Cookie monster

cookies

On a rainy spring day, there is nothing better than warm chocolate chip cookies. The molten chocolate nuggets encased in soft, buttery sweetness just makes the world seem a bit better somehow, and fill the house with that intoxicating scent of vanilla and warmth.

Wet ingredients

As I type this, it’s pouring outside, and doesn’t seem like it’ll let up for the rest of the weekend. But that’s ok — I love rainy weekends, when I have the luxury of staying inside and watching the rain streak my windowpanes and wash the world clean. I make a point of reveling indoors, with hot chocolate and data analysis and baking all going on at the same time somehow. Though perhaps this time I’ll just sit in my lovely citrus-colored armchair and pick out seeds for my soon-to-be-real garden, or read a book or two.

Prep2

Or perhaps I’ll make another batch of these cookies. These were one of the many projects I took on last week, and oh, they were good. We baked half the batter on the weekend, and froze the rest, but even that didn’t last long. We were making toaster oven cookies all week, and couldn’t help but sample bits here and there. The frozen dough tastes just like the little nuggets you might find in Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, except these have a slightly more exotic kick.

Dough

See, I like to play with spices, and this recipe is a case in point. We have a small container of ground wattleseed, which is an Australian spice with a coffee-like flavor and rich brown color that is often used in sweet recipes like this. I decided to tweak the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe (thanks for the recommendation, Rachael!) with the spice, just to see what would happen. And, well, it’s pretty damn good. Is it worth going out and ordering wattleseed for this? No, probably not — espresso powder, as recommended in the original recipe, would probably have pretty much the same effect. But if you already have some in the house, or just want to experiment with a new ingredient, go for it. I certainly won’t stop you.


Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie with an Australian twist

Makes ~24 cookies.

  • 1/2 c. (4 oz.) melted butter. The original recipe called for softened butter, but I didn’t plan ahead. Melted butter worked just fine.
  • 1 c. dark brown sugar. I didn’t have the light brown sugar the recipe called for.
  • 3 T. granulated sugar. I really think I’ll use golden syrup next time — it has a really nice caramel-y flavor that would play nicely off of the wattleseed and chocolate combination.
  • 1 large egg.
  • 2 T. vanilla extract. Or, if you’re like me, you pour lots, probably indiscriminately. I love vanilla.
  • 1-3/4 c. (~7 oz.) all purpose flour.
  • 1/2 t. baking powder.
  • 1/2 t. baking soda.
  • 1/2 t. salt.
  • 1 T. wattleseed, or 1-1/2 t. instant espresso coffee powder.
  • 1-1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips. Do yourself a favor and get some good ones.

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugars together until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Next, add the egg and vanilla, and stir until well-combined.

Sift together the dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips and wattleseed. Stir into the wet mixture, then add the wattleseed and chocolate chips. Stir until the chips are evenly distributed in the mixture.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and distribute rounded lumps of cookie dough (~1 heaped tablespoon) ~3″ apart on the sheet. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, until the surface of the cookies are just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and enjoy slightly warm if you like soft cookies, or completely cool if you prefer a crispy consistency.

If you like, you can roll the dough into a cylinder, wrap in wax paper, and store in the freezer until you feel like eating cookies. You can then just slice off coins of dough and bake those in a regular / toaster oven when you’re ready to eat them.

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9 Comments

Filed under baking, chocolate, dessert, wattleseed

9 responses to “Cookie monster

  1. Yumyum!! Glad they were a success… interesting that they turned out crispy for you. I wonder if it was the melted butter? I have found these to be generally soft with a delicate crumb. But what I like is all the brown sugar + espresso powder. Gives a good flavor.

    One more day of lab work! Then I get Sunday off. Baking is an absolute necessity tomorrow – I just need to decide what recipe

  2. Wattleseed. Thats a funny name hehe. Those cookies look really awesome, I love coffee flavored things. I’m so glad spring is coming! Let the rain wash all the snow away!

  3. Oh, I just noticed the dark brown sugar. I remember I made it once with dark brown sugar and that did make them kind of crispy….. but yummy anyway!

    I wikipedia’d waddleseed and it sounds very interesting – the wiki said chocolately/hazlenut flavor?

  4. Hmmm… wattleseed. Interesting spice there! I like to play with the spices in my choc. chip cookies too. And I absolutely love a rainy weekend (we don’t get many of those here in San Diego!)

  5. liz

    Rachael — Yay; one more day left!… Enjoy your day off! As for the cookies, it could have been the dark brown sugar? Or the butter. Curse my impatience. I didn’t mind, though — I ate most of mine warm, so they were nice and soft, and then did a yummy crunchy thing when they started to cool in earnest.

    Add coffee to the list of flavors and you have wattleseed categorized pretty well. I guess they sometimes use it to make a coffee-like drink in Australia?

    Jessica — Heh… it is a funny name, no? It’s aboriginal, though, so I suppose it should sound weird. I agree — I can’t wait for spring. I think we’re going to go get gardening stuff, in fact, and hope we can actually plant soon!

    Recipe Girl — What kind of spices do you add? I’m constantly trying new stuff in my cookies (probably to James’s chagrin), and new ideas are good!

  6. liz

    Rachael — Yay; one more day left!… Enjoy your day off! As for the cookies, it could have been the dark brown sugar? Or the butter. Curse my impatience. I didn’t mind, though — I ate most of mine warm, so they were nice and soft, and then did a yummy crunchy thing when they started to cool in earnest.

    Add coffee to the list of flavors and you have wattleseed categorized pretty well. I guess they sometimes use it to make a coffee-like drink in Australia?

    Jessica — Heh… it is a funny name, no? It’s aboriginal, though, so I suppose it should sound weird. I agree — I can’t wait for spring. I think we’re going to go get gardening stuff, in fact, and hope we can actually plant soon!

    Recipe Girl — What kind of spices do you add? I’m constantly trying new stuff in my cookies (probably to James’s chagrin), and new ideas are good!

  7. The pics are great and the cookies look delicious. I am making them tomorrow!

  8. pshaz

    man i want a cookie right now! have you tried cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips? i’ll send you the recipe later.

  9. liz

    no, i’d have to find a source for them, but haven’t had any luck yet … then again, i haven’t been looking that hard.

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