Sunday, February 14, 2010

Grand Chocolate Chip Cookies

A long time ago in a far away land, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for an "end of semester" party that were so good, my teacher exclaimed in front of the whole class, "If I'd had these before I turned the grades in, I would have given you an A!". I had mixed feelings about her statement (and frankly still do), but that's a dialog for another day. These, by the way, are not those cookies. They are inspired by those cookies.

Tonight when I asked the Hubs if we should make our "regular" cookies or try a new recipe, he enthusiastically said, "Try something new!". I randomly pulled out the Silver Palate Cookbook, and he asked if adding dried cranberries would be a good idea. Cranberries and chocolate? Definitely, yes, affirmative, and uh, ya-sure-youbetcha! My thoughts drifted to other flavors that would compliment, and I remembered that we happened to have a lone orange looking for something to do.

It was while I was zesting that orange into the cookie dough, that I flashed back onto those grade-changing cookies from my past. Grand Marnier... that's what was in them. And everybody knows that Grand Marnier and chocolate were absolutely designed for each other by divine decree. It's expensive stuff, to be sure, but you only need a tablespoon and we just happened to have some.*

These are really good cookies in their own right, but with the changes we made, the flavor was spectacular. Truly a chocolate chip cookie worthy of special occasions. When I get more organized, I will dig out that other recipe and give it another go. Until then, this one is top of it's class.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
, page 321, The Silver Palate Cookbook (25th Anniv. ed.), 2007

Notes: To their recipe I added... 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup chopped pecans, zest from one orange, and 1 Tbsp Grand Marnier. Made approximately 6 dozen using my little cookie scoop. I baked one batch right off (12 minutes @ 350°) and they spread a great deal, making large but quite thin cookies. Not a bad thing, but I suspect it was to do with either the temperature of the butter or the temperature in the kitchen (making the dough too warm). Scooped the rest onto a pan and froze them for later.

*I need to seriously think about moving the booze into the kitchen. We rarely drink it, but love to cook with it.
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