It's getting on holiday time, and in the US among other things that means a lot of baking of treats. Cookies are about my favorite thing to make, they are usually fairly easy to do (if you have a recipe and ingredients), don't take overly too much time to do, and you can enjoy the smells and tastes as you go along. Plus they are easy to share.
We have tried one new idea, and that's the group cookie party. This is where you invite some friends over, have them bring along stuff to bake their favorite cookies; either ask them to bring along all the ingredients or pass the recipe so you can gather everything. Some cookies require time for the dough to rise or settle, if so they then bring along the pre-prepared stuff ready to bake. Five or six friends make for a nice group, have plenty of wine around as a counterpoint to the sweet cookies, and just bake up lots. Then split them up so everybody gets an equal share of everything. That way you've got an assortment of home made cookies you might not have made yourself.
As an alternative this year I thought I'd send bags of parts out to some friends and have them all bake the same cookies, and share the results via photo. Kind of hard to taste them when you are far apart, and much more fun if you pick friends who haven't done this type before.
So I picked three people that appear to like to cook and shipped off bags of chocolate bits, with a recipe on the back on how to make traditional American Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. This really started because Udge said something about cookie recipes. So I shipped some off to him (haven't received any response yet there) along with Clare. She didn't know they would spread out on cooking, and ending up with a gloriously large cookie. I don't know why she cut it up, that way she could have eaten only one and really enjoyed herself. Guess she wanted to share.
I also sent some to Lisa, who didn't make cookies but bickies (whatever those are). As proof she included a recent local events calendar as proof they were just made. They still look good, whatever you call them.
Well, here's the way I make them. From mixing bowl out onto cookie sheets. They are made with Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bits. In addition to what's on the recipe printed on the bag I add some cinnamon, walnuts and raisins.
I use the double layer cookie sheets so as to keep the bottoms from getting too crisp. And out of the oven.
And on to the cooling racks. I like them chewy rather than crispy, so I just do the eleven minutes the recipe suggests.
Of course you have to try each tray full, just to be sure they came out OK. And they are so much nicer warm.
So if any of you are overseas and want to try your hand, make some up and send me the pics, and if these chips aren't available, email me and I'll send you a bag.
As the weeks progress I promise pics of the other varieties we will be doing. I say we, as I do most of the goodie baking, but B does have some old family recipes for pecan sandies and some other good ones. Email me if you want recipes.
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