Cup Cookies

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So I have a special midweek treat for all of you – a guest post by two aspiring young bakers.  My twin cousins Teddy and Jack made cup cookies (which you can then put milk in, eliminating the need for dunking), and they want to tell you about it.  Enjoy!

From Jack:

We made normal cookies but didn’t cook them.  We used a muffin tin instead of a flat metal thing.We put parchment paper in the muffin tin so we could keep the cookies from wiggling.We put cookie batter on the bottom of the parchment paper then on the sides. After that we put popcorn kernels in tin foil and put it in the center of the cookie.Then we put them in the oven.When we took them out the sides were cooked but the bottom was not.Then we took the tin foil out and put them back in the oven.We took them out and let them cool.When we tasted them the milk in the center drained through the bottom. They were delicious, I’d make them for my children.

From Teddy:

First we got the ingredients: chocolate chips, eggs, salt, vanilla extract, and more stuff. We put the batter in a muffin tin and then we put it in the oven.We put the batter around the rim of the muffin tin and we put tin foil in the middle of the batter. We let it cook over night. We let it cool for an hour. After all that I had one and that work really pade because they were really good!

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Cup Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Cream together brown sugar and butter.
  2. Beat in vanilla extract and eggs.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, beating until well combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate dough overnight for easier use.
  6. Press cookie dough into muffin tins and put aluminum foil in the centers to hold shape.  Bake at 350°F until edges are golden.  Remove aluminum foil and bake until bottom is set.  Allow to cool on wire rack.
  7. Add milk to your cup and enjoy!

 

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Ann’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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When my brother was in high school and I was in college, I used to get home for summer just in time to see his tennis season, which he always dominated.  And since I usually had a lot of time on my hands with him at school and my parents at work, I would bake things for the team for every match.  Now, Pete’s a freshman at University of Chicago, playing for the tennis team there and doing just as awesome if I’m to believe what I’ve been hearing.  So, to continue my theme of baking something for other people during Lent, I’ve decided to revive that tradition and make a treat that I could mail out to him and his team.

The trick was trying to think of a treat that I could mail to Chicago without any serious repercussions to the treat itself.  I remembered that in college my roommate got a care package of chocolate chip cookies from a relative, and figured that would be an easy thing to send to Pete.  And of course, if I was going to be making chocolate chip cookies, I had to make the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had: Ann Mullins’ oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Usually, when people think of oatmeal in cookies, the go-to is oatmeal raisin.  I’ve always found oatmeal raisin cookies to be disappointing, especially since the raisins almost look like chocolate chips and then they’re squishy.  But, when you replace those raisins with chocolate chips, you have an instant masterpiece of texture and crunch.  And no one makes them better than Ann, who used to have them in a jar any time we were at her house for something.

So without further ado, my best attempt at making her cookies, which I hope Pete enjoys when they make it out to him!

First, cream together the shortening, brown sugar and white sugar until light and smooth.

 

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Then, beat in the eggs and hot water.  I just used my hottest tap water and spooned it in out of a measuring cup.

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Next add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) and beat until combined.

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Blend in the whole oats – make sure not to use the instant oats since they won’t give the cookies the right texture.

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Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.  You can’t have too many chocolate chips, so I used heaping cups when measuring.

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Spoon the dough by the rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  I use the double spoon method – scoop with one and push it onto the sheet with the other.  Make sure there’s enough room for the cookies to spread a little bit.

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Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to brown.  The middles of the cookies may still look pretty doughy – that’s OK, when they cool they will solidify.  Just make sure the edges are brown and you’re good to go.

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And now comes the secret to making them that perfect texture of a little chewy and crunchy at the same time: remove the cookies from the cookie sheet to newspaper to cool completely.  No wire racks.  The newspaper absorbs some of the cooking oil (which with a full cup of shortening isn’t insignificant) to dry them out just enough.

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These are one of those recipes I mentioned while making Magic Bars – I love them so much that I have to actively plan to make them when I can’t eat every last one.  Lent provided that opportunity for these cookies, which though I know would look great in my new cookie jar (thanks Mimi!), will reach more people if I send them to Chicago where Pete will (hopefully) share them with his teammates.  Go UChicago Tennis!

Enjoy!

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Ann’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole oats
  • 2 heaping cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Cream shortening and sugars until smooth and light.
  2. Beat in eggs and water.
  3. Add dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Blend in oats.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350°F for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown.
  7. Remove to newspaper to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Potato Chip Cookies

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Good things happen when I finish all of my grading and lesson planning before 2 on a Sunday.  Good things in the form of baking adventures that I can pursue leisurely for hours on end.  Good things in the form of FINALLY breaking in my yellow stand mixer.  Isn’t it beautiful?

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Anyways, this weekend’s adventure was Chocolate Chip Potato Chip Cookies.  For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been dying to try my hand at Kenji’s perfect chocolate chip cookie on Serious Eats.  However, that project actually is a little too long for a casual Sunday afternoon.  And it requires baking by weight, which I’m yet to try.  But with Super Bowl being today, I still felt the need to make a form of chocolate chip cookies (They seem like an American dessert to me).  So I went the salty-and-sweet route of last week and added potato chips, as per this other Serious Eats recipe. The result? Amazing.  Look for them in the staff room tomorrow if it doesn’t snow too much.

First up, whisk together the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and set it aside.  Serious Eats calls for salt as well, but I never bake with salt.

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Now comes the tricky part.  I’ll admit, when I saw that I was going to brown butter, I got really nervous.  It is a skill I have never really tried before.  I knew that if you wait even a second too long, the butter burns and is ruined.  And I also knew that I did not have enough butter to make that mistake.  So I put it in a pan over medium heat and swirled it every so often by the handle.

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Then I got scared.  I turned the oven off and pulled the pot to the side.  Melted butter is almost brown butter, right?  I tried to justify not continuing. But in the interest of learning, I decided to continue.  I put it back over slightly lower heat (I have a gas stovetop that tends to run a little hot) and switched to the stir-with-a-spoon method.

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I alternated this with the hold-the-pan-a-little-above-the-flame-like-a-marshmallow method.  At the slightest hint of brown in my butter, I took it off the heat and put it into the bowl of my mixer.  In the end, I decided better slightly brown than fully black, and went from there.

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Once you’re past that hurdle, the rest is smooth sailing.  Add the brown sugar and regular sugar to the bowl and mix at low speed until smooth.  Sorry I’m not sorry for the gratuitous action shots of my mixer.  I love it.

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With the mixer still going, add the egg and yolk, vanilla, and whole milk.  Continue mixing on low speed until well combined.

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Side note: I now have a full bottle of whole milk minus two tablespoons and nothing to do with it.  I think the only solution to this problem is making ice cream.  Are there any others I’m overlooking?

Regardless, your next step is to add the flour mixture from the beginning.  Mix this on low speed until just combined.

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Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the chocolate chips.  I just used a full 12oz bag.  I also know what you’re thinking: Wait! Meg! What about the chocolate chunks?  My answer: 2/$5 on chips at A&P.  Also with the sheer volume of chocolate going into this, I think the smaller chips actually are the way to go.

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Now, here I ran into another unexpected hurdle.  The dough was not a texture of cookie dough I was at all used to for a drop cookie.  I’m assuming that’s because I don’t usually melt butter before I use it in drop cookies, but it was strange.  The chocolate chips would not mix into the dough.  I had all of these spare chips in the bottom that didn’t want to combine.

So rather than dropping the dough by the spoonful onto the baking sheet, I used my hands to form flattened disks that mildly resembled the break and bake cookies you can buy pre made at the store.  I took about a spoonful, rolled it together, and flattened it on top on the sheet.

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I also decided to make the cookies bigger than usual for no other reason than all of my small spoons were in the dishwasher.  You should be able to fit about a dozen on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Put a handful of kettle-cooked chips in a bag and crush them up.  If you have the option to use Cape Cod chips, I’m about 100% sure that those would be ideal.  They apparently don’t sell them this far south of Massachusetts, though, so I was stuck with Lay’s version.

 

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Add a pinch of the crushed chips to the top of each cookie and push them into the dough to make them stick.

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Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Cookies should be eaten within 3 days so that the chips on top don’t get stale.  If they’re eaten sooner I don’t think that would be a problem either.  Time for some football!

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Potato Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup crushed kettle-cooked potato chips

Directions:

  1. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, swirling or stirring occasionally until butter begins to brown.  Make sure to monitor closely – butter burns before you know it.
  3. Add browned butter, brown sugar, and sugar to bowl of stand mixer and mix on low speed using the paddle attachment until smooth.
  4. Add egg and egg yolk, vanilla, and milk, continuing to mix until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Scoop dough by the rounded spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Form the dough into flattened disks and press crushed chips onto the top of each cookie.
  8. Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown around edges.  Allow to cool 10 minutes on sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I had a Martha Stewart day today.  I was done with all of my work for the week (finally getting the hang of this lesson planning thing), so I went to a technique class at Williams-Sonoma this morning to learn how to make pie crust.  Well, really because I know that Williams-Sonoma gives free samples at their technique classes, but the pie crust lesson was helpful, too.  Then I put together a slow cooker black bean soup recipe that is currently sitting on my counter waiting for dinner time.  Then I made cookies.  Then I carved a pumpkin.

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I’m sure you already knew this, but all pumpkins need ears.  Or so my mom always taught me when we carved pumpkins growing up.

Like I said, only Martha Stewart could rival me in productivity around the kitchen today.  But for all of you, I have my second installment (there will be at least two more, so be prepared) of pumpkin recipes: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!  I got this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod, another awesome blog that is much more developed than mine, and changed just a couple of things.  So let’s get to it.

First, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a medium bowl.

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In a large bowl, add sugars and butter.  I love baking with brown sugar, mostly because when you pack it into a cup and dump it into a bowl, you can make some pretty cool sandcastles.

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But anyways yes, this recipe does call for a cup of butter, and yes, that is two full sticks.  If that bothers you, cut it into little pieces so it’s not just two sticks in the bowl.  This will also help with creaming it with the sugar.

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I use a hand mixer (still waiting on that KitchenAid…) on medium speed for 3-ish minutes, until the batter is all well blended.  Light and fluffy is the goal, but not chunky is all I aim for.  You’ll be mixing plenty later.

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Then, add the pumpkin, vanilla, and egg.  I was using leftover pumpkin from last week, so I had a little less than a cup, but if that really bothers you, you could add applesauce to fill the difference.

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I just went with it.  Mix until well combined, another minute or two.

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Add dry ingredients in small batches, mixing as you go.  I did it in three because I’m not super patient, and it turned out fine.

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Stir in the chocolate chunks (always chunks – so much more chocolate!) with a wooden spoon.

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Drop by heaping spoonful on a cookie sheet.  I didn’t grease mine, but you could if you wanted to.  Again, remember their are two whole sticks of butter in there.  They basically grease themselves.

Also, my method for dropping by the spoonful is to just take two spoons, scoop with one and scrape off with the other.  I’ve found this works perfectly fine for drop cookies, since part of the awesomeness is having not perfectly round cookies.

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Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, then allow to cool on the sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack.  I usually bake two sheets at a time, switching racks halfway through so that they bake evenly.  You’re looking for golden brown edges.

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I got about 40 cookies out of this recipe, but obviously that depends on how heaping your tablespoons are.  The cookies are definitely of the cake-y variety, which works well with pumpkin since it’s usually something you put in breads.  I’ll be giving mine out on Halloween on the off chance I get some Trick-or-Treaters, so I stored some in an airtight container on the counter (the rest are going to work tomorrow).  You could freeze them as well, but I actually like my cookies a little crunchy, so I figured the counter would be perfectly fine.

If you’re a purist and still on the fence about messing with chocolate chip cookies by adding pumpkin, here’s another close up to convince you:

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Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 12 oz bag of chocolate chunks

Directions:

  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a medium bowl.
  2. Cream together brown sugar, white sugar, and butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer at medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until it looks like batter.
  3. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, mixing until well-combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients in small batches, mixing as you go, until there are no more streaks of flour.
  5. Stir in chocolate chunks with a spoon (your mixer won’t like them, trust me).
  6. Drop dough by heaping spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about two inches apart.  Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until golden brown at edges, switching racks halfway through.
  7. Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.