Monday, June 1, 2009

Gift from Birthing Class

When I was pregnant with Bria, I followed the natural pattern and was nauseated by nearly all food. At an elaborate feast (put on by my mother) of shredded pork burritos with cilantro-lime rice, homemade tortillas, saucy black beans, and other Mexican delights, I could only bring myself to eat tortillas slathered in sour cream. In addition to shunning all food with flavor, wheat bread and scrambled eggs were also banished. But my appetite slowly returned around month four and I found myself in the grasp of a seriously tenacious sweet tooth. I even made a special trip to the grocery store to buy a cake mix, a tub of frosting, and a jar of sprinkles. I came home, made the cake, and ate the cake. No questions asked (actually, I'm sure Sam asked questions about that one). But as my sweet tooth narrowed its gaze, I constantly desired-- and constantly devoured-- cookies. Any kind of cookie, really. I made cookies two or three times a week my entire third trimester. (Let's pretend I didn't have gestational diabetes.) I was constantly on the prowl for a perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I tried probably ten different recipes until the heavens opened at my birthing class. Every week, my teacher, Katherine, provided us with gourmet treats (again, let's pretend I didn't have gestational diabetes). One week, she presented us with chocolate chip cookies. As soon as I bit into the cookie, I knew my search was over. I had found the perfect chocolate chip cookie. These cookies are chewy (my favorite), but they aren't so flat you only taste the chocolate. They stay soft for days (though they never last that long at my house). And, as with all cookies, they are perfectly accompanied by a glass of cold milk. I was thrilled when Katherine obliged to share the recipe. The number of times I have made these cookies since then cannot be numbered. The key to this cookie is three-fold. 1) A combination of butter and shortening creates the perfect texture. 2) Sour cream gives a tang to balance the sweetness. 3) A short oven time followed by carry-over cooking on the baking sheet makes a perfectly golden cookie without over-drying.

Behold, I give you the recipe for Hypnobirthing Chocolate Chip Cookies, courtesy of Katherine Reed:

1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c butter (as close to room temp as possible-- better melty than too firm though)
1/2 c shortening (I use butter flavored)
2 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 c (plus a tiny more) flour
2 T sour cream
Chocolate chips to your heart's desire (one bag usually does the trick)

Cream sugars, butter, shortening, eggs. Add vanilla. Combine dry ingredients then mix into wet ingredients. Add a little flour so that the dough is
slightly crumbly, then add sour cream. Add chocolate chips. Scoop onto a cookie sheet (I use a #70) and bake for 8-9 minutes at 375. Remove cookies (they won't look done, but they should have started to crack on top). Leave on cookie sheet for 3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

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