Sugar (Recipe: famous chocolate chip cookies)
Updated March 2012.
According to Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
According to The Sugar Association, the sixteen calories in that spoonful of sugar can be offset by seven minutes of styling your hair, fifteen minutes of socializing, eight minutes pumping gas, eight minutes taking a shower, eight minutes playing an accordion, or a thirteen-minute nap.
So, please excuse me.
I'm off to find some pink hair curlers, an accordion, and a couple of chocolate chip cookies.
From ancient Persia to Wall Street, people have bought, sold and traded sugar for hundreds of years. The Chinese were first to process sugar cane, as far back as the 7th Century. When Marco Polo traveled to China in the late 13th Century, he brought word of the Egyptians' success at manufacturing an exceptionally white "sugar frost", and emperor Kublai Khan sent for experts from Egypt to help the Chinese improve their technique.
Of course, sugar has become big business since Kublai Khan's day. Though there is much to be said on the down side (the politics of production, and the deleterious effect of too much sugar in our diet), it's an essential ingredient and, when used in moderation, one that enhances both flavor and "mouth feel".
Today is Valentine's Day, so make some cookies in your own kitchen tonight, and share them with your sweetie. I'm sure you can think of a way to work off the sixteen sugar calories, and if not... well, there's always the accordion.
Ted's very famous chocolate chip cookies
The secret to Ted's cookies, by all accounts the very best chocolate chip cookies anywhere, is in the tasting. You must taste constantly, at all stages of "dough-hood" and beyond. This recipe, which is my interpretation of Ted's version of the one found on the Toll House chips package, is supposed to make 36 small cookies, and yet, not all the dough seems to make it to the oven. I wonder....
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 Tbsp white granulated sugar
6 Tbsp light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt, or less
6 oz chocolate chips
Preheat over to 375°F. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater, cream the butter and sugars. Add vanilla and egg, and mix thoroughly. In another bowl or on wax paper, mix the flour, baking soda and salt, and add to the sugars. Mix with a wooden spoon (or on the low speed of the mixer) until thoroughly combined. Add the chips, and mix gently. Taste the dough. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Taste again. Refrigerate for another 5 minutes, and taste again. Repeat until cookies have been refrigerated for 30 minutes. Taste one final time.
Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 9-11 minutes, until lightly browned.
Taste each batch as it comes out of the oven. Tasting makes all the difference!
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Double chocolate cookies, from Cooking on the Side
Gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, from Gluten-free Goddess
Chocolate Nutella cookies, from Simply Recipes
Chocolate crack cookies, from White on Rice Couple
Chocolate chip cookie bars, from Two Peas & Their Pod