Sunday, July 12, 2015

Design a cookie

To say that I love cookies is an understatement.  I grew up sitting on my grandma's counter, spoon in hand, stealing dough out of her bowl when she was pretending not to notice.  She is responsible for my deep addiction to cookies.  However, as much as I adore cookies, to this day I still prefer the raw dough.  The risk of getting salmonella from raw dough is minute at best but it's still a risk I prefer to avoid with kids.  From that, this dough was born.  It's eggless but produces a super light, chewy cookie.  It can handle a million different combinations and flavors.  I've added ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries which makes a wonderful chai-spiced winter cookie.  Yesterday I decided to really test it out. I made a batch of the dough and gave a bowl of it to my 2 year old, a second bowl to my 6 year old, and kept a bowl for it for myself.  The kids giggled like little hyenas as they scoured my pantry looking for things to add to their doughs. E opted for a blue and lime green motif that included: chopped colored white chocolate disks, chopped marshmallows, large green sugar pearls, and blue/green dolphin sprinkles.  C chose large purple sugar pearls, white chocolate chips, and pearlized sprinkles.  I'm pretty sure she ate more chocolate than she put in the cookie but that's ok.  I went for 1 tsp of coconut extract, shredded sweetened coconut, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips. E's cookies were the least successful just due to the sheer amount of "stuff" he mixed in.  The marshmallows also melted during the cooking process leaving a weird sticky void throughout them.  So while I recommend skipping marshmallows, do use pretty much anything else.  Get creative!

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups add-ins (chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, nuts, dried berries, coconut, sprinkles, oats, etc)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment or a silicon baking mat.
Cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the Vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and then add them to the butter mixture.  Beat until well combined.  Stir in add-ins.
Place a medium scoop (about 2 tbsp) on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes or until edges are looking light golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets before moving to wire racks to cool completely.

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