more than 5 years since I last pre-heated the oven,
I dusted off my non-stick cookie sheets
They look pretty good, right?
I learned to bake back when I was in high school.
Mrs. Fields was a treat that I could only have whenever balikbayans
would come home from the US of A,
and I was getting a bit tired of the Chips Ahoy!
I'd been addicted to since the days when these
were only available in Dau, Nepo Mart, Cartimar, and Cash & Carry.
one hot summer afternoon,
I asked my mom,
baker of the best homestyle Chocolate Cakes
and the tastiest Prune Cakes ever,
to teach me how to bake CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.
My first batch turned out better than expected:
a few of the cookies actually didn't burn to a crisp,
and it was a pleasant surprise to learn that baking was fun!
I use the same Toll House recipe to this day;
it's simplicity itself:
1 1/4 cups refined white sugar,
3/4 cup packed brown sugar,
2 1/2 cups unsifted flour,
1 "brick" of Anchor Butter (salted),
1 teaspoon each of salt, baking soda, and vanilla extract,
a cup of crushed walnuts if you're not allergic,
and most important,
2 cups (or more!) of the best chocolate chips you can buy.
I prefer Hershey's, none other.
If you're a stickler for following recipes to the letter,
mix all the white ingredients
in an electric mixer at medium speed,
then add the wet ones: the butter, eggs, and vanilla extract,
start dumping in both sugars,
and finally the chocolate chips.
Once you have the chocolate chip cookie dough,
(try to stop yourself from eating it "raw",
it's really good enough to eat by the spoonful!)
drop 'em, rounded teaspoonfuls in size,
on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Well, that's the OC way to do bake these goodies,
but you can try them my way too.
Spanx' 7 Tips for Obscenely Scrumptious Cookies:
1. BAKE FROM SCRATCH!
> all the ingredients are available in any supermarket;
total cost, from the chips to the eggs,
shouldn't be more than P250.00
> do the math:
P250 can get you around 6 treats from Mrs. Fields;
this recipe gives you 48 cookies, every bit as good.
2. USE BRUTE FORCE!
> no real need for an electric mixer,
give yourself a nice workout by dumping all the ingredients
in a large aluminum bowl, then just grind away
with a thick wooden spoon.
> a glass bowl might break with all your exertions;
the wooden spoon is less slippery than plastic or metal.
3. DON'T BE AFRAID TO TWEAK THE RECIPE!
> go decadent and mix in a grated Hershey's chocolate bar
into the dough; try it with Special Dark for more anti-oxidants,
or better yet, crushed ChocNut for a Pinoy flavor!
> use crushed pecans, peanut brittle, or candied pili nuts
rather than the more common walnuts.
4. DANCE & SING!
> play loud music:
you can dance if you want to, you can leave your cares behind.
> sing loudly and out of tune:
create a playlist of really retro tunes from your childhood,
the combination of the warm baking smells and the old hits?
They're guaranteed to raise a smile.
Try Motown or the Beatles!
5. WEAR AN OLD SHIRT!
> your hands will get wet, sticky, and powdery;
feel free to wipe everything on your shirt,
create an unholy mess and bring out the 5-year old child in you!
6. TASTE EVERYTHING!
> try a chip, dip your finger into the cookie dough,
and reward yourself with the very 1st cookie out of the oven!
7. BAKE WITH AFFECTION!
All throughout High School, College, and even as a professional,
I'd only bake for special occasions;
and the special occasion was always the same:
whenever I'd get a crush on a girl, kolehiyala, or lady,
I'd feel an overwhelming urge to bake for her...
you know, Chocolate Chip Cookies = Sweet and all that.
Hence, my dear old Dad's term : "Gayuma Cookies".
one thing's for sure:
Not all the girls I baked for fell in love with me,
but every single one of them fell in love with the chocolate chip cookies!