Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cookies Before the Storm

Last Saturday night I had a craving for cookies. I perused my freezer for whatever little bits of chocolate chips or nuts I had stored away, and decided on white chocolate and semi sweet chocolate chip cookies with a hint of sea salt. Little did I know that I'd lose power the next day and have no electricity for the next 4 days (due to Irene) and these would be my go-to snack when the going got tough. These are simple cookies, and rather sweet, but the sea salt gives them an identity that goes beyond your regular chocolate chip cookie. This is a very simple recipe, takes about 10-15 minutes to put together and 8 to 10 minutes to bake. And you'll get about 36 cookies, plenty to get through a 4 day power outage. Quite delicious with a steaming cup of coffee or a big glass of milk, non of which I could access in my home, but luckily Starbucks was open a a few blocks away.

White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Makes 36 cookies

2 sticks butter softened

1 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda no calorie sugar substitute)

1 cup light brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)

2 large eggs (room temp if possible)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups AP flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup rolled oats

2-1/2 cups assortment of chocolate chips (I used white, semi-sweet and mini semi sweet)

Sea Salt for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place butter and sugars in a large bowl. With hand mixer combine sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and incorporate. Set aside.

With a whisk or fork, combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture (in two batches) and incorporate the wet ingredients with the dry. Now stir in the rolled oats and the chips.

Spoon tablespoons of the dough (about 2 inches apart) onto the parchment lined cookie sheets. Gingerly sprinkle sea salt on top of the cookies (don't go crazy with the salt- you'll be disappointed) and bake 9 minutes or until cookies become lightly browned. Undercook these a bit and don't look for too many crispy edges. The cookies will continue cooking while cooling on a wire rack. I sometimes just let them cool on the rack for a minute or two and transfer them to a clean roll of paper towels and let them sit until they're cooled enough for me to start tasting.

Re-mix: I also had dry roasted peanuts, crushed walnuts, coconut, butterscotch and peanut butter chips in the freezer last Saturday. If you're not a lover of chocolate like I am, try shredded sweetened coconut and butterscotch chips (I warn you- it's a sweet combo). Or try peanuts, raisins and a small amount of white chocolate chips. You'll get the crunch of the nuts, and the tang of the raisins and sweetness of the chocolate. But I must advise, in all of these cookie combinations, don't leave off the small amout of sea salt. It's a breath of fresh air that enhances everything sweet.

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