But, remember the scene in which Vivian first meets Edward? They’re in pre-Costanza Jason Alexander’s car, and Edward asks her what her name is. Her answer: “What do you want it to be?” Which really means, “I am a blank slate onto which you may project all your sexual fantasies.” But I don’t think that line would’ve played well in a Garry Marshall film. Anyway, that’s what these cookies are. Whatever you want them to be.
I could say that you have to make these cookies Exactly the way that I made them, but why would I say that? I mean, have you ever known me to say that? Of course not. What we have here is a Basic Cookie Dough. To which you can add five cups (by volume)–Five Cups–of whatever you want. Once you have your dough, if you want to wrap it around a piece of candy or–gasp!!–another cookie and bake ‘em that way, do it. Or just scoop and bake.
You can make ‘em chocolate by subbing 1 oz (by weight) of Dutch process cocoa powder for 1 oz (by weight) of the flour. You can leave ‘em blonde. The only place you can’t leave ‘em is On the Plate. Because they are that good. Boom!
Here’s your basic dough:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (packed dark or light, or granulated. Your choice. Or half and half)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (less if you’re using fine salt, and always to taste. But you can’t leave it out. Because I’ll be able to tell if you do, and you’ll wonder why these cookies aren’t as good as I said they are.)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (or whatever)
- some spices. Or not. Cinnamon is always nice with brown sugar. Probably no more than 2-3 teaspoons total per batch
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 oz all purpose flour (or 7 oz AP plus 1 oz Dutch process cocoa powder)
Make the dough with the creaming method. I cream the butter and sugar together with the salt, vanilla and spices, because fat carries the flavor so well. Add the eggs, one at a time, and make sure they are very well incorporated. Whisk the baking soda in with the flour or flour/cocoa powder, and beat it in on low speed just until mixed.
Now you have your cookie canvas. Your template. Your tabula cookie-rasa. Now, you have 5 cups of goodness to add. Five cups! Enjoy the freedom.
Ideas? You want ideas? OK, then.
- whole grains
- dried fruit
- trail mix
- potato chips
- healthy stuff, like flax
- flavored chips–cinnamon, peanut butter, toffee, etc
- Crushed hard candy
- gummy bears
- Et Cetera
Those 5 cups of…whatever…are what makes these cookies yours. Name them whatever you want. These cookies will save you. And you will save them right back. So you can Eat Them.
Here’s how I made mine. You can make ‘em this way if you want to, because they are Incredibly Yummy. But don’t feel like you have to. If you like Kit better than Viv, make yourself Kit cookies.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1½ cups packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- several gratings fresh nutmeg
- 1 level teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 7 oz all purpose flour
- 1 oz Dutch process cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup dried spent grains from brewing
- 1 cup chocolate covered raisins
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup chopped toasted almonds
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed (I added with the flour because it is more like flour than a mix-in)
- Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and spices. They don't have to be light and fluffy, since you don't want them to rise like a cake, but you do want it to be creamy and consistently mixed.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl as necessary.
- Whisk the baking powder, flour and cocoa powder (along with the flax meal) together and then beat it into the butter mixture on low speed.
- Mix all your mix-ins together, and then stir them uniformly into your dough with a wooden spoon.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour and up to a day or so.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment or Silpat.
- Scoop the cookies into 30 portions (or make really big cookies or small cookies. Your call).
- Slightly flatten your scoops of dough, and bake them on the two center-most racks of your oven for 8 minutes.
- Switch the pans on the racks and bake for 8 more minutes.
- Let cool on the pans for about five minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.
I made these to send with The Beloved to work. He reported that today they are still soft and chewy. Plus, his boss raved about them. I’m telling you–it’s the cumin!
Enjoy your cookies, however you make them. Have a lovely day.