Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vanilla Extract and Super Quick Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vanilla is incredible. Isn't it just totally amazing that we use this pod from an orchid, what once was the equivalent to the vanilla flower's ovary, to flavor and scent so much? It's just such an incredible super star. When I have vanilla bean pods in my hands I feel so rich (for good reason--they are expensive!) that I don't even want to use them sometimes. That's why when I saw Felicia from Muffins are Ugly Cupcakes write about making vanilla extract I knew what I had to do. Make it! I knew it was simple, having read about it before. Why hadn't I done this earlier?? Especially since getting a tip from Marisa of Food in Jars on where to find less expensive vanilla bean pods, plus a great vanilla syrup recipe. Now I can drink vanilla extract for breakfast if I want! One cup of vodka plus three vanilla beans sitting around for two months--that's all it takes.

While I was mixing this concoction I was struck by a need for chocolate chip cookies. But it's the new year, I whined, we said we'd stop so much sugar! I have been reading so many wonderful, heartfelt resolutions on various blogs and all I have to say is I want chocolate chip cookies? And easy ones? That you can mix in a processor? It's really very disgusting and I apologize for this. Everyone is sick of cookies, I know. But, I've been sick this whole year (it's true!) and all sorts of unfortunate things have been happening that I felt I deserved some coddling.

My addicted self triumphed over it's very weak conscientious self, and thus cookies were born. I made these in a food processor (I do not own a stand mixer, yet another reason for self pity) while holding a teething and irritable toddler. When the desire is there you can do just about anything. I thought these were great, but it might be the cold talking. These are desperation cookies, not perfection cookies. You know the saying: starve a fever, feed a cold cookies! This makes a little batch so you can make six now and stash the rest in the fridge for the next jones you get.

Add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of butter (one stick) in your food processor. Cream them. Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (one day it will be your own brew) and one egg. Pulse. Add 1 1/4 cups of flour and 1/4 tsp. baking powder, and 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Mix until gathered into ball. Roll it and wrap in saran wrap to chill for a few hours. Slice some cookies and bake at 375 for about ten minutes. Eat them all while your toddler isn't looking.


  1. Hi there, O addicted one!

    Nice photo. Easy recipe. Think you were so chocintoxicated you forgot the chips. How many?
    Hope you're feeling better, and today is Epiphany so maybe you'll get lucky and some wise person will bring you a mixer.

  2. Leslie, thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!
    I know! (Slaps hand on forehead.) I realized I forgot the chips, but you beat me to it. It's now been added (1/3 cup). That's how bad this week has been...
    Glad it's Epiphany; I need one. A wise person bearing a mixer wouldn't be half bad, either.

  3. OMG! That is so easy! Thanks for sharing! Now I have a good reason to go out and buy myself a good bottle of vodka!

  4. yay julia!
    welcome to the vanilla extract makers club hahaha!

  5. I take used vanilla pods and stick them into jars of sugar. It makes everything better.

    And I still have trouble believing that people use the word "vanilla" as a pejorative.

  6. Is it wrong that I hid chocolates that were supposed to go into the kids stockings and now I'm sitting here eating them to avoid making cookies?

    I hear ya!

  7. Christine- I know, right??? Get a big bottle so you can drink the leftovers. Waste(d) not, want not!

    Felicia- I am SO glad I'm in!

    Peter- I have fond childhood memories of sticking my snout in the sugar jar. Haven't done it lately though, unbelievably. Have to change that up.

    Annette- It was a mistake. You just "misplaced" that chocolate. Right?? (Say yes.)

  8. I started the year out wanting cookies as well. Totally normal. I love your post on vanilla. It's such a beautiful, tropical, intoxicatingly delicious ingredient. I buy giant bottles on the internet, but I may try this at home :)

  9. Thanks for understanding, Erika! You should totally make this. Start now. I've got only 1.75 months to go!