Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gifts from the Kitchen

My team at work held a dog wash to raise money for the Humane Society last weekend (we called it Bark and Bubbles- how cute is that?). I couldn't attend to help wash the doggies, so I donated some gifts from the kitchen for the raffle we held.

I had an idea in mind that I wanted to make a couple of jar cookie mixes- you know the kind where the dry ingredients are layered in a jar and you just dump in it into a bowl and add a few other things? The logistics of this, however, were easier said than done. I wanted it to be simple, so my idea for a lemon and lavender shortbread mix went out the window as that requires rolling the dough, cutting, so on. Plus I burned the lemon zest when I was drying it out in the oven for the test recipe. Anything that required sugar to be creamed with butter, eggs, etc was out as well as I wanted it all to be in one jar, rather than having to separate the sugar from the rest of the dry ingredients.

I ended up adapting my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to work with the jar concept. The unmodified recipe is below, but if you want to give it as a gift in a jar you would half the recipe. Layer dry ingredients in your jar and include the measurements of wet ingredients plus instructions to mix the melted butter, vanilla, 1 egg and add to the dry mix.

The other two jars are Olive Oil Hand Scrub and my Olive Oil Granola (which I made this time with dried mixed berries from President's Choice instead of cranberries).

Makes 18 large cookies

This recipe not only makes the best cookies ever, but I also love it as it calls for melted butter which means I don't have to plan in advance to soften butter. Cookies on demand!
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup  plus 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled until just warm
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix butter and sugars in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Beat in egg, yolk, vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

Roll a scant 1/4 cup of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet, keeping dough balls 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are light golden brown, the outer edges start to harden, and the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking. 

Cool cookies on the baking sheets. These are best eaten warm from the oven, or microwave 15-20 seconds before eating.

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