Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Monday, May 7 through Friday, May, 11 was National Teacher Appreciation Week.  Because of this, I took roughly 5 dozen Chocolate Chip Cookies into school on that Friday to show the Teachers how awesome I think they are. I could never be a Teacher, I don't have the patience, so I really appreciate the fact that there are people out there that want to teach my munchkins.
  
Since I did that, I have had several people tell me that I make great cookies and ask me for my recipe.  There is no secret, it's a typical Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but I do have some tips on making them turn out great...every time.  So, I will share with you exactly what I do when making my cookies, and what I've learned over the years through trial and error .....and also a few tips I've picked up along the way from the pros.


Chocolate Chip Cookies



The first thing I do, is set up my sifting station ....yes, I said sifting station.  It sounds more complicated than it is.  It's basically a bendable plastic cutting board with a colander on top.


I throw in my flour


..and baking soda & salt


and then shake it like mad,
until I have a mound of light, aerated flour.


I then add 2 sticks of softened butter to my mixing bowl



..and the white refined sugar and the brown sugar



Then, turn your mixer on and walk away.  Yep, just walk away for a few minutes.  This is a very important step in baking known as creaming.  By letting the mixer go for a few minutes, what you are doing is letting the sugar granules tear into the fat of the butter and make tiny, microscopic air pockets.  Later, when baking, the heat of the oven will cause the fat to steam up into those little pockets of air and puff up the cookie, helping with the rising process of baking.  I usually let my mixer go for about 3 minutes on medium speed and it works for me.  Your creamed mixture should look very light and...well..creamy.

Next, break your eggs into a small dish or bowl.  If you are any kind of a cook, you've probably heard this a dozen times, but it bares repeating.  You never know when you'll get a bad egg, so spare yourself the heartache of ruining a recipe and break your eggs into a separate container first.

Add one at a time, and mix well.


Next, add in your vanilla...which I didn't take a picture of...because I forgot..but I'm pretty sure you can handle it!
Then, you'll be so glad you sifted your flour onto the bendable cutting board because you can just roll it up and slowly add it into your butter mixture by tapping the bottom of the board ever so lightly until it is all incorporated.  So simple!


Then add in your chocolate chips and mix for just a few seconds and voila'...you've got cookie dough.
.....now grab a spoon and dig in....then make your hubby mad.... because you threatened him within an inch of his life if he ate any of the dough because it is for someone else, but he caught you eating it anyway....and now you'll never get that foot rub that you wanted...wait, what?  ..Nevermind.

 Refrigerate the whole thing for at least 30 minutes.  If you can let it refrigerate longer, do so.  In fact, many times, I make my dough a day ahead and let it sit in the fridge until I am ready to bake it off.  I feel this is essential.  By chilling the dough, you are firming up the butter in the mixture and cementing in those air pockets that you creamed in earlier.  Your cookies will puff up even and beautifully.

Extra Tips
 During the busy holidays, I have made dough waaaay ahead and froze it, then popped it in the fridge a day before baking to thaw, it works great.  Just make sure you protect your dough properly from the freezer.  Wrap your dough in plastic wrap, and then a layer of aluminum foil.  This double layer insures the fat in your dough will not pick up any unwanted flavors from your freezer.

Parchment paper is your friend!  Use it, like it, love it.  It not only allows for extremely quick clean up, but cookies come off clean and easy.  Make sure you use parchment paper and not wax paper.  Wax paper can actually leave wax on your cookies and who wants that?  Only use wax paper when a recipe specifically calls for it.

Use a cool cookie sheet everytime.  I actually have about 8 cookies sheets, I think.  I line however many sheets I will need with parchment paper, and scoop all my cookies out at once.  They are lined up and ready to go into the oven.  If you use a warm or hot cookie sheet, your cookies may not bake evenly or bake time will vary from the batch before, not to mention, this will speed up the baking process...alot.

Take your cookies off the hot baking sheet asap!  If you leave your cookies on a hot baking sheet, they continue to bake.  The pros call this carry-over.  Sometimes you will need this in cooking, like a steak, for instance, but not for baking cookies.

Remember that baking is a science.  That means, make sure your measurements are exact.  Level off your measuring cups when measuring dry ingredients like flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, etc.  Any variation in measurements can mean a failed baking result.

If you follow this recipe and tips, you should get a cookie that looks like this..
Yummy, huh?  Now I am going to take one of these warm and gooey morsels to my hubby and try to beg back my foot rub. 

Recipe

2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C butter, softened
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C Brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
sift flour, baking soda, & salt together and set aside.  Cream together butter and sugars until well combined and then add eggs, one at a time.  Mix in vanilla.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until well combined.  Add chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.  Scoop onto baking sheets and bake at 350 for 10 -12 minutes.  The larger the cookie, the longer the baking time.
Makes about 3 - 4 dozen cookies, depending on size.









4 comments:

  1. That's almost like the recipe I use but....

    2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
    1 tsp baking sode
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 C butter softened
    3/4 C sugar
    3/4 C packed light brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 12-0z pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 C chopped pecans (optional)

    Mix the same way in the same order. Add the nuts last. 375 8 to 10 min.
    They're really good too.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds good! I am not a big fan of nuts in my cookies, so I would leave out the pecans,....I am a cookie purist. I like the recipe I use because it actually uses less sugar than most recipes and i find I don't miss it. Maybe I should try yours and compare. Yeah, that's a great idea...bake me some and overnight them and I'll let you know...lol

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  2. I will be trying this recipe soon. My cookies aren't usually this pretty and puffy and tend to be a big cakey which I don't love in a cookie. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete