The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
A Giant Cookie Spread to Share
Social media recipes have really gained momentum in the last five years, and nobody has capitalized on this trend like some of the stars in the Food Network world. Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, who was one of the last people I would have expected to start an Instagram account, posts her recipes almost daily. Martha Stewart has also taken advantage of the social media recipe frenzy as well as Nigella Lawson, Valerie Bertinelli and Rachael Ray. When I was active on social media, much more then than I am now, I would also jump on the bandwagon and post “step by step” recipes that would then share a link for people to visit my website. There for about 6 months straight, I had an average of 2,500 new viewers a day. I have, deliberately, stepped away from checking the “page views” on my website and switched over to posting and sharing recipes that are my favorites and those that I want to be featured.
A few years ago, Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, shared arecipe for something called a “Spread” on her Instagram story section. It looked simple and delicious, so I had to try it. I am so glad I did! It turned out amazing! What is a “Spread” exactly? Basically, it is just a cookie that is “spread” onto the baking sheet and baked, then topped with chocolate, cinnamon-sugar or candy. The options for this is endless really. This would make a delicious birthday “cake” for someone who does not really enjoy cake, would be perfect for reunions or pitch-ins and is right up the ally of anyone looking to make something, fairly easy, that can serve a crowd. The first time I made this, I followed the instructions and used chocolate chips. However, after that first try, I then expanded and used white chocolate, broken pretzel pieces and chocolate candy on top. The third time I tried it, I transformed it into a giant snickerdoodle cookie and drizzled the finished cookie with caramel and butterscotch ice cream topping. The sky is the limit here!
Giant Cookie Spread
Leftovers can be kept, covered at room temperature, for up to two days.
2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter and packed light brown sugar.
Beat together until light in color and fluffy in texture.
Beat in the large egg.
Beat in the pure vanilla extract and salt.
Stir in the white all-purpose flour.
Place dough into the center of the parchment lined baking sheet.
Using a knife, spread the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1/3-inch thick.
Bake, in preheated oven, for 20 minutes.
Remove and sprinkle on chocolate chips.
Place back into the oven for 4 minutes.
Remove and smooth out the warmed chocolate chips, creating a smooth topping, using a knife or the back of a spoon.
Allow to cool at room temperature.
Cut and serve.
Ask and Answer: I have been getting questions about how to tell if stick butter has gone bad. First off, check the color. If the outside is darker in color than the inside, it has gone bad. There may also be a slightly sour smell and taste. I always say, when in doubt, throw it out. Stick butter is best kept, for long term storage, in the freezer. Unsalted butter freezes the best.