“Follow the recipe,” says Mindy Segal, James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and author of incredible cookie cookbook Cookie Love. “The No.1 mistake is people don’t follow the recipe. Someone took the time to write it down, so why would you change it? The recipes in people’s cookbooks are the stories of careers, and you’ll find that out if you read the stories leading up to the recipes.”

Segal takes cooking seriously—something that’s evident from the way she runs Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, her craft food cafe and dessert bar in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood (and yes, the hot chocolate is great).

“I run the ship,” she says. “I’m tough—I have to be. It’s a male-dominated field, but there are a lot of great women, a lot of tough bitches! And I think you need to have balance.

“I always had a passion for food; it grounded me a lot. Cooking was comforting. There’s solace in baking… I watched shows and tried to recreate things like Julia Child—loved her. Watched the Frugal Gourmet. And I developed a passion for cookies. I mean, I got a KitchenAid when I was 13.”

For those who share her passion, Cookie Love could be a bible of sorts, offering a guide through the full range of the genre. Beyond following the recipe, Segal has some advice for anyone who’s tying on their apron:

“One of the most important things in today’s age is to never compromise on ingredients. Get fresh-milled flour, high-quality butter, the best eggs, sugar… All of it, make sure it’s the best you can find. And follow the recipe!”

We had to ask: Mindy, did you always follow the recipe?

“No!,” she says laughing. “I never, ever followed the recipe. I made up my own rules.”

The following recipes are from Cookie Love, which you should buy:

Brownie Krinkles

Makes approx. 42 cookies

My mom baked brownie krinkles the day she invited my kindergarten teacher over for lunch. I must have been hovering around the kitchen, because I clearly remember biting into one of the cookies. It was soft as a pillow and rich with chocolate, with a light layer of powdered-sugar sweetness that coated my tongue.
I was hooked. This is the first memory I have of eating cookies.

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • ½ cup canola or sunflower oil
  • 1¾ cups cane sugar

For the coating:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a pot, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Keep warm.
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the vanilla.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salts.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil and sugar on low speed for 1 minute. Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine, approximately 30 seconds.
  5. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. On medium speed, add the eggs and vanilla, one egg at a time, mixing briefly to incorporate before adding the next, approximately 5 seconds for each egg. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
  6. Mix on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds to make nearly homogenous.
  7. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix until the dough comes together but still looks shaggy, approximately 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper bring the dough completely together by hand.
  8. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  9. Heat the oven to 350F and line a couple of half sheet (13 by 18 inch) pans with parchment paper.

To make the coating:

  1. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl, ensuring there is plenty of room in the bowl to roll the dough in the sugar. Using a ¾ ounce (1½ tablespoon) ice cream scoop, portion the dough into 12 molds and roll into balls. Coat the balls completely and generously with the confectioners’ sugar. (You will not use all of the sugar.) The dough should resemble snowballs.
  2. Evenly space the balls on a prepared sheet pan. Add a generous pinch more confectioners’ sugar to the tops.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes. The cookies will form crinkles and will be set in the middle. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Dough can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approx. 42 cookies

For many people, chocolate chip is the touchstone for the perfect cookie. Almost everyone has an opinion on what makes a good one. My recipe has evolved to accommodate new sugars, salts, and chocolates on the market. And although chocolate is important, the cookie should taste great even without it. I dip the tops of the cookie dough lightly in large sea salt flakes from Cyprus to give the cookies a dramatic salty crunch. Go salt crazy like me. Or not. Your choice.

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) chocolate discs (53% to 64% cacao)
  • Sea salt, preferably the Cyprus variety, for garnish (optional)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the sugars and beat until the butter mixture is aerated and pale in color, approximately 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
  2. Crack the eggs into a small cup or bowl and add the vanilla.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, sea salt flakes, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. On medium speed, add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture, one egg at a time, mixing the first briefly before adding the second, until the batter resembles cottage cheese, approximately 5 seconds for each egg. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to bring the batter together. Mix on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds to make nearly homogenous.
  5. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until dough comes together but still looks shaggy, approximately 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand.
  6. With the plastic bench scraper, fold the chocolate into the dough until evenly distributed. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Refrigerate overnight.
  7. Heat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat a couple of half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Using a ¾ ounce (1½ tablespoon) ice cream scoop, portion the dough into 12 mounds. Be mindful that the chocolate pieces are evenly distributed among the mounds. Evenly space the mounds on a prepared sheet pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the edges begin to caramelize and the tops set, approximately 4 more minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
  9. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Smokey Bacon Candy Bar Cookies

Makes 40 cookies

These cookies are for the people who believe that everything is better with bacon. And if you aren’t already a believer, bake these cookies and see if they convince you that this sweet-savory combo is a new classic.

  • 6 ounces slab bacon, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked sea salt flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) chocolate discs or chunks (53% to 64% cacao)
  • 3 ounces bacon-chocolate candy bar (approximately 1 bar), broken into pieces with your hands
  1. In a saucepan over low heat, cook the bacon until the meat is caramelized and most of the fat is rendered, approximately 15 minutes. Strain the bacon and all the fat from the pan through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the fat and bacon separately. Refrigerate the fat until solidified. It is ready when it turns solid like shortening.
  2. Weigh the bacon fat. You need two ounces for this recipe. If the fat is less than 2 ounces, add enough unsalted butter to make up the difference.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the bacon fat and the ¾ cup (6 ounces) butter briefly on medium speed for 10 to 20 seconds to combine. (If the bacon fat is very cold, this will take longer.) Add the sugars and beat until the bitter mixture is aerated and pale in color, approximately 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
  4. Crack the eggs into a small cup or bowl and add the vanilla.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salts, baking powder, and baking soda.
    On medium speed, add the eggs and vanilla, one egg at a time, mixing the first briefly before adding the second, until the batter resembles cottage cheese, approximately 5 seconds for each egg. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together. Mix on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds to make nearly homogenous.
  6. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together but still looks shaggy, approximately 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand, and fold in the bacon, chocolate, and candy bar pieces.
  7. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan (or other small baking pan) with nonstick cooking spray and line with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang on all sides. Transfer the dough to the pan and pat down into the pan to make it even. Cover the dough with the overhanging plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
    Heat the oven to 350F and lightly coat a couple of half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pans with cooking spray.
  8. Remove the set dough from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut the dough into 1½-inch strips. Then cut each strip into ½ inch pieces of dough (the pieces will not be perfect, and that is okay).
  9. Evenly space 12 pieces of dough on a prepared sheet pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the shape of the pieces had relaxed and the tops look set, approximately 5 to 7 minutes more. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
  10. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Dough can be refrigerated up to a week.

This article appeared in Issue 1- Sold Out of Women's Golf Journal.

Buy now
Advertisement

Get the best of Women's Golf Journal in your inbox twice a month

Get the best of
Women's Golf Journal
in your inbox twice a month.

No thanks, take me back to the site.