This summer heat is working me over like crazy and even the sweat beads on my brow are becoming frustrated. Its like the sun has a vendetta and its unleashing hell and taking names, literally. But as far as I’m concerned it could never be too hot to eat chocolate or break into a textbook chocolate chip cookie. Chocolate chip cookies are my sacred-kind of childhood snack and you may call me a snob when it comes down to it. I mean, cookies run rampid on the inter webs, being stuffed with nutella and laced with truffles for the so-called ‘real foodies’ but you can keep those. I’m somewhat of a purist when it comes to the circular, sometimes amoeba-shaped little puckets that pair so well with cold milk and shakes alike. Yes, milkshakes and cookies are sheer perfection, just ask my inner eight year old, he’ll tell you all about it.
Goo Goo Clusters were the equivalency of currency in our home and a treat to be savored upon the completion of one’s chores. My mother kept them tucked into the third shelf of what was better known as the snack cabinet. There were bags of Doritos, Moon Pies, Oreos and Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, because those were my dad’s vice along with bottled coke.
I remember being in the line at the grocery store and spying the sweet treat laced with peanuts and dipped in chocolate sitting snug in the silver packages on the shelf. They were always calling my name and appealing to every desire in my four and a half foot being. Whenever I received my allowance I typically bought whatever I saw first because the money was ‘burning my pockets’ as my mom would say, and back then you could find the Goo Goos three for a dollar. So quite naturally I bought six.
I find joy in partaking in the most simplistic forms of dessert. I have a great appreciation for those creatives who taking something ordinary and make it extra-ordinary, but at the heart of it, all I desire is the textbook chocolate chip cookie, a moist slice of chocolate cake with the perfect amount of frosting, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maybe a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce. I went on the search for a cookie recipe that gave me the crunch around the edges, the chew in the center and the cookie that when you bit into it, nothing else matters and just for a moment–for a brief and satisfactory moment, you are the only person that matters. And I hope to give that to you today with these cookies. Now, remember to read all the way through the recipe before you begin, and definitely space your cookies the three inches apart because the nougat and caramel will cause your cookies to spread significantly, but thats not a bad thing in this case. Enjoy.
Goo Goo Cluster Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melt slightly & allow to cool slightly
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Nielsen Massey vanilla
2 cups chopped Goo Goo Cluster chunks (Original & Supreme)
1/2 cup of %60 cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Cover your sheet pans with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
3. Beat together melty butter & sugars in a large bowl with a Kitchen-aid mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, but do it gradually so you don’t have a mess on your hands, about 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly beat 1 egg with a fork in a bowl & add 1 3/4 tablespoons of it plus 2 remaining whole eggs to the butter mixture, beating with mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and mix in the flour mixture until just blended, then stir in Goo Goo chunks & chocolate chips.
4. Scoop 1/4 cup batter for each cookie, placing the portions 3 inches apart, on 2 baking sheets. Flatten mounds into 3-inch rounds using moistened palm of your hand. Form remaining cookies on additional sheet pans.
5. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Remember that oven temps vary so keep an eye on your cookies. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool and continue baking off the rest of your batter and cook it off.
Note: I have tried this recipe after dough has been frozen so I’m not sure how well it would work out but if you try it let me know!