I had every intention to feature tailgating food this week. Honey BBQ Wings, Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, Italian Jalapeno Poppers, the whole nine. It’s funny how fate has a mind of her own. I was at the grocery store feverishly checking off my list when I made a major discovery. In between the silver stacks of cream cheese blocks and the farm fresh butter I found what could be the holy grail of baking just sitting there, ripe for the taking. How did I not know about this? How could I miss such a generous gift from the baking gods?
I’m serious, this is huge.
Pasteurized whole eggs.
What? Pasteurized eggs? Oh, friends, this is big. I assure you. Think about it. What is the most annoying thing about making homemade cookies? You can’t eat the dough! How about the fact that you can’t let your kids eat the dough? We all grew up with “you can’t eat the dough”. These eggs change all that! You CAN eat the dough! You WILL eat the dough! With no guilt, no regret, no waiting for the kids to go to bed so you can sneak a possibly dangerous bite of heaven. It is now safe to lick the spoon, people. Check out this site for more information.
So let’s talk cookie dough. Years ago, I set out to improve the standard drop cookie dough recipe. It was the texture. The cookies would be great right out of the oven but a few hours later they would turn hard and crispy. Which is great for some cookies by the way – but not when you want a bakery-fresh, chewy cookie at 3PM the next day. Food TV saved me once again. Do you remember the show Sweet Dreams with Gayle Gand? She had the secret and the secret is shortening. Just ¼ cup replaces some of the butter in this recipe and the results are amazing. These cookies will stay chewy and delicious days after baking.
I can’t wait any longer. Let’s make some!
Cream the butter and shortening together. Add in your sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Whip until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until completely combined.
Now, taste it. Because you can!! See if you can stop eating it.
It’s okay. This recipe makes a good amount of dough. No one will know!
That’s it. That’s your basic drop cookie dough. Chocolate chips usually follow but I went a different route this time. I used white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, cinnamon chips, and pecans. Can you tell how much I love my chocolate-hating husband? Seriously, you can use anything you like! Think of this as a blank cookie dough canvas. You can split the dough up and make several different kinds of cookies at once. I love that!
Just make sure you taste it again to check for ingredient balance. Or just because.
Stir until everything is just combined and scoop out on a cookie sheet. Give your cookies some room to express themselves when they’re in the oven. Don’t overcrowd them; they need room to do their thing.
Golden brown, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside. Let them cool for a minute on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. You want to store these in an airtight container so they stay chewy and tender.
Now, let’s talk dough again. Can you tell I’m excited about this? That’s what this post is really about, so let’s enjoy it. How about we back up a few steps and before we add the cranberries and other ingredients, scoop out some of the plain cookie dough in another bowl, add some mini chocolate chips, and make some magic:
BAM! Take that, store bought cookie dough ice cream! You stand no chance. You never have enough cookie dough pieces in there, anyway. Think of the combinations! Snickerdoodle cookie dough with pumpkin ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough with vanilla, chocolate cookie dough with peppermint ice cream… I could go on and on.
Have fun with this one!
My Favorite Cookie Dough
1 1/2 sticks softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 large eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
Your favorite things that you would like in your cookie dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and shortening together. Add the sugars, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a seperate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a third at a time and stir until completely combined. Use two tablespoons or a cookie scoop to drop the dough on an insulated cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 9 minutes, until just golden brown. Cool on the cookie sheet for about a minute then transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes: If you prefer an even chewier, softer cookie you can change the butter:shortening ratio to 1/2 cup of each.
For cookie dough for ice cream - roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment and freeze for 10 minutes. The dough will be very easy to cut or mold. You could even use mini cookie cutters to make shapes before adding them to your ice cream!