Friday, February 4, 2011

Bachelor Cooking and Chocolate Chip Cookies

A number of you have mentioned to me that you find "bachelor cooking," or cooking by oneself for oneself, to be lonely and laziness-inducing. This is a problem with which I sympathize and identify. However, I think it's important to find a way to overcome it, because if you can manage to cook for yourself on a somewhat regular basis, you actually will feel less lonely. I admit I have no scientific basis for this statement, but I really have a feeling it's true.

In light of that, I have a recommendation. My recommendation is the cookbook Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual. I believe I got this cookbook for my third birthday in 1988, and yes indeed, I still use it, so it's not just for kids, although the recipes in it are outrageously easy and use only ingredients that can be bought at the corner store. It's still in print, so you can get it at any bookstore, or on Amazon right here.

The best part of this cookbook isn't the easiness or the convenience, although those are good things. The best part is that the cartoonish illustrations will actually keep you company, and you will instantly feel like you're not all by yourself. I am not joking. Take a look at this:

I mean, you can't not want to make that recipe. It's practically begging you to procrastinate on whatever else you have to do so you can make it. And fortunately, this is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you or your grandma will ever need, because it is practically perfect in every way.

I say practically perfect and not perfect because it's actually a little sweet for my taste. So I've cut the amount of sugar in half, but if you like really sweet cookies, use a half cup of white and a half cup brown. I've used a quarter cup of each.

Here's my version, which makes about 15 cookies. You will need:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 bag chocolate chips

BTW, in general, don't use fake stuff. Fake butter, fake lemon juice, and fake vanilla extract are probably the reasons you think you're not a good cook.

Back to the cookies. In a small pot over low heat, melt the butter. When it's just melted and while it's still hot, add both sugars and stir, then let cool. Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.

In a separate small bowl, beat the egg a bit with a fork, then add that and the vanilla to the sugar-and-butter mixture. Add this wet mixture to the dry mixture in the mixing bowl and stir everything until it's all combined.

Now the most important part: put the bowl in the fridge for an hour to chill. I know it's annoying, but if you skip this step, the chocolate chips will melt before you even get them in the oven, which means you will have chocolate cookies and not chocolate chip. Which is fine, obviously, so if that's what you want, go ahead and don't put it in the fridge.

If you want to make chocolate chip cookies and are concerned about having to fill your time productively while the cookie dough is in the fridge, fear not, because I have compiled a short list of Wikipedia articles to keep you entertained during that time:

Dr. Seuss
Pad Thai
The Jewish Mother Stereotype

When the hour is up, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius. Then grab a cookie sheet, but don't grease it. Trust me, there is a shit ton of butter in these cookies. There's no way they'll stick to the bottom. Just roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place them on the cookie sheet, like so:

Then press the chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies, like so:

You can add the chocolate chips to the batter right after you take it out of the fridge if you want to, but I like this way of doing it because it ensures the chips are evenly distributed.

Now stick the cookie sheet in the oven for 10 minutes. Yup, just 10. Whatever you do, do not overcook. And on a side note, don't put the cookies any closer together than I did, because they will spread when you bake them.

This goes without saying, but please do not do anything foolish like eat the whole pan of these late at night when you're drunk. The only way to properly enjoy them is in broad daylight, like so:

That front cookie is sort of falling apart because I totally didn't let them cool before I tried to transfer them to a plate. But even so, you've got to admit these cookies look pretty darn tasty.


  1. Are these the same cookies from your party? If so, they are yummy :)

  2. I like hard and crunchy choc chip is that type? or chewy..If it is hard and crunchy, I owuld like to try the recipe this weekend.


  3. Baked for just 10 minutes, they will be chewy. But if you double the baking time, they will be crunchier. Happy baking!