As a welcome back, I figured that instead of subjecting you fine folks to another failed experiment, I would start with a successful recipe for one of my favorite baked goods: chocolate chip cookies.
I brought these in to work before I took off for the Philippines, and I'm happy to say that they were met with great success! My coworkers (hello Brooke and Kailin!) requested the recipe, and, after much delay, I now finally have a spare moment to post the recipe. Sorry about that guys. Thanks for your patience.
For those of you not in the know, I was off sunning myself in the tropics -- kayaking in bright blue lagoons, snorkeling with giant schools of fishes, and wearing tropical hats made out of coconut leaves. No, I am not joking:
That is me and my boyfriend kayaking a lagoon. No joke. You can thank my mother for the non-cellphone, high-quality photos for once. She has a really fancy DSLR camera that I covet. But all of that is irrelevant. Let's get to the main show... chocolate chip cookies!
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 pound of butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (or 12 ounces) of dark chocolate disks or feves (available at Whole Foods)
Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
adapted from Susan G. Purdy's Pie in the Sky: Successful Baking at High Altitudes
(works at a high-altitude environment of approximately 5,000 ft)
- Make sure your oven rack is in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 375 (F). Line your cookie sheet with baking parchment or a non-stick mat; alternatively, you can lightly coat the cookie sheet with butter or a nonstick vegetable spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the large bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until soft and creamy (Use the paddle attachment of your KitchenAid. If you do not have a KitchenAid, you can use a study wooden spoon for this step). When the butter is soft and creamy, beat in both sugars, making sure to scrape down the bowl and beater. Mix until smooth and the mixture is light and fluffy. This process should take five minutes on med-high speed.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Lower your electric mixer speed to the lowest setting (if you're using a spoon, simply stir slowly) and gradually beat in the flour mixture.
- Stir in the chocolate disks.
- Each cookie will consist of a tablespoon or a tablespoon-and-a-half of dough; use a tablespoon measuring spoon (Or a cookie dough scoop, if you have one of these. I actually don't have one, and am still debating the merits of the tool) to measure out the appropriate amount of dough and transfer onto the cookie sheet, leaving approximately 2 inches apart for each cookie.
- Place the tray into the oven and bake the cookies for 9-10 minute; or, until golden brown.
- Cool the cookies on a wire rack.
Tips & Addendums
- The recipe above yields a LOT of cookies. If you cut the ingredient quantities in half, it will still produce the same results, BUT it will also result in some awkward measurements like 3/8ths a cup (or 3 x 1/8th a cup). I recommend finding a measuring cup set with a 1/8 cup measuring spoon, but I warn you that a set containing that specific measurement is relatively rare for some reason.
- Chocolate disks are admittedly expensive and hard to find. I'm not a fan of pretentious ingredients (I shelled out and made the exception for these cookies since they were a special occasion/holiday treat), so feel free to go ahead and replace these with run-of-the-mill semisweet chocolate chips. The advantage of chocolate disks, however, is that the disk shape covers a wide surface area that spreads out even more when the chocolate melts in the oven. This results in a cookie with chocolate in every bite. I got the idea from the New York Times' chocolate chip cookie recipe, which I admittedly lambasted in an earlier post. You can actually even replace the chocolate chips with whatever chocolate ingredient you want, as long as it measures out to 2 cups (12 ounces) of the stuff. The original recipe in Pie in the Sky, for instance, calls for 6 ounces of dark chocolate chips, 6 ounces of white chocolate chips, and even an optional 4 ounces of walnuts or pecans. My second batch of these cookies (as seen in pictures) actually included chocolate disks and these weird chocolate pearl crunch things from Whole Foods:
- All spoon measurements are level and unsifted, unless otherwise specified. To level the ingredients, take the back of a knife and run it across the top of the measuring cup until the excess ingredients are scraped off.
- When creaming butter and sugar together, always make sure you keep creaming until the mixture is light and fluffy (this will usually take around 5 minutes). Doing so will ensure a nice, chewy texture for your cookies. During the creaming process, sugar crystals open tiny pockets of air in fat as it is being whipped, creating a lighter and fluffier finished batter.
- After adding flour to the mixture, don't overbeat as this will overwork the flour and make the cookies hard and dense -- simply beat or stir until the flour is just incorporated. In my opinion, making sure you don't overbeat the batter is one of the hardest parts about baking.
- Don't open your oven until at least the minimum time recommended has passed. Too much cold air coming from a frequently opened oven door causes irregular oven temperatures that affect the baking process.
- Last, but certainly not the least since I cannot stress it enough, DO NOT OVERBAKE YOUR COOKIES. Doing so will result in cookies that will be too dry and crisp when cooled. It is actually better to underbake the cookies slightly so the centers will be a little chewy.