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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies (CCC) have a special place in my heart (or is it my stomach?). Nestle tollhouse cookies were the first thing I learned to bake; my best friend, Ishah and I would go over to her house after school, pop in the sound track to Mermaids (hey, it was 6th grade) and wrestle with the too-cold butter while singing with Cher. I still get the urge to bake every time I hear “Does he love me?”


CCC are also Hubby's favorite cookie. He reverts in to a happy, grinning, messy 5-year old boy when presented with hot CCCs and a tall glass of cold milk. CCC and hamburgers are his top 2 comfort foods.


I think I've made dozens, if not over a hundred batches of CCC, always the Nestle recipe. I've manage to streamline the process to maximum efficiency over the years. Here are some tips.


  • Make sure the butter is softened enough! Don't be impatient the way Ishah and I were. Cold butter doesn't cream well, and therefore the texture of your cookie will be off.

  • The eggs should also be at room temp. Most people know about the butter, but forget about the eggs.

  • Have the right equipment; optimally, a kitchen aid mixer (a million times more superior than doing it by hand, and faster, too), light colored cookie sheets (the dark ones will burn the bottoms before the tops are done) and a cookie scoop (to guarantee uniform size and shape, and it's so much faster than 2 spoons)

  • I love my kitchen scale. Weight is precise, volume is sloppy. After all, cooking is an art, but baking is a science.

  • Parchment, Parchment, Parchment. I can't say it enough. I'm actually not such a fan of Silpats, but parchment paper guarantees that your cookies will come sliding off the sheet. This tip single-handedly improved my friend's cookies.

  • If you like nuts, toast them first, but watch them carefully, those suckers burn in the blink of an eye.

  • Lastly, convince husband (or SO, or yourself) to buy a double oven by telling him that you can make twice as many cookies in the same amount of time.

On to the point of this posting; Gourmet Magazine (4/07) has in their recipe request column a letter about how amazing the CCC at the Silver Moon and the recipe for it. I seldom bother with CCC variations as they are never as good as the original, but the proportions of the recipe piqued my interest, there was 25% more butter, half the eggs, and only 2/3 of the sugar. The recipe also called for freezing the dough so that the cookie in the middle stays thick, while the edges are crispy. (I noticed a mistake in the recipe, it calls for freezing dough and then scooping it out. That makes no sense at all, have you ever tried scooping frozen cookie dough? So I scooped first, and then froze it.) I freeze CCC dough all the time, so that hubby can pop 4 (more like 8) in to the toaster oven and have fresh hot cookies whenever he wants.

The recipe was easy enough, but it required waiting 4+ hours for the dough to freeze. When they did finally come out of the oven, they were impressively tall, as the recipe promised. Sadly it was only an ok cookie. I should have guessed from the recipe, it was more like shortbread with chocolate chips. Not a bad cookie, just not a great CCC. I guess that's way I get for straying from the original.


http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/detail.aspx?ID=18476


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