Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Department Store Cookie

I was assembling the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies when I realized that I only had one of the two sticks of butter needed for my recipe. Halving the recipe would require more math than I cared to use on a Saturday morning, so I jumped on Google and searched for chocolate chip cookie recipes using only one stick of butter.

The first hit on Google was for Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies. The department stores in my hometown didn't serve cookies, but then again, we didn't have Neiman Marcus either. I was also intrigued by the fact that the recipe called for the cookies to be baked at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, instead of 375 degrees for 10 minutes. I had most of the ingredients -- except espresso powder -- and so I decided to see what department store cookies would taste like.

Since I didn't have espresso powder, I used cinnamon, which is something my grandma put in her chocolate chip cookies. I also threw in a handful of oats (for texture) and some chopped pecans.

The result was a cookie that is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. I really liked the technique of cooking the cookies longer at a lower temperature, and expect to use that when baking other cookies in the future. (It might be the altitude or my oven, but the cookies seemed to need about 23 minutes instead of the 20 called for in the recipe.) However, I'm not sure I'll use this exact recipe again, as the cookies are almost too sweet for my taste. Eating the cookies with milk helps cut the sweetness.

As for using only one stick of butter - the recipe also yielded about half the cookies that I usually get.

Edited to add: The history of the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe can be found here.

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