CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
You will need a tall cold glass of milk when you eat these buttery, rich Chocolate Chip Cookies. These Cookies are chewy and soft on the inside and lightly crisp on the outside. Use the best Chocolate Chips you can find for the best taste. They will beg to be dunked in milk and are so good you will hide them from your kids because you are Cooking The Amazing.
Here is the recipe.
3 Sticks of Butter, softened, unsalted
1 1/2 c Sugar
1 1/2 c Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1 t Salt, (preferably fine sea salt)
2 Eggs, large (room temp.)
3 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
4 c All Purpose Flour
1 t Baking Soda
18 oz Chocolate Chips (1 1/2 bags of the 12 oz size)
Optional: 1 c Walnuts, Pecans, or Macadamias chopped and toasted
Total Prep and Cook Time: approx. 1 hr to make several batches plus cooling time.
*Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a cookie sheet with Non Stick Vegetable Spray (Like Pam) very lightly. Use an dark pan if possible.
3. This is a thick, dry dough that works best with a Kitchen Aid stand mixer to mix the dough well. You can use a hand held mixer if it can handle thick dough. Or mix by hand with a very sturdy spoon or use your hands like a bread dough.
4. Cream the Butter, Sugar, Dark Brown Sugar and Salt well. The Dark Brown Sugar is an important flavor component. You can substitute Light Brown Sugar but it will not taste as good. Make sure the Brown Sugar is fresh and very soft. Old hard Brown Sugar will affect the texture of your cookie.
5. Add the Eggs one by one to the mixture then the Vanilla Extract and mix well.
6. In a separate medium bowl mix the Flour with the Baking Soda well to ensure even rising.
7. Slowly add the Flour and Baking Soda mixture by the cup to the batter mixture. Mix until the flour is just incorporated then add the Chocolate Chips and mix until just distributed. Do not over mix. *Add 1 cup of toasted Nuts and/or 1 cup of Options below now with the Chocolate Chips, if using. Expect the dough to look dry and crumbly at times, this is normal.
TIP: Dry toast the chopped nuts on medium heat in a pan on the stove top for the best flavor. Simply add the chopped nuts to a dry pan on medium heat turning them frequently until they begin to brown. They will burn easy so watch closely. This makes a huge difference in the flavor of the cookie. Allow to cool some before adding to batter, about 2 mins.
TIP: Optional additions to add are Dried Cherries, Dried Cranberries, other Chip flavors like Butterscotch, Peanut Butter, White Chocolate, or Caramel Chunks or your favorite Nuts.
8. Form small balls of dough with your hands and flatten into 2 inch across and about 1/2 inch thick round discs on the cookie sheet. Space about 3 inches apart.
9. Bake on the center rack of your oven for 9-11 minutes at 350 degrees until the edges are a very light brown all around the cookie. Half way through cooking rotate your pan around for even baking. Cook only one sheet of cookies at a time. The centers may not look fully cooked when you remove them from the oven, this is what you want for a soft chewy Cookie. It will look uncooked but once it cools and sets it will firm up. Let them rest for 4 minutes on the cookie sheet (they are still cooking while on the hot pan) then remove with a spatula to a cooling rack. They need to set up before removing. The cookies taste best after cooling for about 2 hours. Store in an air tight container once completely cooled.
TIP: For a crispier cookie bake for about 12-14 minutes until the center is lightly browned.
COOKIE BAKING SUCCESS TIPS:
1. Use high quality ingredients. Better made flours (like King Arthur Brand, Gold Medal), Better Vanilla Extracts (Like Nielsen Massey), Better Chocolate (Like Ghirardeli, Dove, Scharffen Berger). Fake Vanilla makes a fake tasting cookie. Use a box mix if you want the fake flavor taste. Bad Chocolate tastes like bad Chocolate. Period. A good brand of Flour ensures a uniform flour that is consistent every time. Generic Flour companies in the US often use the lowest quality wheat from different sources. It does make a difference.
2. Use fine Sea Salt. Morton Table salt with iodine is the last thing you want to use in baking. It has a very chemical after taste and just a small amount is noticeable. I use Hain Brand Sea Salt which is $1.50. Don't buy expensive Sea Salt for baking (like fleur de sel) unless it is used as a finishing salt. Just get a good real Sea Salt. Do not use large grain Kosher salts. They do not dissolve as well leaving salt pockets.
3. Use the Freshest Eggs and Butter. Old Butter and Eggs make cookies taste rancid. Room temperature Eggs and Butter works best.
4. Sugar, brown and white, should be fresh. Use the freshest, softest Brown Sugar. It makes a huge difference. Brands of sugar are not as important. Sugar manufacturing in the US is fairly consistent brand to brand so a generic brand is just fine.
6. Form uniform sized dough balls/disc so the Cookies bake all the same. This eliminates some being over cooked and some being raw in the center.
7. Use a dark colored cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the center of your oven on the center rack and rotate the cookie sheet around 1/2 way through baking. This keeps the cookies evenly baked if you have a hotter spot in your oven. Bake one sheet at a time. Keep the oven door closed as much as possible so the temperature stays consistent.
8. Allow the Cookies to rest for 4 mins. on the cookies sheet once removed from the oven. The Cookies are still cooking and need to set up before removing.
9. Place on a baking rack to cool completely before storing in an air tight container. Minimum 2 hours cooling time.
10. Make sure the cookie sheet cools completely before adding another batch of dough.
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