Saturday, February 9, 2008

Four Chocolate Chip Cookies

That is all it takes - 4 chocolate chip cookies, to totally undermine my diet and crumble the resolve that has been mine for the last 12 days. I have been following the South Beach Diet (best diet ever) and sticking with it with incredible determination and virtually no desire to even cheat.
The only time I have a hard time is if I haven't eaten the RIGHT food and I get hungry. It is very important to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks on a regular time schedule so you don't get hungry. Well, I hadn't eaten since breakfast, I was at Maryellen's when Heather VG brought the family dinner around 5pm. Included was a bag of fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies.
I caved. I ate one. The best thing I have ever tasted in my entire life. So of course I ate another one. Then another one. Then one for the road. Four Chocolate Chip Cookies!
On the drive home I came to the conclusion that diets are pointless and definitely outdated and don't work anyway. Why would anyone choose to live without chocolate chip cookies? Clearly I was not thinking clearly (maybe a sugar rush) but I seriously drove home thinking I can't live without another one of Heather's Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies! Tonight, I will not sleep. I will lie awake, cursing V8 juice and sugar free yogurt, and if I sleep - I will dream...of chocolate chip cookies.

Here's a recipe (not necessarily Heather VG's recipe):

1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

3/4 cup (160 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (270 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup (100 grams) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) with rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter. Add the white and brown sugars and beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat until incorporated, adding the chocolate chips about half way through mixing. If you find the dough very soft, cover and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

For large cookies, use about a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop or with two spoons, drop about 2 tablespoons of dough (35 grams) onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake about 12 - 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on wire rack.

Makes about 4 dozen - 3 inch round cookies

Note: You can freeze this dough. Form the dough into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze and then place the balls of dough in a plastic bag, seal, and freeze. When baking, simply place the frozen balls of dough on a baking sheet and bake as directed - may have to increase baking time a few minutes.

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