​Empathetic Designing: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Introduction: ​Empathetic Designing: Chocolate Chip Cookies

While all of us are stuck inside because of COVID-19 parents face the additional challenge of finding something entertains and fun for their family to do. So why not make a classic treat from everyone’s childhood, like chocolate chip cookies? During my childhood the most memorable time was when I was five when my mom especially went out of her way to make her homemade cookies that I loved so much. Well these cookies are better than regular chocolate chip cookies as they are very chewy when they come out of the oven and when they are cooled down they become crunchy. I’m a 17 year old trying to do something nice for my mom who works 24/7 making masks for the hospitals so I will want to avoid making a mess so I’ll be showing you how to methodically bake in the cleanest way possible.

Supplies

Ingredients for Cookies (1 batch)

  • 17 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Cooking Equipment

  • 1 Kitchen Aid Mixer
  • Oven
  • Oven mitts
  • Microwave
  • Sink
  • 1 Large pan or more
  • Cookie sheets equivalent to to the number of large pans
  • 1 elevated grated tray
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Spoon
  • Measuring cups (Cups and teaspoons)
  • 1 Scale (measures in ounces)
  • 1 Sifter
  • 1 Knife with a flat edge
  • 1 Cookie scooper
  • 3-4 Bowls or containers

Cleaning Equipment

  • 1 Towels or rags
  • 1 Lysol cleaning wipes
  • 1 Dish soap
  • 1 Sponge/cleaning rag

Step 1: Empathetic Research

What is empathy? Empathy in my case or more specifically emotional empathy is when you physically share someone’s emotions along with another person if it was infectious. Since I’m stuck at home all day I am available to help my Mom do chores around the house such as cleaning dishes, laundry, and occasionally cooking. From this I now know through empathy how much my Mom does for me and I know she feels exhausted taking care of me.

My Mom does so much for me she cleans, cooks, and help us with so many other tasks. Helping around the house full time has allowed me to understand how much my Mom does for me and now I want to give back. I now know how much work and effort goes into her cooking that makes it so good and I want to give that same feeling back. I want to make her a nostalgic treat from my childhood we used to make together, but this time I’ll be doing everything from the cooking to the cleaning

Step 2: Preheat the Oven

Before we start cooking lets preheat the oven so your ready to bake as soon as your done with the batter. So go to your oven set it to the option "Bake" if available and set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3: Create Your Base for Your Batter

First gather the ingredients necessary to create the base of the batter.

Equipment Needed

  • Kitchenaid Mixer
  • 2 bowl/container
  • scale
  • knife
  • cup

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar.

Step 4: Soften the Butter

First you want to cut up 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter and place it into a microwavable container. For my microwave I have a 1100 Watt one so settings might vary for yours. I set my microwave to 60% power and microwaved it for 45 seconds. Once done take out of the microwave.

Equipment Needed

  • Flat edged knife
  • 1 Container
  • Microwave

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter

Step 5: Weigh the Sugars

Now get another container and place it on a scale that weighs in ounces. Once you place the container on the scale press the tare button. Now the scale should have reset to 0 so now get your cup and add 10 ounces light brown sugar. Measurements for the sugars do not have to be exact but try get as close as possible. When you added the right amount of brown sugar press tare again on the scale and add 8 ounces granulated sugar using the cup.

Equipment Needed

  • Measuring cup
  • Scale

Ingredients Needed

  • 8 ounces granulated sugar
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar

Step 6: Mix the Butter and the Sugars

Now to its time to mix the base to start to make the cookie dough. Simply dump all measured out ingredients butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar into the kitchenaid mixer bowl. Once all ingredients are in turn the kitchenaid to speed 2 until the ingredients start to ball up like in the 3rd picture. Once that has occured you can increase the speed to 6 until your dough looks like the last picture. Be sure to be thorough and make sure no balls of butter or sugar remain. The dough should look a bit jagged from mixing at high speeds

Equipment Needed

  • Kitchenaid

Ingredients Needed

  • 8 ounces granulated sugar
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar
  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter

Step 7: Crack and Whip'em Eggs

Now it's time to add the eggs so what you want to do crack your eggs into a container. In my photo I used the butter container so I have less dishes to wash but you can get an extra one if you want. For those people at home have a sink disposal place your egg shells in there or in my case i saved my egg shells for my Mom's composter. Once you crack your eggs go back to your batter base and place one yolk into the mixer at a time and mix at speed 2. Make sure the egg yolk is not visible before adding the next yolk.

Equipment Needed

  • Kitchenaid
  • container
  • sink

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 large eggs

Step 8: Mix Occasionally

Once you mix new ingredients into the dough get your spoon and scrape the edges of the bowl to make sure that no dough get stucks at the bottom and isn't mixed.

Equipment Needed

  • Spoon

Step 9: Gather Dry Ingredients and Equipment

Equipment Needed

  • Measuring Cup and Teaspoons
  • Scale
  • Sifter
  • Knife with a flat edge
  • Container

Ingredients Needed

  • 17 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt

Step 10: Measure Out the Flour

Get your container and sifter and place it on the scale and press tare to reduce the initial weight to 0. Now get your cup and start placing your flour into the sifter and watch the scale till you reach 17 ounces.

Equipment Needed

  • Sifter
  • Scale
  • Cup
  • Container

Ingredients Needed

  • 17 oz. all-purpose flour

Step 11: Add Teaspoon Measurements

Gather your teaspoons and start to measure out the correct amount of salt, baking powder, and baking soda using your teaspoons and your flat edged knife to wipe the top to each teaspoon to help for more measurement precision. Place each measurement into the sifter.

Equipment Needed

  • Sifter
  • Scale
  • Container
  • Teaspoons
  • Flat edged knife

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt

Step 12: Sift It

Now you can take your sifter and sift through all the dry ingredients to ensure that they are all mixed together. Be sure not to shake the sifter. Make sure all ingredients pass through the sifter and if a little bit remains and doesn't go through just dump it in the container below.

Equipment Needed

  • Sifter
  • Scale

Step 13: Mixing Dry Ingredients (READ CAREFULLY)

This is the step you need to be most careful as things can get messy very quick if your not careful. So get your dry ingredients and scoop a single cup and place it in the mixer. (Do not put all the dry ingredients in at once. Only one cup at a time.) Once you place one cup of dry ingredients into the mixer make sure to keep the speed very low. It my be necessary to turn the mixer to to the lowest speed and turn it on and off constantly. (If the mixer speed is too high the dry ingredients will literally start to fly.) Once the dry ingredients are integrated into the dough add another cup of dry ingredients and repeat the process. It may be necessary to use the spoon to scrape the edges of the bowl as the dry ingredients may start to stick to the sides and the bottom. In the end the dough should look smooth and thick.

Equipment Needed

  • Kitchenaid Mixer
  • Cup
  • Container
  • Spoon

Ingredients Needed

  • Mixed Dry Ingredients
  • Dough Base

Step 14: Add Vanilla Extract

To add a little flavor to the cookies add vanilla extract right into the dough in the mixer and mix at a speed of 2 for a minute to allow the extract to be spread around.

Equipment Needed

  • Kitchenaid Mixer
  • Teaspoons

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Step 15: Cup' O' Chip

For the most important ingredient get ready to add 1 cup of chocolate chips into the mixer. You may use any chocolate for this part. Then mix until chocolate appears to be evenly spread among the dough.

Equipment Needed

  • Kitchenaid Mixer
  • Cup

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Step 16: Final Hand Mix

Now your dough is complete but before you start to bake do one final mixing of the dough by hand with the spoon. Be sure scrape the edges in the bowl to ensure that there are no remaining traces of identifiable ingredients.

Equipment Needed

  • Spoon
  • Kitchenaid Mixer bowl (dough should still be in)

Step 17: Place Dough on Cookie Sheet

Now time to prepare the cookie dough to go into the oven. What your going to need most importantly is your cookie scooper, cookie sheets, and your large pans. First place your cookie sheets on your pans and start scooping your dough. The dough should be placed in a zig-zag pattern on the pan to help ensure that when the cookies spread during baking don't touch. (Number of cookie dough scoops may vary depending what kind of scooper and pans you have.) Next once you place all your dough scoops wet your hand and gently pat the top of each scoop to help ensure that your cookies don't expand upward too much.

Equipment Needed

  • Cookie Scooper
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Large pans

Step 18: Place in Oven

By the time you get to this step your oven should already be at the appropriate temperature. If not go back to step 2. Now place your pans into the oven and prepare to bake them for 10-12 minutes and be sure to wear oven mitts. If your oven has multiple racks it may be best if at half the bake time for you to alternate the trays so they are exposed to an equal amount of heat.

Equipment Needed

  • Oven
  • Oven Mitts
  • Pans with cookie scoops

Step 19: Allow Cookies to Cool

Once the cookies completed their bake time take them out of the oven to cool. For about a minute allow them to remain on the large pan so the bottoms of the cookies can harden. Now you want to get out your elevated grated tray and spatula and prepare to start moving the cookies on the tray to cool. Once cool enough you may begin to serve them or pack them up.

Equipment Needed

  • Pan with baked cookies
  • Spatula
  • Elevated grated tray

Step 20: Put Away Ingredients

Now that the cookies are done it's time to start the clean up process. To begin start by putting away all ingredients back into their respective areas and throw all trash away.

Step 21: Wipe Down Your Workspace

Now that you put away all your ingredients you may notice there is a lot of messy areas on the counter. To clean them up get a small towel or rag and wet it. Then make sure to squeeze the towel or rag to get rid of any excess water. Then you may start to wipe down the counters and kitchenaid.

Equipment Needed

  • Sink
  • Rag

Step 22: Wash Your Dishes and Utensils

Now as you wait for your slightly wet counters to dry you can start to wash your dishes and cooking utensils. Get your sponge or cleaning rag and dispense your dish soap on it. Now go through every one of your utensils and dishes and scrub them thoroughly. Make sure to wipe off any ingredients or dough remaining. Once scrubbed you can rinse your dishes and either put them on the drying rack or if you want to be extra thorough you can place them in the dishwasher.

Equipment Needed

  • All your used equipment
  • Towels or rags
  • Sponge/cleaning rag
  • Dish soap

Step 23: Disinfect the Area

Once your finally done with the dishes you can wipe down the area with disinfecting wipes to help ensure that COVID-19 or any other harmful microbes are dead to help protect yourself and your family.

Equipment Needed

  • Lysol Disinfecting wipes

Step 24: What This Project Means to Me.

This project means a lot to me as it gives something back to my Mom which was my personal goal. My Mom does so much for me and my family she cleans, cooks, and nurtures us which makes us feel special so it's nice to give a similar feeling back. During these time during the COVID-19 and all of us are stuck inside together it's nice to do something that brings us together and kindle nostalgic memories. I hope this project also helps kindles the same joy and memories for you as it does for me.

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