It's coming down to the end of summer term at BGSU. I'm teaching an Introduction to Philosophy course that's got a funny structure - it's only 6 weeks long, twice per week, which means we get very few class sessions, and each session is really, really long. I'm talking over 3 hours long. This makes for some tired students, not to mention a tired instructor. I like to have my students do a lot of writing, and that's usually not an issue, but in only 6 weeks, that means the students have had a paper due every other week. They're getting a little weary.
I gave my students a shortened class one session this week, and had them bring in their papers to work on together. This gave them a chance to do a little breathing and guaranteed that these papers wouldn't all be forgotten til the last minute. So, they were already content with getting a little break. But I like to earn some extra brownie points. How better than to do so with cookies?
These are good cookies. I mean, really good. The brown sugar gives the cookie itself an almost caramel flavor, and the chocolate really pops. Many students grabbed a cookie, took a bite, and grumbled something like "Theesh are good!" through a very full mouth. They were pleased. You will be too.
Our ingredients are more or less standard fare. We'll just mostly brown sugar, though just a touch of white sugar keeps things from getting too dark. All purpose flour, baking soda, salt, eggs, butter (unsalted, please!), vanilla, and - of course - chocolate chips round out the mix.
First things first. Pre-heat the oven to 325 and find yourself a couple of big baking sheets. Don't even think about greasing them. Doing so will guarantee you that the bottom of your cookies are tragically burnt. Instead, parchment paper those baking sheets and we'll call it good.
Melt some butter. Be careful to do this on low power if you're using a microwave. 2 minutes of half power works great for me.
Mix together all of those powdery, dry, white ingredients. That's the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set this bowl aside.
In a nice large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Really pack the brown sugar into the cup, otherwise you'll end up with too little. And you get this fun ice-cream scoop effect when you add it to the bowl. Mix those together, but don't worry if it's not particularly smooth. Another mixing step is coming up immediately after this.
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. The mixture won't be completely smooth, but it should be pretty close. Make sure you don't have any stubborn brown sugar clumps.
Now for the dry stuff. Add the dry bowl into the wet and mix. I often start this process with an implement like a spoon or a spatula, but end up just finding that frustrating. Be brave and mix with your hands. It'll give you a good excuse to eat a little dough off of your fingers.
Now the really fun part - chocolate chips! Two cups will seem like egregiously too much, but I promise it's not. These cookies are perfectly tasty with standard semisweet milk chocolate, but you can also go ahead and get creative. A cup of semisweet and a cup of white is good, as is sneaking in some peanut-butter or butterscotch chips.
Again, mix these in with your hands until the chips are well-distributed. Sneak a bite or two to confirm that it's delicious (Hint: it will be).
Now it's time to drop some cookies. You're aiming for roughly ball-shaped cookies between an inch and an inch and a half in diameter. An ice cream scoop works well for this, or you can just stick to the hands.
Bake em. These cookies are a little fickle when it comes to baking behavior - sometimes they're done done done after 14 minutes, sometimes they'll look disturbingly raw after 17. So check after 13 or 14 minutes, but absolutely don't let them go more than 17 minutes at 325. Even if the middles look entirely too squishy, I promise it will be okay. Overcooking these just ruins the texture, as they firm up considerably as they cool.
So long as you've baked them so that they're not completely crisp, let them cool on the baking sheets and your cookies will reach a perfect crisp outside with a chewy, smooth center.
They may not be the prettiest things in the world, but they are mighty yummy. Sometimes they spread more than others, and each cookie will be a little differently shaped. But come on, are you baking to win beauty contests, or because you want to stuff your face with cookies? Yeah, I thought so.
If you're watching your diet, I recommend sharing these with others, as they'll then disappear quickly and you won't be able to eat a dozen of them in an evening all by yourself. Or, if that's your thing...well, okay. However you do it, enjoy.
Recipe: Bribe Cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 14-17 minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 18-24
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper. Do not grease.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar and mix well. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until smooth.
Add medium bowl into large bowl and mix. Add chocolate chips and mix by hand.
Drop cookies onto parchment-paper covered cookie sheets in inch balls roughly 2-3 inches apart.
Bake 14-17 minutes. Edges should be set, though cookie centers will likely be soft. Do not overcook.
Cool on baking sheets.