Love may be blind — but how a person cooks can be a real eye opener.
By MARY G. PEPITONE
This week’s Come Into My Kitchen column featured Jackie Orpin, a 23-year-old from Overland Park, who loves to bake and share food with those she loves.
Her main squeeze, Sam Dearth of Kansas City, has stars in his eyes when she talks sweet nothings, and was ready to dig into a Chocolate Ganache Cake with Raspberries she made for the feature.
The couple is to be married in October, and as a gift, they will be baking chocolate chip cookies for everyone who attends the wedding.
Orpin will be baking the cookies in a commercial kitchen right before the nuptials — but it’s important to the couple they share a sweet symbol of their relationship.
As high school sweethearts, Orpin and Dearth made chocolate chip cookies together regularly. He actually hid Orpin’s engagement ring in the canister that holds the chocolate chips, while baking cookies before a family gathering.
One of my personal quests in life is to perfect the chocolate chip cookie. Cook’s Illustrated has a wonderful recipe in which the butter is browned and mixed with the sugars, until it dissolves.
So, to make that recipe you must stir by hand then allow the beginning of the dough to rest. Stir and rest —stir and rest. Cook’s Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookies are really good, but require exacting procedures.
But sometimes, you just want to dump ingredients into the bowl of your Kitchen-Aid and be done making the dough already.
So, Orpin shared her personal recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies with me.
I decided to test Orpin’s recipe — and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
One of Orpin’s secrets to a fantastic cookie is to refrigerate the dough for 24 hours before baking.
The dough was very thick, causing the mixer to strain, but my children’s taste testing of the dough begged for a batch of cookies to be baked immediately.
And based on the finished product, I can scarcely imagine how good they will taste after the dough has 24 hours in the refrigerator. Maybe absence does make the heart — and chocolate chip cookie — grow fonder.
Jackie Orpin’s More-gooey-than-crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips, combination of mini chocolate chips and chunks
Cream butter and sugars until well blended in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, salt and baking soda. Stir in flour to create a stiff dough. Add in chocolate chips.
Refrigerate the dough for 24 hours before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop onto baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes.
Mary G. Pepitone is a freelance writer who lives in Leawood. She also writes the nationally syndicated home column and the much beloved Star column weekly Come Into My Kitchen featuring home cooks and their recipes.