Monday, December 3, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Given the uncertainty of the conditions, ingredients, and tools, I was vociferously skeptical of this weekend's chocolate chip cookie attempt. Because, in addition to being a gentleman, Swiss Mr. is also a chocolate chip cookie expert, he responded to my concerns with polite confidence. Then -- undauntedly, carefully, scientifically -- he proceeded with his beloved recipe. The cat and I observed agnostically from our post on the couch.

Indeed, just a few minutes later I was eating both my words and a nearly perfect cookie. The texture came out perfect and the flavor was just about right. And it was a welcome change to the chocolate dairy diet we've been on lately. I believe I was more pleased than the chef.

Swiss Mr. gazes lovingly upon his creation

In case you, too, would like to make these marvelously adaptable cookies at your home, following please find the time-tested recipe, complete with annotations from the master himself.

2 cups + 2 T flour
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
12 T (1½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm*
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
2 t vanilla extract
1 - 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended.** Beat in the egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips to taste.
4. Roll a scant ¼ cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of your both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at the base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2½ inches apart.
5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, the outer edges start to harden, and the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. [the cookies come out really soft and sort of jiggly but they finish cooking on the cookie sheets]
6. Put as many cookies as possible in your mouth at the same time.

* It is important to use unsalted butter and really melt it and cool it until just warm. If you don't do this the cookies can be really bad.
** If you do it by hand you should mix for at least 5 minutes.


lillo said...

What kind of flour did you use? Is the flour in CH all purpose? Did you add baking powder? What sort of brown sugar did you find in CH?

Swiss Ms. said...

I'll have to see if Karl Rove can't help you out with your questions....

Karl Rove said...

We just used regular flour that came off the shelf - nothing special. I guess it's all purpose but I'm not sure :)

No baking powder (packpulver to you germans). You need the real deal - baking soda. Strangely, I found the bicarbonato di sodio not in the baking section but in the spices. It's not Arm and Hammer brand but the box is the only difference. Can you buy it in Germany? You can get some when you come here if you don't have any.

The brown sugar is a bit different from American brown sugar. It's not as wet. I was worried this would make the cookies dry but it wasn't too bad. I might add a bit of oil or a little more butter next time.

lillo said...

Actually, in Deutschland you can get some imported Arm & Hammer! I thought maybe you added baking poweder to make up for the flour. There is not all-purpose flour here, so I add some baking powder sometimes. Also, the brown sugar I have used in baking in DE is also not nearly as moist as US brown sugar. But as you said, it works.

Rummy said...

Rummy can validate that this particular chocolate chip cookie recipe is spectacular!
Rummy has had the pleasure of downing a plate-full of these cocoa wonders in his time and you too should make these cookies at your leisure.

your skype shall ring in just 72 hours....!