Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies - and a major Kitchen Foible

I've had this magazine cutout on my fridge for a decade that is a cartoon diagram of tips on how to be happy.  One of the tips that I'm trying to pay attention to these days is "Do What You're Good At".  I've always loved to cook and bake, but only recently realized that I'm pretty good at it.  I love to cook for friends and groups and I especially love to share what I do.

That being said, here is my Chocolate Chip Recipe.  It's the classic Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie with some simple but delicious changes.  How are my cookies different?  I add twice the vanilla, a little more salt and use better chocolate (sorry Toll House).  In addition to the ingredients that are a little different than the classic, I'll share some tips that I have found make these cookies gooey and cakey and really freaking good. 

Chocolate Chop Cookies

  • 2 sticks (1 lb) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • Large eggs at room temp*
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Granulates Sugar
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 bag (11.5 oz) Chocolate Chips, I prefer Ghiradelli 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate
Cooking Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375º

2. In a large bowl, stir together the butter, eggs *(if the eggs are cold they will cool the butter making it harder to cream all of the ingredients), sugars and vanilla until smooth.  For this you can use a stand mixer, electric beaters, or a wooden spoon and elbow grease which is my preferred method. (More elbow grease = more love)

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Then add it to the wet ingredients in three batches, stirring each time just until the flour is incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and stir until well distributed.

4. Place the cookie dough in the fridge to firm up bit (about 10 minutes, or up to a couple of days).

5. One of the tricks I have is to use a 1 oz. ice cream scoop.  This will guarantee that the cookies will cook uniformly.   On a cookie sheet, scoop out four rows of three scoops making sure that the dough is well spaced, as the cookies will spread while baking.

6. Place the sheet in the oven and set your timer for 10 minutes.  At 10 minutes, take a peek and see if the edges of the cookies are turning golden brown (just in case your oven is hotter than mine). If they haven't yet, wait 1-2 more minutes.   If the cookies are golden to the top like in the second picture below, take 'em out!

These are almost there, but need to brown up.  2 more minutes.
These are just done!  Pull 'em now now now!!

7. Here's the real trick: After you take the cookies out of the oven, wait a minute then place them on a piece of parchment paper on your counter. The cool counter will bring the temperature down, stop the cooking process, and assure that they will be gooey on the inside.

Mom's Tip
This is one of those recipes that I wasn't sure of I should let Lorelei help or not for a few reasons.
- The recipe is so ingrained in my head that I usually can bang it out in less that 10 minutes (meaning prep time) and having a 2.5 year-old help would lengthen the process by three fold.
- I was concerned about the raw eggs and having her get her mitts into it.
- Standing up at the stove/hot oven is still sticky because she's a willful child and I fear that she will get burned.

And then I remembered helping my mom and Grandma Jo cook when I was a kid and really loving those memories.  I remembered what a treat it was to get that spoonful of cookie dough and sneaking more (and more), and I remember my Grandma really impressing on me kitchen safety, and I thought that this was my time with my baby girl.

So, she stood up at the counter, stirred the dough, taste-tested, and loved the yummy (raw egg filled) cookie dough, and has lived to tell the tale.

Post script:

Here's the thing... this was a HUGE kitchen foible.  I threw all of these cookies out.  Why?  Truth be told, three glasses of wine and a toddler's assistance threw me off of my game.  The recipe didn't come to me correctly, as I usually do it by memory.  I had the oven at 350º, and did the baking soda at half of what I usually call for.  They tasted OK, but there was NO WAY I would ever serve them to anyone.  There you have it.  Full disclosure, damn it. ;-) 

Have fun!!



SabineW said...

Haha! Grandma Jo! Fond, fond memories. And, a good reminder of the life skills that come from the kitchen!

The Food-Minded Mama said...

Sabine - I am tickled more that I can say that you remember my Grandma Jo and that you remember cooking with her. Awe sweetie, I love you. XOXOX