Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 15,16, & 17 - Joshua Tree & The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I did it again. This time is even worse than the last. 3 days without posting. But I have a pretty nice excuse. I was camping in Joshua Tree over the weekend. For those not living in southern California, Joshua Tree is about 2 1/2 hours due east of LA . It is a HUGE camping, climbing, hiking area famous for its Joshua Trees, of course.

Here are some shots from the trip, if you wanted to see:

Walking along the path to Willow Hole.
My good friend Betty and I.
Rob and I at our final destination.
I love this photo. On our way back it started to RAIN.  Notice the blue sky? It was the only rain cloud in the whole park and it followed us all the way back down the trail. Not to mention during this very localized rain storm it was also HAILING! Thats the hail there on the left hand side. Isn't that nuts?
Anywho, back to business. Before the trip I had sent out a message asking if anyone wanted a special treat for the trip I would be happy to make it, having all the time in the world right now to do these sorts of things. Well someone responded and asked for chocolate cookies. 

Now normally I follow the cookie recipe on the chocolate chip bag because they have a pretty good grasp on the chocolate cookie, I think. But this time I wanted to do something special, a little fancier. This time I would be showing my skills off to a large group of people. I wanted to impress. So I went posh and made Neiman-Marcus's $250 recipe.

If you don't know the legend behind the $250 cookie recipe you should read it here - $250 cookie recipe. In short, a mother , after enjoying a chocolate cookie at Neiman-Marcus, asks for the cookie recipe. The waiter says "twofifty,"which she quickly agrees to pay. Later the woman finds out the waiter meant two HUNDRED and fifty. So in her angry state she sends the recipe out an a mass email to spread the recipe love. 

NOW, Neiman-Marcus in what could only be a marketing stunt said "The story is an urban myth, heres the recipe, urban myth free. The tricky thing is the $250 Cookie recipe and the Neiman-Marcus recipe are DIFFERENT! Hmm, curious...

So which one did I go with, you ask...

The Neiman-Marcus recipe! And let me tell you... BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE EVER!!!

I've made these once before when I was in elementary school. I remember them as having a special ingredient that made them the best recipe ever then as well. I'm just impressed it's taken me so long to try them again. 

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Neiman-Marcus, urban legend free. 

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder (The secret ingredient! I couldn't find instant espresso powder however so I used instant coffee, which is basically the same)
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 300f. Cream butter with the sugars using an electric mixer (which I have!) on medium speed until fluffy, for about 30 seconds.

2.  Beat in the egg and vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together and gradually add them into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips. 

4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie or a little less for chewy cookies. 
(I went with about 18 minutes for the first batch, 16 for the second, and 15 for the third. I like the cookies a bit softer.)

5. Enjoy the best chocolate cookies ever. Go out and share them and fully accept the praise that will follow. You are just that good a baker!



  2. hehe Honey, I linked it already. Up where it says "$250 Cookie Recipe"


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