I remember one Halloween when I wanted to be a gypsy as I answered the door and gave away the treats (I’d turned thirteen – way too grown-up to be wandering around and asking for candy!). My mother decided that, to keep with the gypsy theme, I would give away cookies with a fortune tucked inside each plastic-wrapped treat. We worked together and stacked them neatly into a decorated Pringles can.
My Aunt Leola used to make dozens of chocolate chip cookies and freeze them for later baking. They were tiny – just a tablespoon of dough that would remain a small pile of chips and nuts even after baking. We popped those tasty morsels into our mouths while watching television at the end of busy days of being with family. My parents always wondered what her secret was.
As a teenager, I watched cookie places pop up in food courts. Their larger cookies attracted my eyes and I purchased my share to munch as I wandered through the mall. The giant cookie took hold and people brought them to parties, decorated them for special occasions, and restaurants even added them to their menus.
Now, when you go into a restaurant, cookies remain large. Thick cakey cookies have become the norm in the food world. They sit on the edge of counters as an ending to your burrito or sandwich. Coffee shops stack them in large clear jars to tempt you as you pay for your hot drink. Bakeries layer them in trays so you’ll grab a dozen for your party.
I like those cookies – don’t get me wrong! I’ve definitely eaten one with my tea, after my lunch, or in the car on the way home from the store (I deserved a reward after all that shopping!).
However, my favorite cookies are smaller. They are made in a home and stacked perilously on a dinner plate. The edges are crisp and the middles remain a teensy bit moist.
Last night, we had dinner with our neighbors as a little goodbye. She is on her way to teach in Africa for a month and we wanted to give her a dinner of foods she wouldn’t get for a while. As a bit of a last minute thing, we ordered pizza and threw together a salad. To make it a little more special, I opened one of our bottles of good wine (La Chertosa Reserve Sonoma Valley Sangiovese 2009, in case you want to know) and mixed up a half-batch of chocolate chip cookies.
Now, I have a great chocolate chip cookie recipe from my father that I usually use, but that one is packed right now, so I just pulled an ingredient list from AllRecipes.com.
After mixing them up, I used my regular tablespoon scoop to put them on a pan.
They easily fit a dozen per cookie sheet.
Now, I don’t know how many cookies you usually bake, but I got 39 cookies out of that half-batch.
Because the cookies were smaller, no one felt bad about snagging two rather than just one. No one broke a cookie in half to share with someone else. And, since they had just come out of the oven earlier in the afternoon, the chocolate chips were still a little gooey, the edges were still crisp, and the middles still retained their moistness. They made the perfect ending to our impromtu dinner party.
With all of the super-sizing and enlargement of portions, I like the relief of my small homemade cookies. They fill a need in my life for a touch of sweetness at the end of the meal without overwhelming my palate. I can share them with neighbors and colleagues without making them feel guilty for indulging. And the smaller size also means that even this half-recipe produced over three dozen cookies! If I’d thought about it, I would have frozen the other two dozen for baking in the future.
Yep. I’m a small cookie fan and proud of it! Join me in the revolution!