I never met a cookie I didn't like.
And that's saying something. My kids and I bake cookies every month or so, and through the years we've tried a great many kinds: butterscotch-oatmeal (very rich); peanut butter and jelly (yummy, but messy to eat); and, of course, chocolate chip (I'll be honest, we eat so much of the dough that we hardly have any left for the actual cookies).
When we set out to make this week's recipe -- giant chocolate-toffee cookies -- I figured I couldn't help but like them. There's an enormous amount of chocolate and five crushed-up candy bars. What's not to like?
Five hours later, while scrubbing dried chocolate goo off the floor of my kitchen on my hands and knees, it occurred to me: While these cookies are indeed giant and chocolatey -- and good -- they are not worth the work.
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I picked them for Valentine's Day, picturing a headline reading, "Want to fall in love? Bake these cookies." My husband picked up the ingredients on his way home from work. He chose semisweet chocolate (the recipe says use either bittersweet or semisweet), and bought Heath baking bits instead of the five candy bars (I think the bits ended up being cheaper).
The afternoon started calmly enough. I assembled the ingredients and rounded up the kids. Of course, the first thing they wanted to do was help chop the chocolate.
Can you guess what happens when a 3- and 5-year-old chop chocolate? They make a few passes at it with their Play-Dough knives (the only kind we'll let them use in the kitchen), give up and start shoving fistfuls of chocolate into their mouths.
The rest of the preparation went well, but melting the chocolate, cooling it and mixing it into the batter was time-consuming. By the time the dough was ready to chill, everyone was more than ready for dinner.
I couldn't use the oven, because the cookies would have to bake. I considered letting the dough sit overnight, but gave up on the idea, thinking it would be hard as a rock.
The dough was still pretty gloppy after 45 minutes in the fridge, but I wanted to get at least one batch made before the kids went to bed so they could try them. So I scooped it, and ended up dribbling a bunch of sticky chocolate gloop on the floor.
The recipe said to drop the dough by ¼ cupfuls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment. I didn't have parchment, but I do have a Silpat, a silicone mat that prevents food from sticking. But I have only one, and because the cookies are extra big, I could only cook three to four at a time.
So, at 10 p.m. I was still scooping cookie dough. And cleaning up the dough that hit the floor.
I have to admit, these cookies are good. Very, very good. They're crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and incredibly chocolatey.
They could woo anyone. Now, if they could just convince him to clean the floor ...
Bee staff writer Kerry McCray can be reached at 578-2358 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.