Monday, December 7, 2009

Tollhouse & Cookie Racks & Holidays

Your Chocolate Priestess was raised in a simple, working class home in the Midwest.  We didn't have cookie racks, you know, those metal things that let you put what you've bake up a bit so the air can circulate and cool it faster and more evenly.  Nope, my mother used paper bags from the grocery store, cut and then laid out.  That's what I used for years until my concerns about health issues made me buy some wax paper.  Two weeks ago I got my first cookie racks to use and I used them this past Friday with some refrigerator cookies from Nestl√© Tollhouse that I bought on sale and with a coupon at Kroger's a while back.  As you can see the rack was much smaller than the sum total of cookies but first let me tell you about the products and how they turned out.

I bought three types because the coupon was for three products.  Remember to always check your coupons or you can be embarrassed up at the check out when you didn't get enough or the wrong size.  I got types that I knew at least 2-3 people in the family would like but then I decided to make these and store them for our holiday party next Sunday, December 13, 2009.  I'll report on that party after as well as reveal all the recipes I'm using when I review the cookbooks I used.

These required now knowledge of cooking really but they also aren't as healthy as my homemade cookies are, someday I may share that recipe if you like.  The "Chocolate Chip" package makes 24, 2.25 inch diameter cookies.  Two cookies equal one serving with 180 calories, 4g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, less than 1g fiber, 14g sugars, 1g protein, and 2% of the daily Vitamin A and Iron an adult needs.  The unbaked pieces broke off fairly easily and I put them on two ungreased cookie sheets as the directions stated but I had to go for 14 minutes in my oven which while a lovely black to match my kitchen has heating issues even though it is not 8 years old yet.

The "Ultimate Peanut Butter Cupts, Chips & Chocolate Chunks" cookies are bigger and the bag makes a dozen 2.75 inch diameter cookies and each cookie is one serving.  A serving of these has 180 calories, 5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 1g fiber, 15g sugars, 2g protein, and the same vitamins and minerals as the first variety.  The pieces where bigger and oddly some of the little peanut butter cups were on the sides so I moved them to the tops of the cookies because I just knew they would melt onto the tray and burn.  These took about 19 minutes to bake.

The "Ultimate Chocolate Chip Lovers" has three variations of chocolate for it's dozen 2.75 inch diameter cookies: semi-sweet and milk chocolate chip plus chocolate chunks, I assume the chunks are also milk chocolate.  I baked these at the same time as the peanut butter ones since one dozen each fit one of my cookie sheets.  I rearranged some of the chips and chunks on top again so they wouldn't melt onto the tray.  I paid for them, I want the chocolate in me or in my family and friends, not burnt on the cookie tray.

Using the cookie racks did cool them faster but they stuck a bit to the metal as well.  Plus it turns out that I needed to put something underneath them because as they cooled crumbs fell onto my table cloth, not a big deal because the chocolate didn't melt on it and therefore did not stain it.  Note to Self: put down paper bags or waxed paper to catch crumbs; also need more cookie racks.

But how do they taste, smell, look, and all that good sensory stuff?  Here you can see a sample of each for comparison.  They smelled very chocolaty and in the case of the peanut butter ones, also peanut buttery.  But as they cooled the fragrance faded until it was mostly flour and sugars I smelled.  The cookies are much crispier than the homemade cookies I normally make, I'm a personal fan of chewy cookies myself but theses weren't took hard and the insides where softer, more chewy than I suspected they might be.  I love that I can feel all the different textures of the chocolate and candy pieces, each adds something unique but over all that sugar/flour taste dominants until you bite into a moral or chuck or cup.  That's the nature of cookies compared to candies though so these turned out better than I expected.  The Milk Chocolate Acolyte got to sample them after they cooled and he really liked them.

Let's hope my party guests agree.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

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