Accidentally Amazing Chocolate Cookies

Ok…cards on the table…these were supposed to be chocolate chip cookies. However, through a series of mistakes, they turned into these deliciously sweet and salty chocolate cookies. They were fantastic! I doubled my recipe and they were all gone at the end of the night, so I’m calling it a win.

Every year our little town has a Christmas parade. Ours was last night and my husband’s office is right off of the main street where the parade runs, so they decided to open their doors and offer hot chocolate to the parade attendees. I volunteered to bring cookies, and I thought, “What better to go with hot chocolate than good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies?” These. These were.

Here’s everything you’ll need.

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First, you’ll mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Easy peasy.

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Then, you’ll brown your butter. Put the butter in your saucepan on medium heat and cook it down for a few minutes. It will bubble and condense and when it’s ready, there will be little brown bits on the sides if the pan. The butter will turn a kind of amber color and in the middle, it will froth up so much that you can’t see all the brown bits in the bottom, but they’re there. I had never done this before. It’s very easy, but it takes several minutes. I doubled my recipe, and my large saucepan was dirty so I used my medium saucepan and there were 4 sticks of butter in there, so it probably took longer than it had to. Either way, this process takes a little patience. Also, watch it closely. You don’t want it to go too far. Here’s what it should look like.

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Once it looks like this, remove it from the heat. Then you’ll mix it in your mixer with the brown and white sugar until it’s all combined. Then add your egg, yolk, vanilla, and sour cream, and gradually add your flour mixture.

Once it’s all mixed in, it should look like this:

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Ok. Up to this point, everything was running smoothly. No mistakes. Then I did two things at once that changed the course of these cookies forever. I added the chocolate chips while the batter was still warm, and, because I was feeling lazy, I dumped them in and used the mixer instead of carefully folding them in like I was supposed to…so they melted.

Welp…No going back.

I was faced with a decision. I either keep going and hope for the best, or scrap the whole thing and start over. I had already invested in these cookies, so I decided, I’ll push through, and if it’s really an epic fail, I can always buy cookies at the store. So I rolled with it.

The next step in the recipe calls to refrigerate the dough, so I chunked the bowl in my fridge and headed off to have dinner with friends. Not a care in the world. When I got home to bake the cookies, the molten chocolate chips had hardened into the batter and the whole mixture was totally solid…Ugh…Store bought cookies here I come…

Then I think, “it will probably soften now that it’s out of the fridge…I wonder if this bowl will fit in my microwave…”

It did. So. I microwaved my hardened cookie dough.

Don’t do that.

If you’re making these as intentionally chocolate cookies. Either skip the refrigerator step, or let them sit on the counter for about 36 mins after taking them out of the fridge before you start scooping and baking.

It look me a couple of batches to get these cookies exactly right. The first batch was my microwaved dough batch. They actually turned out ok, but I had to really roll them and squeeze them and roll them and squeeze them into the balls before baking. But they tasted fine.

The second batch was under the microwaved layer and the dough had softened enough for me to scoop as usual so I did. The problem with these is that they were taller and didn’t fall like I thought they would and because of the color of the chocolate dough, it was hard to tell if they were done baking so I left them in way longer than they really needed to go.

By the third batch, I had it figured out. Scoop and flatten on the baking sheet. And disregard the color. It doesn’t change. Ten minutes on each batch and they came out perfect.

Side note: if you don’t have one of these scoops, get one immediately! I have the small and medium scoop from Pampered Chef. I used medium for this recipe. They’ve changed my life. Get some!

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Sprinkle with kosher salt immediately after baking and set on wire racks to cool. Do NOT skip the salt. It totally makes these cookies. Trust me.

When they’re done, this is what they look like.

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Accidentally Amazing Chocolate Cookies!

Learn from my mistakes and make these delicious cookies! Like I said, I doubled my recipe and made probably 30-40 cookies and they were all gone! Accidentally Amazing Chocolate Cookies!

~Recipe~

INGREDIENTS:
-2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter,
browned
-1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1 large egg, and 1 yolk
-1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
-1 tablespoon sour cream
-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
-kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS:
-In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.
-Brown butter on medium heat until brown bits begin to appear and the color of the butter turns amber.
-Mix butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with sugars until combined. Then add egg, yolk, vanilla, and sour cream.
-Gradually add in flour mixture.
-While batter is still warm from the browned butter, add the chocolate chips and mix with the mixer until chocolates have melted and combined with the batter.
-Refrigerate for 2 hours, then remove from refrigerator 30-40 minutes prior to baking cookies.
-Preheat oven to 350 F. Scoop and flatten small balls of dough and space them 2 inches apart on a parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes.
-Sprinkle immediately with kosher salt and place on wire racks to cool.

Recipe adapted from: thebitesizedbaker.com

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5 Things I’ve Learned About Giving Thanks

Over my 29 years of life, I’ve learned a lot about Thanksgiving and giving thanks. I’ll narrow it down to five for the sake of this post.

1. There really is SO MUCH to be thankful for.

When you really think about it. There is a lot in this world to be thankful for. In my case, I have a wonderful family, a husband I would marry again and again, a roof over my head, a car to drive to the job that I have, food in my refrigerator, the list goes on. And on. And on. Think about it. There are 6-some billion people on the earth. What are the chances that I would be born into freedom? In a place that’s far away from the Ebola break out? Where I can walk on the street in front of my husband and I don’t have to cover my face? When you really sit down and think about it, there are one million little and big things every day I have to be thankful for…ok that was the easy one. I learned that one in like pre-school.

2. Gratitude is different than thankfulness.

Like I said, being thankful is the easy one. Gratitude is a whole other ball game. Thankfulness breeds gratitude. Gratitude is a lifestyle of thankfulness. It’s an attitude. If I live a life of gratitude, it affects everything else. It affects the way I treat people, which directly affects the quality of my relationships. It affects the way I do my job. It brings humility, gentleness, and contentment. This is different than writing a long list of things to be thankful for because it’s every day. Not just the last Thursday in November. It’s different because it permeates your life and creates opportunity to bless others. It’s deeper and more meaningful. Also, it’s way harder.

3. Gratitude takes practice.

Gratitude is not a natural state of mind for everyone. It comes more easily to some than to others. To be honest, the amount of gratitude in my life ebbs and flows. Every once in a while, I start to get selfish. What about me? Why does my opinion carry so little weight? Why can’t I have the nice car, be as skinny as I was in high school and always have the clever confident comebacks?? (I typically think of those 30 minutes later when I’m having the argument again with the imaginary passenger in my car.) These selfish moments are the moments when I’m losing my grip on gratitude and the moments I realize I need more practice. Selfishness is the root of all evil…It really is. With so much to be thankful for, with my long long list of things, why do I selfishly choose to focus on the things that I don’t have? Because gratitude takes practice. Every day. Practice gratitude. You’ll get better at it.

4. It’s not always easy, but it’s very simple.

This is a difficult concept. My life of gratitude is up to me. Am I gonna focus on the things I have? Or the things I don’t have? There’s no complex issue here. It’s a simple choice that causes simple actions that flow naturally from that choice. The choice, though. The choice is sometimes very hard to make. When your day just won’t go your way, and you did something to make someone mad, and you can’t fit into your pants, and your hair is dirty, and you run out of gas…those curl up and cry kind of days…that’s when gratitude is hard because it is SO EASY to focus on yourself and how nothing is right. I used to get so frustrated with my dad when I was little because he told me over and over that it’s up to me. How I feel, how happy I am, how content I am is up to me. You just have to decide. It’s very simple. But it’s very difficult. Once I figured out that he was right, it made it easier to do. Easier. Still not easy.

5. It’s worth it to try.

I don’t think any human is capable of living a life of gratitude 100% of the time, although I think Mother Teresa probably came close. I also think Mother Teresa had a great deal of joy in her life. Servitude, humility, gentleness, contentment, and, yes, gratitude bring true unwavering joy. I’ve noticed a direct correlation between the amount of gratitude and the amount of joy in my life. When I have gratitude, I’m nicer to people. When I’m nicer to people, they like me better. When people like me better, they’re nicer to me. When I’m content with what I have, I don’t have jealousy for things other people have. The affects of gratitude are endless and so positive. It’s a cycle both ways. It’s worth it to strive for gratitude.

With that in mind, here are some reasons for gratitude that I was reminded of this Thanksgiving.

Helpful Husbands
Helpful Husbands
Sweet baby nephews
Sweet baby nephews
Family and food!
Family and food!
Dinner Dates
Dinner Dates

Welcome!

Hello! I’m Michelle Oliver. This is my first blog post ever, so thanks for reading! Let’s get to know each other. I’m originally a Texas girl, now living in New Mexico with my fabulous husband, Troy. We are just shy of our 3rd anniversary…No kids 😊

This is from our trip to Chicago this summer. Ain't he cute?
This is from our trip to Chicago this summer. Ain’t he cute?

Troy has been a prosecutor for the last 3 years and recently became a civil attorney. He’s got his passion nailed down and he’s darn good at it. Me, on the other hand, I’m still figuring it out.

I have a degree in Family Studies from Abilene Christian University, which I am not using. Turns out, social work is really hard. I am a receptionist at a dental office (my dentist is bomb, btw) and when I’m not at work, I spend the rest of my time on all the fun stuff.

I’m on Pinterest, like, ALL THE TIME thinking of new projects, finding new recipes, figuring out ways to save money, etcetera, etcetera. I’m currently re-decorating our home. On a budget. One small project at a time. I’ll post some of those projects later. I love decorating, party planning and I’m always trying new recipes…Lord, bless my husband. We’ve had some epic dinner fails in our time together which end with me near tears and him choking down a dinner that resembles the taste of cardboard, but he always does it with a smile. He says it’s good, but I’m eating it, too. I know it’s gross. Don’t worry. I’ll only share recipes we enjoyed. I might still rant about my dinner fails, though. Fair warning.

I’m pretty clumsy and disorganized, so none of the aforementioned hobbies come particularly easily to me. I’m here, representing those who want to, but don’t know how. Let’s just try anyway! We can figure it out together!