December 6, 2011

the great cookie bake-off


It's responsible for so much of my behavior these days.

The good. The bad.

The highly caloric.

Pinboard claims of the "best chocolate chip cookie on the planet", and "you'll never make another cookie recipe....ever!" got my attention.

I've got several go-to cookie recipes in my arsenal, but the fam always seems to like good old chocolate chip the best.

What if I've been making sub-par chocolate chip cookies all these years?

Perish the thought.

So I gathered the ingredients for the recipe that kept catching my eye on Pinterest, and started about the twenty four hour plus process required to produce what I'd been led to believe could quite possibly be chocolate chip cookie perfection.

I followed the recipe step by step, word by word, with the exception of the bittersweet chocolate fèves, because I don't know what a fève is and I'm going to guess that whatever they are, they're not readily available in Montucky. I stuck with semi-sweet morsels, because that's just how we roll here on the farm.

I also made a batch of my tried and true and ever reliable Nestle Toll House cookies.

I felt a side-by-side comparison was in order.

It wasn't even a contest. By a wide margin, (after much sampling and milk sipping to cleanse our palates between cookies) we discovered that we are not a New York Times cookie kind of people.

We are Toll House people, through and through.

But I think, deep down, I knew that already.

I also knew that even if I was a New York Times cookie kind of person, the twenty four hour chill time required would probably be a deal breaker. We are instant cookie gratification people above all else.

So, still on the subject of cookies, I have to share my most recent and currently most favorite way to eat a cookie.

I visited my sister last month, and she introduced me to this fantastic creation - hot from the oven, baked cookie cups. With ice cream, no less.

I love ice cream.

The process is simple. The results are divine.

Grab some ramekins and some cookie dough, and have at it.

I had a surplus of cookie dough from the bake-off, so I froze it in cookie scoop sized balls. Each ramekin had two balls of thawed and then crumbled cookie dough.

Cookie cups will change your cookie world forever.

Since I had an obvious aqua color thing going on here, I called my aqua eyed neighbor Ceili to see if she felt like sitting in an aqua chair and eating cookies and ice cream out of a pretty aqua cup.

With an aqua spoon.

She did, so we had a cookies and ice cream party on my front porch.

That's a perfectly normal thing to do on a cold winter's day, isn't it?

It was windy and our eyes were watering, but we had a date with a cute striped straw and some fun convertible mittens, so we powered through.

Thank you, Ceili! You are fun! It's not just any girl who can smile and sip milk through a straw at the same time. You've got talent.

p.s. My sister and I spent a ridiculous amount of time coming up with cookie/ice cream combinations. Here are a few that are on my list to try.

Oatmeal Cookies and Cinnamon Ice Cream.
Peanut Butter Cookies and Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream. (That one might kill me.)
Brownies and Peppermint Ice Cream. My niece came up with this and said it's a winner.
Brownies and Coconut Ice Cream - my favorite sweet combination of all time.
Molasses Cookies and Pumpkin Ice Cream. Have you tried Dreyer's Pumpkin Ice Cream? Yum.
Cowboy Cookies and any kind of ice cream.

I'm sure there are many more combos that we haven't thought of....feel free to toss your ideas into the ring.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


  1. See, this is why I love you. This right here.

  2. I am lovin' this post! The color aqua makes my heart go pitter patter and chocolate chip cookies are my favorite!

  3. I love everything from the aqua & white crochet pot holders to the striped straw, the cool milk bottle but your aqua egg holder has to be the best!! Where did you ever find that gem??
    Beautiful girl with her aqua eyes!! Love reading your blog!!
    Oh ya....the cookie cups sounds awesome!!

    1. I know this is a delayed response, but I had to say I have that egg crate and you can STILL purchase it at Anthropologie here: (and now it's on sale!)

  4. I wish we were neighbors! I am seriously drooling over your pictures. You have some serious skillz, Teresa!

  5. My oh my those cookies look delish. I am glad to hear the Toll House cookies won. My fave, too. The pictures are all too too cute. Cute neighbor.

  6. What a happy post - love the turquoise (and of course the dessert too). Nice neighbour, happy too.

  7. Ceili is too cute! And the baked cookie cups sound wonderful!

  8. yum yum yum! I've gotta try those cookie cups. they caught my eye on the naughty time-thief Pinterest too! Your aqua-eyed neighbor is cute and fits in perfectly!

  9. Dear Teresa,
    You and Pinterest are bad for my waistline.

  10. i absolutely love love love love love this post...the colors and freshness. and of course the cookies - I'm with ya toll house is good - tried & true!


  11. I have that exact same vintage apple mixing bowl! I love it! As always your pics are gorgeous!

  12. I think ramekin cookies & ice cream sounds like the perfect breakfast. I only had cookies this morning -- ran out of ice cream. Poor planning on my part. That 24 hour chill thing would have stopped me in my tracks.

    Is everyone is Montucky beautiful?

  13. Where are my glasses?!

    Is everyone IN Montucky beautiful?

  14. MMMM great post. makes me want to make cookies right away. Maybe I will. In between loads of laundry and vacuuming. I love the color scheme. I am thinking this blue color for my kitchen but think my hubby wouldn't go for it. We'll see. On to making cookies. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas Season to you.

  15. This post is so stinkin' cute!! I love it. A few ??'s ... did you spray paint your canister lids aqua {if so ... excellent move ;)}? Where did you get the ice cream container?

    Thanks for the ice cream/cookie dessert idea ... I think that will be wonderful this weekend with a Christmas movie night ;).

    Happy Day!

  16. Oh my gosh, Teresa, I am sooo relieved you got onto the ice cream (and cookies, oh my!) and how about that blue/aqua stuff and ablue-eyed drop-dead gorgeous model/neighbor, plus look at all that fancy printing on blue backgrounds, and all over again, I fall completely in love with your blog. Thank you for a huge dose of beauty on a semi-dismal, nearly raining Virginia afternoon.

    Mary :)

  17. A: I think I need to move to Montucky because I swear you live in ongoing issue of Country Living.

    B: Yes to the brownies & peppermint ice cream. It's our traditional Christmas Eve dessert. And heck yes to the peanut butter cookies and chocolate peanut butter ice cream (from Baskin-Robbins of course) But NO to the oatmeal & cinnamon combo. Baskin-Robbins carried it many moons ago and my husband fell in love with it. It's been well over 10 years since they've had it but he still hopes they'll bring it back.

  18. Yes, Toll House all the way! Those cookie cups? Oh my. Plus your neighbor is gorgeous. Love the gloves and the pretty pink polish. Happy eating.

  19. Love this post!! And yes to those combinations, each and every one of them, I am so craving ice cream and cookies right now!

  20. This post was amazingly cute!
    Loved it...I love cookies too and now I am going to have to try this cookie recipe in the ramekins and ice cream!
    Aqua ramekins??!! Oh my how I'd love to find these!
    Thanks so much for this...your photos are superb!!
    What a sweetie!

    Deborah xoxoxo

  21. Oh the things you do to me. I'm in. Also, tollhouse is my go to recipe. A bowl of baked cookie dough may be in my future.

  22. This is one adorable and very well put together post!! I love all the that really all your it.
    Sounds like you had a great's always the right time for whatever makes you happy and puts a smile on your face. :)

    Thanks for all the fun and inspiring ideas you send our way ~

  23. I am seriously going to have to start buying
    aqua.....oooops, I did have some but my
    wonderful daughter that just married and
    moved to Australia took all mine! Where did
    you find such an adorable ice cream container?
    Please.....gotta have some of them. One thing
    for sure, our ice cream sold around here sure
    doesn't come in anything that cute!!!! As for
    the cookie bake-off......I have found that my
    family prefers good ole Tollhouse to any of
    the fancier recipes I've tried. (That goes
    for a lot of recipes I've tried, actually...
    guess we're too "simple" being from Tennessee!)

  24. Adorable pictures! That is my favorite shade of blue.

  25. I am digging your turquoise. I will fight you for that when we fight for the pink. Tollhouse rules but I ain't eating any..if I do the Cooper will fight me in the street. It's how she rolls.
    P.S. Blue Bunny Bordeux Cherry Chocolate if you like choc covered cherries. Not that I have eaten any if the Coop is reading ;)

  26. Sounds like you are having a grand time with all that cookie baking going on. I'd be in heaven! I'm going to have to go and buy some cups to make Cookie cups. That sounds beyond awesome! Love all the aqua filled pictures. :)

  27. Love this color--fabulous photos! Stop by and link up if you have time.

  28. I love every aqua bit or should I say bite? And I gotta say... we're not the kind of folks that chill dough for 24 hours either... in fact sometimes we don't even wait for the baking ;)

    And I really liked the porch photo shoot with all that aqua goodness.... the young ladies in your neighborhood must LOVE you... someone that wants them to dress up, or down, and take all kinds of fun and fabulous pictures... they must be in heaven!


    PS, how in the world is your brown sugar jar so crystal clear? I keep mine in a very similar jar and you're making me feel the need to empty the sugar out and give it a good scrubbing....

  29. I may just camp out here for the night and put myself into the most delicious, self-induced aqua coma.

    'Fess up. Did you paint your jar lids?

    I tried that recipe as well and didn't find it worth the wait. However, I also tried the one that has cornstarch in it (with no wait) and found it to be quite impressive.

  30. Gotta love all that aqua going on there:) So love chocolate chip cookies, and ours are always the Toll-house kind too. The pictures turned out beautiful. I am going to show this to my daughter-in-law right away because she is so crazy about aqua!

  31. Oh, I know the answer to this question, owning an ice cream store! We made ice cream cookie sandwiches of all kinds. They don't sell all that well, so inevitably my husband has to bring me home the surplus cookies. :) My current favorite is ginger snaps with cinnamon ice cream. But you can't beat the classic chocolate chip cookie with death by chocolate ice cream.

    Also, there's no other chocolate cookie for me besides Toll House! A friend of mine from out of state made them here (at 7000 ft) with the high altitude directions and they came out all plump and raised. I wonder if that's what they're supposed to be like! All these years, I've been eating flat, crispy Toll House cookies, but that's the way I love them!

  32. I love the aqua too, it definitely makes my heart sing! I Pinned your cookie dough recipe.

  33. Can you special order aquaa m&m's? if so, you should whip up a batch of Bakerella's Cowboy Cookies....same as Martha's but with M&M's in them. Delish!
    and YES, Tollhouse are wonderful, but I did find a Taste of Home recipe I'm rather fond of AND it makes 11 dozen! perfect to freeze half the dough for later!

  34. I love your blog....I am totally inspired by your photography and love your style!! I may have to add some aqua to my white/grey theme. Oh, and bake some cookies for my soldier coming home for Christmas.


  35. How can we follow you on Pinterest?

  36. She really does have aqua eyes! What a beautiful girl! Pinterest really is fun... I've recently started to play with it. I love your ramekin cookie idea and think I will give it a try this weekend when I invite my best friend over. Now off to find some ramekins that are pretty. Merry Christmas to you!!

  37. fab-u-lus and adorable. made me smile. oh and now I want cookie dough. Now!

  38. Just kill me now I want a cookie!!!
    I love your home and your shiny brite ornaments and your gardens! Cute cute cute and now I want a cookie!

  39. Auntie,
    I have a new, marvelous pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe that I think would pair nicely with the pumpkin ice cream. I'm all for as much pumpkin as you can cram into one dessert. I was also noticing FM has a gingerbread ice cream this year. Now that would be awesome paired with molasses cookies.

  40. Your "great cookie bake off" made me giggle out loud!! I recently "tried another" and found out I am a "Toll House" gal as well . . .

    Each time I visit you I am struck with sometimes the "first finds" turn out to last through the many!

    It is ALWAYS my best visit . . .

  41. What an adorable post!! Your photography also captures my attention, and then throw in the aqua. Too funny about the recipe. We are definitely tollhouse people too!

  42. What an adorable post!! Your photography also captures my attention, and then throw in the aqua. Too funny about the recipe. We are definitely tollhouse people too!

  43. Your post is a hoot! Thanks for having me LOL at work.

  44. it is a wonderful time of the year! What a fun post. We will definitely try the cookie cup thing! Toll House all the way! A month long birthday celebration. And by the way, where did all the lovely aqua items come from?

  45. Love this post! Love the photography!! You can make anything look beautiful & magazine worthy!

  46. Please tell Ceili that she is absolutely beautiful! Love every photo. Aqua, ice cream and cookies...who can beat that combo! Cheers :)

  47. Love it! Now can I please steal your aqua ramekins?!

    Kat :)

  48. Pinterset is taking over my evenings whether its beautiful homes or amazing food, I have a feeling that we are Toll house cookie people but never heard of them over here in Ireland, will have to try them very soon, love the post so pretty as is Ceili,

  49. so beautiful!!! everything :) i'm in looooove with that color!! thanks for the heads up about that recipe. i think pinterest is a black hole!!!! i have to watch it when i get near it :)

  50. Hello,

    I hopped over here from Goose Hill Farm. Your photo was intriguing, but - WOW – how much more amazing are all these wonderful photos! What spectacular photography. You make me want to rethink my own blog.

    I love that pretty egg holder; I have never seen anything like it.

    The colors in your photos are absolutely lovey!

    I have a brand new blog and am having a little Merry Christmas Giveaway. It is a very simple item, but it is my very first giveaway ever!


  51. Great Post Theresa! And thanks for the bake-off. I also pinned that recipe to try, and now I don't need to. Stick with what ya know I guess. (It just makes my day when I see a new post on Meadowbrook Farm- Thanks!)

  52. When one of my kids was in elementary school, she did a project comparing chilled/room temp cookie dough. Hands down, room temp wins at our house,too. It's the chewiness factor, I think!

  53. I agree. Toll House cookies rock! I always have some in my freezer. And I always get asked for the recipe for my delish cookies. Its' easy, I say, just look on the yellow package. Don't underestimate a timeless classic.

  54. Have you seen the chocolate chip cookie bowls on Pinterest? ( I bet you'd love those too... and they'd hold a larger portion of ice cream, if that's your vice. ;) But I will most certainly give these little cookie bowls a try. I love food that served in little individual-sized bakeware.

  55. A truly beautiful post - and the cookies sound sensational :)
    mary x

  56. She is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Wow what amazing pics, and a beautifl post.

  57. I love the aqua turquoise kitchenware. Your cookies in a ramekin look devine. I think I need to buy myself ramekins for Christmas! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

  58. Love the aqua photos. Everything looks so real that I could just grab some cookies to each while I am reading thru your blog.

  59. I'm so glad you figured this out for me. Now I'll just stick to the tried and true recipe. Your aqua photos are beautiful!

  60. Firstly, Pinterest is the devil.

    Secondly, I have yet to find a Pinterest recipe that lives up to its fame. But I can't stop pinning.

  61. This is so great!
    Could you please let us know, where to buy these adorable icecream container?
    I would love to use them at my wedding.
    Aqua & brown are our colors ;)
    Love from Germany

  62. Where did you find the aqua ramekins? I'm on the hunt for some for my friend's birthday present, and these are perfect:)

  63. Okay, I'm a total Nestle Toll House cookie recipe girl, too. However, I know a Mennonite woman who sells her goods and through much cajoling and years of friendship, she finally gave me her greatest cookie hint.
    Now, I'm giving it to you!!
    Same Toll House recipe ~ however, add one small box of vanilla pudding mix (dry, not prepared). It makes the cookies chewy, just the right thickness, and soft. They STAY that way until they are all eaten... days, even! It's amazing and doesn't change the taste one bit. Yum...
    I hope you try it!

  64. Love this! I just found you through A Diamond In The Stuff, who did a post on the color aqua and linked to this post of yours. I love the color aqua and want all of your aqua ramekins, jars, scoops, egg dish, the aqua ice cream tub...and Ceili's aqua eyes! So pretty!