Even though Hopie’s Kitchen beat me to it, I can’t help but to write about my first attempt at making The. World’s. Best. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ever. I am referring, of course, to the top-secret Doughmonkey chocolate chip cookie recipe. (Sorry, I’m not giving away the secret – and anyway, they didn’t come out perfectly in my Parisian kitchen, so I may have some tweaking to do.)
Let me back up. Our apartment complex (it seems weird to call it that, considering it’s nothing at all like an American apartment complex, but seeing as it is a collection of buildings, containing apartments and offices, sharing a gate, that’s the best phrase to describe it, I guess) had a party yesterday for all the residents. It was a potluck-type deal, and I decided as soon as the signs were posted that I would be bringing chocolate chip cookies. If there’s one thing I’ve made more than anything else in the last few years my life, it’s them. Even after we closed the retail shop in favor of wholesale desserts, I was still going through around 500 of these puppies a week. People can’t get enough of them.
Gathering the ingredients wasn’t hard – except that chocolate chips don’t seem to exist here. I chopped a bar of 64% chocolate and used that instead, but this mid-quality French chocolate lacks a certain trait that makes Hershey’s chips so good for cookies. Namely, chopped chocolate melts in the oven. Hershey’s chips don’t. I don’t know why, and I don’t particularly like to think about it, but it sure makes the cookies come out pretty.
Not that a gooey, melty chocolate chip cookie is a bad thing. At the party yesterday, neighbors would come up and introduce themselves, and ask if I was the one who had made “les cookies.” I was glad they were such a hit, despite not coming out exactly as I had expected. (I think my scale has some accuracy issues.) All four dozen cookies (minus the couple that I had to eat for quality control purposes) disappeared in the space of about two hours. I was pleased and surprised, considering there were about three different kinds of brownies on the table as well. But then, just because they looked a little flat doesn’t mean they didn’t taste great, and I knew it.
I got into a conversation with the artist who lives downstairs about how cookies are the one pastry that Americans have got over France. He reluctantly agreed, and when I explained that it was a common activity for children to bake cookies with their mothers (at least it was in my house) he conceded that it was something to be proud of.
Looking at these pictures again, I’m wishing I had hoarded some, because now I’m out of sugar.