Friday, September 16, 2011

Not a cupcake... but at least I found time to bake this week!

Why you shouldn't bake AFTER Happy Hour :)

 With the craziness that is going back to school, I've found it a lot harder to find time to bake cupcakes.    And while I fully intended to bake cupcakes this week... I just didn't have the time.

As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite things about the fall is football.  And honestly that even goes as far as to include High School football games.   I just love seeing the kids so excited and into the game so I truly enjoy the experience.  At our school we do something really neat by having the teachers sponsor members of the football team.   While not every teacher does it, the ones who do enjoy it.  We get a tee shirt with the student's last name on the back and I take it a step farther and make sure I bring some kind of "game day treat" for my football player.  I've had the same player the last two years, but someone else got him this year.   He has already complained that he is mad he wont be getting any of my cookies/cupcakes this year! 

So I decided to start off the year with making my new player some chocolate chip cookies.   When I first started to get into baking I would be able to whip out some good chocolate chip cookie bars, incredible snickerdoodles and great sugar cookies.  However I could NOT make chocolate chip cookies.  It was incredible.  The easiest thing to bake... and I was NEVER satisfied with my attempt.   I tried all kinds of different recipes, but I was always disappointed.    And then I read the book "Promises to Keep" by Jane Green in which at the end of every chapter there was a recipe.   And at the end of one chapter was the recipe for the "famous" Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies.  However, its totally not the same recipe as on their website!  Still once I tried this recipe, I was hooked.  They are really really good and I can actually make them :) 

I did run into some problems last night when I was baking.  First off, I was really tired!  I'd been gone since 6am, so starting to bake at 930 was not on the top of my priority list.  Also, I'd been to Happy Hour(s) at Dogfish with my best friend and had probably one too many Punkins to be around a stove!  Still, I managed to get three good trays out of the oven... before I fell asleep on the couch.... with a batch still in the oven!  Luckally, I only slept about 20 minutes.. but the cookies did not make it. I was honestly more upset about not getting to watch the rest of the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries then the fact my cookies got messed up.  But I did learn my lesson.... never ever bake after a full day of work and a few beers!  It never works out.   It is however a great time to plan vacations ;)

Look Maureen! Cookies in the cookie jar!
Still, the first few trays out of the oven turned out great and my player was super excited to get them today :)  And there were even some left over for me to enjoy this weekend while watching football and grading papers!

Recipe
Sorta Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2.5 cups of old fashioned oats (not quick cook!) that have been ground in a food processor
  • 1-2 oz unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, shaved (i use a microplane)
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips (I use Ghiardelli)
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars in an electric mixer
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.   Slowly add to the wet ingredients
  5. Add in the ground up oats and mix
  6. Add in the shaven/grated chocolate and mix 
  7. Remove from electric mixer and add in chocolate chips by hand.  Make sure they are well mixed in.
  8. Form cookies into a tablespoon size ball and spread out equally on a baking sheet 
  9. Cook for 13 minutes (not almost 40!) and then let cool for 5 min on tray.  Move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely and enjoy!
 Recipe adapted from Promises to Keep by Jane Green

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