Earlier this summer I hosted a baby shower for a friend, and though the party was catered, I wanted to have a fresh batch of cookies baking in the oven just before the festivities started so that the scent would be the first thing to greet guests when they arrived. Of course, the morning of I was scrambling for time: The week had been bananas, so I couldn't prepare much in the days prior, and between walking the dog, setting up, and doing some frantic last-minute cleaning, baking-from-scratch just was not an option.
Then I realized I had a bag of chocolate chip cookie mix sitting in my pantry that someone had gifted me. Let me just say here that I'm more of a make-it-from-scratch kinda gal, so I felt a little guilty using a mix, even though it was from Mr. Chocolate himself, Jacques Torres. But desperate times call for desperate measures, so I proceeded to mix the dough, especially since I had all the fixings it called for on hand: a cup of butter (melted in the microwave so that I didn't have to wait for it to soften at room temperature), 2 eggs, and a tablespoon of vanilla extract.
No joke, I whipped that dough up by hand in 5 minutes tops and they were in the oven in no time. (Well, I did have to wait a while longer for the oven to preheat.) Fast-forward 15 minutes later and a dozen pancake-sized cookies popped out of the oven.
Yup, these puppies were huge, which made guests giddy with glee—really, they're still talking about them weeks later—and I served them stacked on a cake stand, which made them look like a tall stack of pancakes. Then there's the chocolate chips themselves, which are insane. Not just because they are of super high quality, but they're the size of quarters pre-baked, and while they're in the oven, they marble with the dough perfectly here and there so that you get some bites that are the perfect balanced of chocolate and cookie, and some that are more decadently chocolaty.
The verdict? I'm more impressed than I ever could be with a mix, and this has won a spot as a staple in my pantry.
Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, $18; mrchocolate.com.