Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Joys of Stress Baking (Chocolate chip cookies)

Stress, the nasty bug that creeps up on us when we’re not looking (probably because we’re too busy). We all have our ways of coping with it, whether it’s eating everything in sight, not eating at all, cleaning, sleeping, or as one of my favorite work-friend puts it: drinking and chain smoking. 

Personally, my brain never seems to let me go to sleep when I’m really stressed. Which is super helpful the night before a test let me tell you. Luckily for me, my family had a wet bar put into the basement when I was growing up, stove/oven included; so whenever I couldn’t stand being in bed without a chance of sleeping, I baked. I know, shocker; the girl with the food blog stress bakes.

What I’m making during these stress-fueled sessions occasionally changes but nine times out of ten it’s chocolate chip cookies. There’s just something about this cookie recipe. Maybe it’s that I’ve been using it for 15 years (okay, that's a terrifying thought). But I am sure that being able to zone out and not having to focus on remembering the steps but knowing I won't cock anything up definitely helps. 

Stress may not be fun but it tastes delicious

My standard chocolate chip cookie recipe stems from the classic Toll House. And I love a soft cookie so I will fight anyone who thinks that the New York Times recipe is superior. But lately I’ve been experimenting with olive oil in baking so I’ve included both recipes for you to try.

Makes approximately 3 dozen.
Pre-heat the oven to 375F

Traditional cookies
2 sticks butter, softened
½ C white sugar
½ C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ TSP. Vanilla

2 ¼ C flour
1 TSP baking soda
1 TSP salt
½ TSP cinnamon (if you're feeling frisky)
3/4 - 2 C chocolate chips (I use way less than Nestle. It's a personal preference)

Olive oil chocolate chip cookies
¾ olive oil (mine was infused with orange which made these cookies my permanent favorite)
½ C white sugar
½ C light brown sugar
2 eggs

2 ¼ C all-purpose white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 - 2 C chocolate chips

For either recipe, combine butter (or oil) and sugars well, add in the eggs, with or without vanilla, as well as the baking soda and salt (and cinnamon!). The flour goes in next until it's incorporated. Drop roughly a tablespoon per cookie onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes depending on the oven.

The cookies with olive oil are best taken out sooner rather than later. They can go from perfect to over baked in a minute.
Mmmm cookie dough

And into the oven they go!