Monday, March 28, 2011

Perfecting a Classic

Chocolate Chip Cookies are The Little Black Dress of baking.  They are simple, classic, and never out of style. Dress them up with a handful of dried cherries and white chocolate,  leave them plain,  or add toasted pecans.  Whatever your way with them, a platter heaped with home made chocolate chip cookies is always a welcome sight.

Finding, however, a well-done cookie recipe is a bit of a trick.  Too often, I have measured, mixed and baked only to bite into bland failure,  more reminiscent of sawdust then cookie perfection.  Couldn't there be a recipe out there that is not dry and crunchy, not dusty, not goopy, but just right?  Golden crusty, crunchy on the edges, soft and chewy in the middle - apparently the stuff that only dreams are made of.  Not that I am picky or anything.  I just want a cookie done right.  What good is a classic if it can't stand up to the hype?

After plenty of trial and error, I've come across one recipe that seems to hit the mark.  Sorta, kinda like the old Nestles Toll-house recipe on  back of the chocolate chip bag, but better.  Soft, chewy, crispy all in one.    Not flashy and overdone, no trendy, over-the-top-ingredients, these are timeless

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups dark chocolate chips (I prefer Ghiradelli 60% cacao chocolate chips)
1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325.

Measure flour, baking soda and salt  into small bowl.  Briefly wisk together and set aside.  Cream melted butter and brown sugar.  Beat in  eggs and vanilla until well blended.   Gently stir in the flour mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips and nuts (if using).  Scoop dough by tablespoons onto sprayed cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

TIP:  These cookies freeze easily - before or after they are baked. I like to make a double batch, and scoop all the cookies immediately into balls. I bake one or two trays and freeze the rest unbaked.  To do this, I lay the cookie dough balls in a single layer on a wax paper lined cookie sheet then pop them  into the freezer for several hours or overnight.  The next day,I  put dough balls into a resealable plastic bag. Whenever a pan of fresh cookies is needed, I pull the dough from the freezer, place a dozen on greased cookie sheet and bake, adding an extra minute or two to the baking time. This means fresh cookies in 20 minutes.  This freezing and baking trick works with almost any cookie dough.  Who needs the refrigerated kind from the grocery store? You can create the same thing yourself, minus the preservatives.

1 comment:

  1. I love those cookies. Hey sometime when you do your Sweet potatoes and chicken post the recipe again...I lost it.