Tuesday, February 16, 2010
TWD - My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yes, the simple chocolate chip cookie has a star. It's this recipe. Every week as we bake our way through Dorie Greenspan's book Baking from my home to yours, I note the recipes my family enjoys and promise to make them again. I seldom do. I have made these cookies three times in the past week.
The batter has full vanilla flavour without being too sweet. It makes a great base for any combination of chips and nuts. Baked, instead of spreading, mine had a bit of lift. They were a little chewy, but not doughy. (Looking around at everyone else's I don't know why mine lifted and most of the others are flat. Maybe because I didn't use as many chips?)
I'm enchanted with the peanut butter version. So much so that I'm giving the recipe here. There are lots of people who read this blog who don't go on to look up the recipe. I hope this will encourage some to try these cookies.
Many thanks to Kaitlin of Kait's Plate for this great choice!
If you like the bowl my cookies are in, it's Bee Glassware from La Rochere. I'm collecting a set piece by piece.
My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 45 cookies (I made 36 per batch.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
(I substituted 3/4 cups butter and 1/2 cup peanut butter.)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional) or pecans (optional)(I used 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped unsalted peanuts.)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts. (The dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. If you'd like, you can freeze rounded tablespoons of dough, ready for baking. Freeze the mounds on a lined baking sheet, then bag them when they're solid. There's no need to defrost the dough before baking - just add another minute or two to the baking time.)
Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.
Bake the cookies - one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point - for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that's just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.
The cooking can be kept in a cookie jar or sealed container for about four days, or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to two months.