Friday, March 4, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

A chocolate chip cookie is... a chocolate chip cookie. There's not much you can do to change the basic recipe of a chocolate chip cookie, but do a Google search for a chocolate chip cookie recipe and you'll get hundreds of different recipes, each claiming to be the best. I guess everybody has their own likes and dislikes, no matter how subtle the differences in various recipes. Me, I like to use butter and not shortening, and I use all brown sugar for a deeper flavor compared to a combination of white and brown sugar. I do like walnuts in mine, but my son is allergic to walnuts so I leave them out.
This is supposedly a copycat recipe of the giant chocolate chip cookies at Levain Bakery in New York. Never having tasted one of their cookies -or heard of the bakery before- I have no idea how close they are, but these are pretty darn tasty.
chocolate chip cookies (adapted from My Baking Addiction)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 C chocolate chips
1 C chopped walnuts, optional
1. Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment paper
2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attatchment, cream together butter and sugar, at least 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, beating until well combined.
3. Add flour, salt, baking soda and powder and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.
4. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets (I used a medium cookie scoop, you can make them whatever size you want, including big giant sized, just adjust baking time accordingly.)
5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool for a few minutes on the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
After mixing the dough I almost added another egg, it was a little dry. The cookies are fine, just not as soft and chewey as I like. Next time I'll reduce the flour by a 1/4 C or so. I have read that adding a Tbsp of corn starch to the dough keeps the cookies tender, although I haven't tried it yet. You can replace the butter with shortening or do a mix of the two, but I like using all butter. It tastes better, and although shortening is lower in fat and calories, I think that since butter is a natural product with only one ingredient, it is overall healthier for your body than the long list of oils and artificial flavors and colors in shortening. Just remember moderation. :)

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