Very unexpectedly, just a few mornings ago, I decided to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies for my daughter. There is really nothing like a cookie, to surprise and delight. But it was I who was surprised: After preheating the oven, measuring out the ingredients, "creaming" the white and brown sugars with sweet butter, licking my fingers, sipping coffee, greasing the sheet pan with the residue from the paper covering the stick of butter, I realized I had no eggs! As I was making a half-batch of cookies, I actually only needed one egg. One lonely egg. How for granted we take our eggs, aren't they always just there, sitting upright in their crate, waiting for us? I swore at that moment to give them more respect. Do I call a neighbor? Run to the store? I was in my pajamas, it was early in the morning, I was rushing like crazy. I considered using some thick yogurt to moisten the batter but nixed that idea. Applesauce? I read about people doing that. Didn't have any. I started eating some chocolate chips. I was getting a stomach ache. The bag of chocolate morsels I had just opened was 72 ounces. A bargain from Costco. Do you know what 72 ounces looks like? A small throw pillow. I was in trouble.
As necessity is the mother of invention, and I was the mother of Shayna, I found some mayonnaise in the fridge. It was a eureka moment. "That's it!" I exclaimed out loud. I'll use some mayonnaise. Plop, plop went two heaping tablespoons into the batter. After all, eggs are a component of mayonnaise, and maybe some of their magical powers would rub off on my cookies! At the very least, the cookies would be nice and rich. I worried a bit about mayonnaise's inherent acidity and sodium content (I had already added salt to the batter) but I was a woman in need. Stir, measure, arrange on sheet pan. I baked the cookies at a lower temperature than one usually does and also for a longer time. I watched over them like a mother hen. I whispered to them and gently rotated the pan several times. I was beginning to smile. And so would Shayna.
They were especially delicious: Nice and rich and golden-hued, with a crisp but yielding texture that only mayo could provide.
Chocolate Chip-Mayonnaise Cookies
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 scant teaspoon fine sea salt 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 6 tablespoons granulated sugar 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 heaping tablespoons Hellmann's mayonnaise 1 heaping cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; stir well. Put butter, sugars, and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer. Beat until creamy. Stir in flour mixture; mix briefly. Add mayonnaise; beat briefly until incorporated. Stir in chips. Lightly grease baking sheet. Heap 2 tablespoons batter onto sheet to form each cookie. You will have about 22 mounds. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until cookies are golden and just yielding to the touch. Let cool. Makes about 22