It’s official, I’ve made it to 100 posts. Thanks to those of you who’ve checked in from time to time to read my writings. To celebrate, I’ve posted below a recipe for absurdly delicious cookies. I got this recipe from a friend of mine awhile back. These are officially known as Infamous Chocolate Chip Cookies, however I’ve made a few slight adjustments to the recipe, which makes me feel somewhat justified in renaming them. From here on out, this recipe shall be called Ricardo’s Fitness Sabotage.

Ingredients
3 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (coarse, if possible)
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
10 to 16oz* of your preferred type of chocolate** in your preferred format***
sea salt for sprinkling
1/6 cup water (optional)

* This depends on how dense you want the chocolate in the cookies. I would suggest starting towards the upper end of your first time making these and then see how you like it. Go even higher than 16oz if you want.
** I have made this recipe with semisweet, bittersweet, white and milk chocolate. All are good, though my personal favorite is semisweet chocolate. Try to go for higher cacao percentages when using semisweet and bittersweet chocolate.
*** I have made this recipe with chocolate chips, discs and chunks. All work, though chunks can be a bit trickier just because of their shape.

Equipment
2 large bowls (and maybe one or two other smaller bowls)
Mixing spoon
Measuring cup(s)
Measuring spoons
Large plate
Plastic wrap
Baking sheet
Oven mitts
Cooling rack(s)
Tupperware or something else airtight to store the cookies in
Small ice cream scooper (optional)
Electric mixer (optional)

The ingredients and most of the equipment.

Let’s get started

In one of your large bowls, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix it all together for a minute until you have everything combined as best you can.

The flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt mixed together.

In another large bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. If you have an electric mixer you can use it here to speed things up, but be sure to either use the lowest or second lowest setting. If you don’t have an electric mixer, then a regular cooking spoon will work too; it will just take you a few extra minutes to make sure everything is mixed together evenly. One thing that I find helps with this is to have the butter warm before mixing. Be sure to scrape down the bowl as needed while you mix.

The butter by itself.
Butter + regular sugar.
Butter + regular sugar + brown sugar.
A electric mixer can be helpful in combining the butter and sugar, but it’s not necessary.

Now add in the eggs into the bowl with the sugar and butter and mix them in. You can either crack the shells and add them in one at a time, mixing in between, or you can ready the eggs in a separate bowl beforehand and then pour the eggs slowly into the sugar and butter. Both methods work just fine and using one method over the other has no significant impact on the final product.

I usually prepare the eggs in a separate bowl.
With the eggs added in.

Next add in the vanilla extract and mix. Here is where you can also add in the optional 1/6 cup of water. You don’t  need it but it can help if the dough is getting overly dry. If you like, try making these cookies once with the water and once without and see which you prefer. You probably won’t be able to tell the difference.

Now start to slowly add in the dry ingredients from your other bowl (the flour, baking power, baking soda and salt combination). I prefer to pour in the dry ingredients in thirds, mixing in between. You could potentially use the electric mixer again at this point, but it can make the dough flaky if you’re not careful.

Adding in the dry ingredients.
After all the dry ingredients have been mixed in.

Fold in your chocolate gradually, trying to get as even a distribution as possible throughout the dough. This is easier said than done, and will probably take you a few minutes. It is here that you’ll make your decision as to how much chocolate you add in.

This is about 14oz of chocolate.
After a few minutes of mixing.

After you’re satisfied with the distribution of the chocolate throughout the dough, you now have the most difficult part of the recipe: resisting the temptation to eat the cookie dough right now. DON’T GIVE IN! Instead, wrap the dough air-tight in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 to 3 days. I usually refrigerate mine for just over 2 days.

Wrapped up.

There’s a bit a chemistry behind letting the dough sit. Allowing the dough to rest lets the gluten in the flour relax, which results in more tender cookies. The flour should also more fully and evenly hydrate and some of the sugar will break down into smaller molecules which improves browning and depth of flavor.

A few hours before you bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If needed, grease your baking sheet.

Start putting small balls of dough on the baking sheet. If you have a small ice cream scooper or a well-rounded spoon that can help. I’ve read a few people who insist that you should not mold the dough before baking and you should just scoop the dough out with an ice cream scooper or a spoon, but I’ve not noticed a significant difference in the end product (other than the shape of the cookies). For your first sheet of cookies I would suggest trying out different sizes of cookies to see how they turn out and what you like. I personally prefer to make balls of dough that are about 1 to 1.25 inches in diameter. These will result in cookies that are about 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter.

Dough balls on the baking sheet.

With regards applying the sea salt, there are several ways to go about it. You can apply the salt before, during, or after baking. I normally salt the cookies during or after baking because I have a hard time getting an even salting on the dough prior to baking. By “during” I mean that I sometimes bake for about seven minutes, briefly remove the cookies from the oven to sprinkle on the sea salt and then put the cookies back in the oven for the remainder of the baking. As you might expect, the cookies tend to rise in the center while baking, which means some of the sea salt will just roll right off the cookies when you sprinkle it on. The adjust for this, I oftentimes take a spoon and very gently press down on the cookies to flatten them and make the application of sea salt easier.

Depending on how large your cookies are and how you like them, you can bake the cookies for about 10 minutes for smaller cookies and about 13-14 minutes for larger cookies. Again, this is where you experiment to see how things turn out and what you like. The cookies I prefer to make are on the smaller side and I like to slightly under-bake them (about 8 to 9 minutes).

When the cookies are done baking, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack or something else and allow them to cool a minute or two.

Right out of the oven.

These cookies can either be served right away after cooling or stored for a later time. If you store them be sure to that they are in some sort of air-tight container.

Enjoy

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