COOOOKIES. I’m not blue and fuzzy nor am I a total maniacal pig monster but if you get me close to a pile of fresh-out-the-oven perfect chocolate chip cookies, I really do tend to tornado-devour ’em. I can’t stop. It’s been a lifelong search for the superior chocolate chip cookie recipe. Crucial requirements: non cakey, non puffy, crisp at the edges yet chewy elements, not too crazy sweet with a generous salty vibe … and of course that melty creamy chocolate in every bite. I thought I had found it before … but these cookies… these cookies take the CAKE.
I was finally craving cookies on the weekend, and I even felt like baking… and Milk Bar Life got to me just in time (thanks Auntie for the book!) I had gotten through my first round of chemo in early April. It felt too surreal to be true, sitting there hooked up to an IV, my bags of drugs dripping down into a vein in my hand, sitting there as the clock ticked by (we were there 8 hours in total!). Me – a healthy woman with colour in my cheeks and muscle on my body, knowingly filling my body up with poison. It was like waiting for a bomb to go off as I waited for those dreaded side effects to kick in and they finally rolled in like dark clouds. A haze of achy discomfort – my body twitched in tiny spurts of inside-pain and I imagined all of those happy good cells dying off and floating away, drowned in drugs. I felt feverish, itchy all over – my face flushed red – I felt like I had eaten a poison apple in a fairy tale gone awry. I was bedridden but couldn’t get comfortable and my mind was a muddy fog, but I laid on my side and glazed through the Mindy Project, Say Anything, Beautiful Girls – shows and movies that felt light enough to watch. Teddy would jump on my bed and entertain me and show me silly things, and I’d read him stories before bed, one of my favourite things. However, by day 5 the side effects were subsiding – my energy was crawling back and the sun was out. My appetite came back, and my mind was on fire with all the things I wanted to eat but my stomach was saying “oh hell no, lady!”. Fried chicken, pizza, banana splits … after a week of Digestive cookies and watered down Gatorade, I was feeling pretty ravenous! So yeah. Making, baking and EATING freshly baked chocolate chip cookies – it was a good feeling all around!
I didn’t mess with Tosi’s wicked simple chocolate chip recipe much at all. I didn’t have chocolate chips (huh!) so I chopped up some Lindt “Surfin” (I always think of Weezer when I use this chocolate) dark chocolate pieces and I used good old flakey crystal-y Maldon sea salt because I love the teensy salty crunch it gives cookies… yum. The Milk Bar Life cookbook itself is an exercise in bonkers wacky wild supermarket ingredient fuelled recipes, from a Ritz cracker, grape jelly and Cool Whip icebox cake to fish cooked in pickle juice. The book pays homage to some grand old gals of middle America, and for a little Chinese Canadian Vancouver girl like myself, reading it is like an anthropological study of what white kids in America might’ve grown up eating… Fascinating. Milk Bar sounds like a fun place to work if you ask me! Jokes, snacks, cool ladies, blasting tunes, camaraderie, hard work and churning out wildly delicious products – good stuff.
Milk Bar Life Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
For the cookies
- ½ pound 2 sticks, also known as 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and just warm to the touch
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk powder, crucial!
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Maldon salt flakes
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups chopped high quality semi sweet or dark chocolate pieces, or 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips!
Make the cookies!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugars with a wooden spoon until mixture is combined and homogenous.
- Add the egg and vanilla, stirring until combined.
- Mix in the flour, milk powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until just combined – don’t overmix!
- Fold in the chocolate pieces or chocolate chips. The dough might seem a bit wet but it baked up nicely.
- Dole out the cookie batter using a 2 ¾ ounce ice cream scoop, or use your hands. Keep the balls 2 to 3 inches apart! Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely on the pan (if you can wait that long to chow on them).