The Perfect Cookie & The Easiest Fudge

Inspired in part by my new favourite Hagen Daaz ice cream (Mayan Chocolate), in part by the cookie exchange that was coming up (The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap), and in part by my constant desire to make the perfect cookie (I am a perfectionist, what can I say?!) - I came up with this recipe - after about 10 different attempts.

I wanted a cookie that would be chewy, but not cakey. Flavourful, but not greasy. Soft, even after it cooled. Crisp on the outside. Chocolate chip, but not boring.

I wanted my cookie to have it all!

I wanted my cookie to be worthy of the wonderful food bloggers that I would be sending it to!

I wanted my cookie to be... perfect!

In every journey, we learn things along the way that we did not know before. So what did I learn in my quest for the perfect cookie? I learned that nothing, not even a cookie, can be perfect.  (Though, I've managed to get it pretty damn close.) I learned that a lot of the texture is about the process, and not the ingredients. I learned that I still don't like chocolate chips. But, most importantly, I learned that my roommate is able to polish off 2 dozen cookies in the span of 15 minutes. (On that note, I also learned that leaving cookies in the cookie jar most likely means that there will be none left for me.)

In my exchange, I was given the challenge of someone who was following a gluten-free diet due to fibromyalgia. Because of this, she would not be able to eat any cookies made with regular flour. Though I tried a couple of GF recipes, I did not feel they were good enough to give away, so I came up with an even better idea: chocolate meltaways (aka, super creamy fudge.)

I thought this was a perfect compromise, because, well, there are two types of people in this world:
1: people who like fudge. 2: Liars.

Mayan Chocolate Chip Cookies
an original recipe by allison sklar

what you'll need

1/2 cup crisco vegetable shortening
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 tbsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp rock salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used multiple varieties)

how to do it
Combine shortening, butter and sugars. Cream until smooth. (An electric mixer works best for this).
Add in egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet mixture, but do not overmix. Cover dough and chill for at least one hour. Scoop spoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheet, about half an inch apart.
Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 8 minutes. Cookies will appear light when done. This is good, as it means they will remain soft. (Baking for longer will result in crunchy cookies!)

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Peppermint Fudge (Gluten-Free)
modified version of "Chocolate Meltaways,"
Food Network Magazine, December 2013

what you'll need
2 cups chocolate chips
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
few drops peppermint extract
5-6 crushed candy canes

how to do it
in a medium saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the shortening, stirring constantly with a spatula. Drop in peppermint drops and stir. Pour into greased, floured (I used arrowroot flour to keep this gluten-free) 6x6 pan. Chill for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with candy cane pieces, and continue to chill until hardened, about an hour. Cut into squares and serve.

VARIATION: Mayan Chocolate Fudge: Omit peppermint and add 2 tsp of cinnamon. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.


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