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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate Chip Love Nougats - A Continued Quest for Perfection

As you may have figured out by now, I am forever on a search for perfection. I spend much of my free and even my not so free time pondering different methods of getting to the perfect job, the perfect life-attitude, and the perfect black pump. Apparently, this is not so healthy, but no one said I couldn't ruminate ad-nauseam on the road to the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Which I do. Often.

I spent the weekend dreaming up a cc cookie worthy of sending to my collegiate brother as a special "we miss you already" treat. To be worthy of Tier of Perfection status, this cookie needed to hit a long list of criteria. To keep on top of my list adoration...

1. It needed to be BIG because for as long as I remember, it has been a family goal to pack the calories into my brother's gullet with or without consent. It's the 5 hours of tennis that do it. That and the fact that he happened upon the good end of the family's metabolism.

2. This cookie needed to be simple. No zest, or coconut, or nuts allowed in "pickiest eater of the millenium" boy's cookies.

3. It needed to somehow involve the mass supplies of left over brownies our kitchen has accumulated over the past two weeks. We're talking huge here y'all. Northwards of 40.

What I ended up with was a crispy-edged, cakey centered, BROWNIE filled cookie that held its height well and inspired all sorts of moans and groans from visiting patrons. This cookie is as sturdy as they come until you break into it. It's like those rough and tumble gangsters in movies who really have soft and ooey gooey insides at the end of the day. But they're not too sweet, heaven forbid.

Taste-wise, the partial usage of whole wheat flour gives it a mildly sweet, slightly nutty taste that really balances well with the carob chips. Don't have whole wheat flour? Just use all-purpose for both measurements.

DISCLAIMER - In no way, under any sort of sun, does this taste, act, or look like a healthy cookie.

Now, here I sit (literally), presenting you with my newest Tier of Perfection Chocolate Chip Cookie nominee. I've happily given her the thug name of Love Nougats. It just came to me.
Mademoiselle Love Nougat I

About 3 premade brownies cut into about 1 in x 1 in pieces (normal size, not Fat Wich Brownie size for all you New Yawkers)

2 sticks of butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (no, you may not use dark brown sugar. Tough luck.)

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

1.5 tbsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

dash of salt

1 1/2 cups carob chips (yes, you may use whatever chips your heart desires or your pantry contains)
Start by engaging in a throw back to your younger years - combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Admire your new-age muted tone sand art for a hot second and then wisk.
Then, whip yourself up some butter. One day I'll get a better camera, but in the meantime, allow me to restate for the thousandth time the importance of whipping it good (do do do do do). It's the only chemistry I understand.
Once your butter is as whipped as your last significant other (badoom-ching), add the brown sugar and whip it some more
Then invite your eggs and vanilla to the party
And whip it some more
Then add in your sand art and mix (no more whipping. sorry) until combined but do not over work the batter or you will get a grody cookie for which I do not take an ounce of credit
And now it's time for the unfashionably late attendees. Add in your chips of choice and combine well.
Now, put the batter in the fridge for an hour and go watch the latest Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, or go to the gym. I did both, clearly.

If you're feeling insanely impatient, I give you permission to put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. You're welcome.

place no more than 6, nearly 1/2 cup round of dough on each baking sheet. Then push one of your brownie morsels (the love nougat) into the center. Don't be shy about it.
Then work the dough to ensure that the brownie morsel is as close to the center of the dough as possible. Put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes, rotating the pan once in the middle of the bake time.
Then take out and cool in the pan. It should be cool to the touch within 30 minutes and is not fragile. THAT is a dinner plate. These Love Nougats are massive.
No, it's not as drool-worthy as it looks. It's more so.

This recipe will make around 12 massive cookies, perfect for sending to starving college athletes.

I can't wait to try dipping a corner in melted bittersweet chocolate next time around.

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