recipe precisely, except for the muscavado sugar. I used plain light and dark brown sugars instead. I did use Callebaut chocolate, which I recommend very highly, but I happened to have their chocolate chips on hand, so I used 10 ounces of chocolate chips instead of chunks.
If you want to see Bobby's instructions, click on the link below. I have shortened them a bit.
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown muscavado sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown muscavado sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 (5-ounce) block semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks (recommended: Callebaut)
- 1 (5-ounce) block milk chocolate, chopped into chunks (recommended: Callebaut)
Preheat the oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
Beat the butter for one minute. Add the sugars and beat. Add the eggs and beat. Add half of the flour and mix. Add the remaining flour and mix. Stir in chocolate chips/chunks.
Drop the dough onto the baking sheet by the spoonful and bake 11 minutes. They should be slightly crispy on the edge but soft in the middle.
If you don't want to bake all the cookies, the dough freezes very nicely in a log.
They were soft and chewy in spite of the fact that they don't contain any vegetable shortening. A lot of chewy chocolate chip cookies are hard as rocks the second day, but that wasn't the case with Bobby Flay's cookies. I refrigerated them overnight and they were every bit as delicious the next day and even five days later.
I was skeptical about that Kosher salt, but it's wonderful. You can taste just the tiniest hint of salt, giving the cookie a more complex flavor without overpowering it. Good call, Bobby!