This makes me twitch…

I have a powerlifting meet in Vegas on December 1.  My company has a policy about a vacation blackout in November and December.  In order to get to this meet, I need one day, November 30th off.  I have not missed a day since I got hired.  I’m now 9 months without a sick day.  (Although I’m now fighting a cold and might miss a day later this week if I don’t beat it).  My boss did not see it fit to let me take that day off.  Now I’m faced with flying, which one, I can’t really afford and two, I hate flying, or not going and defending my own world record.  One day dude.  Buy a clue.  Needless to say, his response sent me to the moon yesterday, and when I’m angry at work, I surf the internet.

Yesterday, I was trying desperately to not give in to the  cookie craving.   There’s a Specialty’s around the corner from my office and they make the best chocolate chip cookies.  I would know.  Back in 1981, the last time the title business took a powder, I worked for Mrs. Fields.  The real Mrs. Fields, not the corporate franchiser.  I was part of a team that brought Mrs. Field’s Cookies to Santa Barbara.  I was their Crew Leader Baker back then.  There was one baker faster than me and he worked in Union City at the corporate distribution center for mail orders.  Yeah, I was bad ass.  Back then the recipe was a great mystery.  It was well protected.  The sugar pack came from one source, the flour pack from another.  We added eggs, vanilla and chips into the big Hobart in the back.  I could not leave well enough alone, so I weighed the incoming flour pack and the incoming sugar packs to begin to deconstruct her recipe.  What I discovered was that the ratios were very similar to those on the back of the package of Nestle Semi-Sweet chocolate pieces.  The plain old Toll House recipe.  As the Crew Leader Baker, I knew that she did not bake them at the heat that Nestle recommended.  Mrs. Fields’ cookies are baked at 300 degrees in a convection oven.  In 1981 a convection oven was unheard of, and I didn’t know what it was, but I did take note of it.  Now I own a convection oven, it’s funny how things evolve.

Since the time that I worked for Mrs. Fields there has been a dirth of letters and emails claiming to be the Mrs. Fields recipe.  Sometimes an attorney was charged $250 by Neiman Marcus (Needles Markup), sometimes it’s Nordstrom, but essentially the message is the same.  I can remember receiving this recipe in the mail before the internet.   I knew it was wrong because I’d deconstructed the original.  Yesterday, in my internet surfing I decided to see if I could find the real Mrs. Fields’ cookie recipe.  So I googled Mrs. Fields+recipe and got 93,600 results.  That was really insane, but I was pretty pissed so looking at 93,600 recipes yesterday was in fact in the cards.  But, I get bored easily so it was time to google something else.  So I googled Debbi Fields and found her own website.  Whenever I see a website for someone famous that looks like this, I figure someone else stole her name.  Then I clicked on the bio and it really was her bio.  Then I clicked on recipes and there was the real Mrs. Fields cookie recipe.  Now don’t we all feel stupid?

Blue-Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen Preheat oven to 300° F.

In medium bowl combine flour, soda, and salt. Mix well with wire whisk. Set aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer blend sugars at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla extract, and mix at medium speed until just blended. Do not overmix.

Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips, and blend at low speed until fully combined. Do not overmix.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 18 – 22 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies immediately to a cool surface with a spatula.

In the stores they use parchment paper, which I believe makes a difference.  The real secret to Mrs. Fields’ cookies is the quality of ingredients she uses.  Use real quality butter, flour, sugar, and for God’s sake use something better than Nestle’s chips.

One Reply to “This makes me twitch…”

  1. When I worked at ELNK, people I didn’t even know knew me as The Cookie Lady. Secret? Tollhouse cookie recipe for one batch of cookies. Two bags chocolate chunk chips (preferrably ghiradelli’s).

    I have fried the motors of hand mixers with this recipe.

    Now I use a kitchenaid stand mixer.

    As for the day off… Remember you always have two options: 1. Ask for permission 2. Beg for forgivness.

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