Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chocolate chip cookies: classic for a reason

I've never met a chocolate chip cookie I couldn't eat. One little circle that satisfies all your carb/sugar/chocolate cravings in a single bite. I do have preferences, though. I like them chewy and crispy. I prefer all butter. I love nuts, but haven't indulged lately, what with kid allergies and dislikes. (Perhaps I should rethink my strategy: add nuts, and the cookies would be mine...all mine....) My current favorite standard recipe is this one from (you guessed it) Smitten Kitchen. But on Sunday I received this:

So the first recipe I tried was the one for chocolate chip cookies, made with 100% whole wheat flour. It lends a subtle nuttiness, without screaming, "I'm healthy!" These definitely hit that crispy/chewy balance, and everyone loved their giant size. I made a couple adaptations to the recipe to fit my pantry (no quick runs to the store during nap time!), substituting light brown sugar for the dark, and semi-sweet chocolate chips for the bittersweet chunks. The result was excellent, but now I'm curious to taste the difference. Better quality chocolate can only be better, and I suspect that the dark brown sugar may lend a touch more moistness and depth of flavor. Today I was at the market, and made sure to pick up the missing ingredients. I guess I'll have to make them again and report back, if I don't get distracted by all the other fascinating recipes in this book. In the meantime, here's the straight-from-the-pantry version, because when you need cookies, there's no time to run to the store.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted slightly from Good to the Grain

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpat. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl.  Add the butter and sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low with the paddle attachment, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Mix in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and blend on low just until combined. Scrape down the sides again, and add the chocolate chips. Mix on low for a few seconds more, then scrape the bowl one last time, making sure the chips are evenly distributed.

Scoop mounds of dough about 3 Tbsp. in size on the the baking sheet, 6 cookies to a sheet.  Bake for about 18 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through.  Remove the cookies and cool briefly on a wire rack. These are best the first day, but will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.

Wonderful note from the cookbook author:  Don't chill this dough and then try to scoop it--it's too difficult. If you don't have time to bake the entire batch, scoop all the cookies and chill the extra balls of dough in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They'll keep for a week.

1 comment:

  1. So Yummy Melissa- thank you for posting this!!