I believe everyone should have one cookie recipe that they know by heart — one that can be easily whipped together to welcome new babies, offer up at potlucks and make on a whim when you need a touch of sweet homemade comfort.
For some people, that cookie is a basic chocolate chip. For others, it’s a rough and tumble mix of oats, nuts and dried fruit. And I know other folks who can make peanut butter or sugar cookies with their eyes closed.
The basic requirements of this type of cookie are that the ingredients can be kept in the kitchen cupboard, that you need only a bowl or two to make it, that it drops from spoon to baking sheet with ease (no roll-out cookies need apply) and that it tastes good. Being sturdy enough to withstand the U.S. Postal Service is not required, but it’s a plus.
Before I got married, my go-to cookie was one that featured oatmeal, toasted pecans and plenty of chocolate chips. And while I still do make this cookie on a regular basis to share with friends, it does not delight my husband as much as it does me. So I’ve been on the hunt for a sturdy, easy-to-make, pantry-friendly cookie that pleases us both.
At the moment, the cookie in our top spot is Trisha Yearwood’s Brownie Batter Cookie. It’s a dense, rich and chocolatey bite of cookie pleasure. If you have a chocolate-lover in your household, these cookies should rocket to the top of your Weekender list.
Before you start baking, read these tips:
— The recipe calls for a stand mixer. They mix up just as well, however, with a hand-held mixer or even a wooden spoon.
— If a full batch of cookies is too much for your household, portion the dough onto a rimmed baking sheet and pop it in the freezer. Once the cookies are frozen, tumble them into a plastic storage bag and stash them back in the freezer. You can bake off a few at a time, whenever you need a treat.
— For those days when you need something extra-indulgent, sandwich a scoop of vanilla ice cream in between two cookies.
Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.