Monday, March 30, 2015

Eat the Cookie!

This post is inspired by a Remy's World column published in the January 2013 issue of Runner's World entitled: Resolved: Eat the Damn Cookie.  Remy's World is a humor, tongue-in-cheek column and Mark Remy in this column pokes fun of runners who hem and haw over eating a cookie. His point  is that as runners we can eat the cookie or other treats on occasion. It's not a big deal.

Here's the thing: There probably is butter in that cookie, probably a lot of it, and those are chocolate chunks, and it is relatively high in calories. (And no, cavemen did not eat cookies. You know why? Because no one ever offered them one. Trust me – if you could travel back to the Paleolithic era with a plate of warm Toll House, they'd be gone faster than you could say, "Eat clean." You'd probably also be killed, but that's neither here nor there.)
In the grand scheme of things? In the truly big picture? None of those "red flags" make one whit of difference. Not one. And all the agonizing is a sorry waste of time and energy. Eat the Damn Cookie.
I bake and eat cookies (and cake and pie) all the damn time. My overall diet is a B+, meaning I eat lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein. I'm pretty consistent in my day to day diet.  Yet, I still treat myself --but here's the caveat. It's gotta be worth it. Quality ingredients, most likely not store bought, tastes great and definitely not healthified (that should be a word). No fake substitutions. No banana (unless it's real banana bread!), no applesauce for the butter, no fake sugar. I love food and I love eating. I know how and what I need to eat to fuel my body for my activity level. I know what works for me. 

Wendy's Go-to Cookie Recipe

I make these cookies all the time. I freeze cookie dough balls to have on hand for cookie emergencies. I play with the add-ins, depending on what I have on hand or what I'm in the mood for--left over Halloween candy, nuts, dried fruit, different types of chocolate, Smarties. A white chocolate chip, dried cranberry, almond cookie is always good. Add a tsp of cinnamon. Be creative! (or frugal--use what you have). Even if you plan on baking the whole batch, freezing the cookie dough balls bakes a better cookie. 
  • 12 ounces bread flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 8 ounces of brown sugar
  • 2 ounces of sugar
  • 1 ounce of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 10 ounces of chocolate chips (or other add-ins)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan over med-low heat. Cool.
  3. In large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix sugars with the melted butter on medium speed for approximately one minute.
  4. Add milk, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla to sugar/butter mixture until combined. Scrape bowl as necessary.
  5. Mix in flour mixture (low speed) until *just* combined (don't over mix--you should still see some flour. It will all get mixed in when you add the chips).
  6. Mix in chocolate chips.
  7. Transfer cookie dough to small bowl used for flour (re-use dishes=less dish washing!), cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
  8. Form cookie dough balls using a disher (or ice scream scoops) or a spoon. I like using dishers because then each ball is the same size. I use various sizes depending on the situation. If I'm making cookies for home use, I go bigger (#40). For a potluck, smaller (#60). I've made giant cookies and teensy tiny cookies.
  9. Freeze cookie dough balls. You can skip this step, but as I stated--they bake better when frozen. If anything, place in freezer while oven is pre-heating.
  10. Pre-heat oven to 375F. 
  11. Use parchment paper or a silpat to line a cookie sheet. Place 6 to 8 cookie dough balls evenly spaced on sheet.
  12. Bake 10-12 minutes, depending on size adjust time. I prefer cookies slightly underbaked, so less is more. Remove to rack to cool. Eat and Enjoy! 

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