I was looking for a cookie recipe to make at a Sunday afternoon college care package party.
My friend was gathering five moms to spend a Sunday afternoon baking cookies and other goodies to send to our freshman daughters — all friends who had chosen colleges in Des Moines; Chicago; Tempe, Ariz.; Fort Hayes; and Lawrence.
What to make? What to make?
Then in one of those moments when you’re sure the internet gods can see into your brain, a headline rolled by on my Twitter feed that would solve all my indecision: “An Internet-Famous Cookie Worth Making in Real Life”.
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I opened the link and read the baking directions. They made me laugh out loud: “Lift the baking sheet and let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and inside falls back down. (This will feel wrong, but trust me.) Bang it down, if necessary to make the center fall.”
I didn’t know if the recipe would work (always dicey when you’re contributing to a group effort), but I decided to take the gamble. (Who am I kidding! I’m forever testing new recipes even when the situation calls for the tried-and-true.)
Usually when I need a quick baked good, my go-to recipe is the no-bake Honey Peanut Butter Protein Energy Balls that Royals nutritionist Mitzi Dulan shared with Star readers in the run-up to the World Series.
But my friend — the hostess — had already called dibs. “I hope you don’t mind,” she said. Well, how could I mind when she is using a recipe that also has appeared in Chow Town and is one of our most requested recipes?
I considered making another one of my go-tos: The Chocolate Chip Cookie, Lemon Sugar Cookies, Ginger Molasses or Pecan Sandies freezer cookies, which also appeared in Chow Town.
The giant cookie sounded so good. And I was curious but worried that once again I might be lured into making an internet recipe I considered a flop. (Cloud eggs, anyone?)
The unorthodox method used to make The New York Times’ Giant Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe encapsulates some kitchen science lessons, but for the baker who is less concerned with why than how, the method creates gigantic crinkled chocolate chip cookies — crunchy-on-the-outside rings and soft and chewy in the center.
The recipe calls for a stand mixer. My friend only had a hand-held so I prepped two batches of dough before the party.
The actual baking took much longer — huge 3 1/2-ounce dough balls are placed on a cookie tray and left in the freezer for 15 minutes. (Note: Side-by-side refrigerator/freezers are genrally not wide enough to handle chilling cookie sheets, but I resorted to a second chest freezer in friend’s garage.)
The chilled dough is placed in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Every 3 minutes after that, the baker is instructed to reach in with an oven mitt and lift and drop the cookie sheet on the oven rack a few times. The puffed dough in the center deflates and pushes out in rings creating a monster cookie.
We had to sacrifice one that I mangled with the spatula: But all the moms agreed it was, indeed, if not the best, at least one of the best they had ever had.
So girls, if you’re reading this before your care package arrives, I hope the cookies make it through the mail in one piece. I know you will love them. Sorry I couldn’t figure out a way to send a quart of Shatto Milk.