Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Besides being my favorite treat, chocolate chip cookies have also been my signature dessert since my teen years.  Well here is a little secret– it is the recipe from the Nestle chocolate chip bag that I have tweaked ever so slightly.  I have, over the years, come up with some theories on what makes a good chocolate chip cookie.  So here are my chocolate chip cookie tips for you:  

1- Use only butter and never shortening or margarine.  A chocolate chip should be buttery and chewy and for that you need real butter– if you use shortening you might get a very soft cookie but the dough itself will be nearly flavorless.  Also, unlike many bakers out there, I prefer to use salted butter as I like little bit of added saltiness in the cookie.  It is not overwhelming but gives an added dynamic.

2- Never use old baking soda; baking soda is the only leavening in your cookie dough and if you want to avoid super flat cookies you want to switch your baking soda out frequently.  

3-Use bread flour. Years ago I watched an episode of "Good Eats" where Alton Brown talked about how to achieve your version of a perfect chocolate chip cookie.  He recommended using bread flour if you want a chewy chocolate chip cookie as it increases the protein content.  I took his advice and I have been very happy ever since. 

4- Mix by hand-  Whip out your wooden spoon and get your arms working!  I have no idea why but my cookies are always successful when I mix by hand but when I use a mixer– it's pretty hit and miss.  

Speaking of your version of a perfect chocolate chip cookie– from what I have gathered through many experiences is that everyone has a different opinion of what a perfect chocolate chip cookie is like.  For me this is perfect: Soft with just enough of a chewy bite that you can feel it when you sink your teeth in, enough chocolate chips that you get one or 2 with every bite but not so many that the cookie dough is merely the glue to hold chocolate chips together and last but not least pecans– for me pecans are the perfect nut for a cookie.  So if that sounds like your version of a perfect chocolate chip cookie then this is the recipe for you.

Comment below and tell me what your perfect chocolate chip cookie is like!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen 2 inch cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups bread flour
1½cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and white sugar; mixing with a wooden spoon.  Add the vanilla and eggs into the butter and sugar mixture, mix until well combined.  Sprinkle in the baking soda and salt and stir until completely combined.  Add the flour into mixture all at once and combine completely.  Mix in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans until distributed evenly. 

Spoon the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets with 2 teaspoons or a cookie scoop.  Bake in the center rack for about 8 minutes (check at 7 and then see what yours look like) or until they are starting to get a slight golden color.  You want the cookies to be very soft still– they will get a little more solid as they cool.  While baking the cookies cut a brown paper grocery bag down the side and cut the bottom out.  You can use this as a place to cool the cookies that will absorb a little bit of extra grease and will keep the cookies flat on the bottom. 

Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 1 minute before using a spatula to move them to the prepared brown paper.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew says he needs these. Guess I'll be making cookies tomorrow!