Sunday, May 22, 2011

What is it About a Chocolate Chip Cookie?

When I collected my boys from Sunday School this morning, a plate of snickerdoodles was waiting in the lobby of our church.  Both boys immediately devoured a cookie, as did every other child in the vicinity and the plate was quickly emptied!  Minutes later when we passed the plate again, it had been restocked, only this time with chocolate chip cookies.  My biggest little guy fought back tears.  He knew the rule...he had had his one cookie.  "But mom!  Now they have chocolate chip cookies!!!"  What is it about chocolate chip cookies?  There are so many delectable cookie choices out there, but in my humble opinion, and clearly my son's too, nothing beats the classic chocolate chip!

I don't mean to brag, but I get a lot of requests for my chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I'll admit it's a good recipe but I'm not sure it's anything special or unusual.  I sometimes add a few teaspoons of instant coffee which gives it a richer flavor...but not always, as I figure the kiddos probably don't need a shot of caffeine in an already sugary treat.  My husband's friends are so fanatical over my cookies, they swear I have a top secret ingredient.  They were sure it was something horribly bad that made the cookies taste so good...something I would never admit to.  A rumor was started that I put lard in my cookies.  Okay, no offense if you cook with lard...but lard in my cookies - Gross!  No way!  I do believe that the right tools and techniques contribute to the chewy texture of the cookie.  I would love to bake up a big batch to share with each of you, dear friends.  But since that would be sort of difficult to do, I thought I'd share a few tips that I've learned in my many years of cookie baking.  And I'll go ahead and post my recipe too.

I use my kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment to mix up the dough.  Your cookies will taste better if you use a pink mixer... wink ;)
I have one baking stone...just one!  It is several years old and obviously very well seasoned.  I use it for absolutely everything!  I think a stone is essential for baking amazing cookies.  I don't think I've ever burned a batch of cookies on this stone.  They come out perfect, every time.
Another baking tool I have found invaluable is a cooling rack.  I try not to let the cookies sit on the stone for more than 5 minutes after they're done baking.  I transfer them to the cooling rack as soon as they are set enough to be handled with a spatula without falling apart.  Allowing them to cool on the rack seems to be a big part of what gives them that desirable chewy texture.  

Recipe:  Yields approx. 2 dozen cookies

1 cup of butter, softened
2 cups of brown sugar
6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
3.5 cups of flour
(optional -3 teaspoons of instant coffee)
1.5 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Cream the butter with the sugars
2.  Add in the egg and vanilla
3.  Combine the dry ingredients, then add to the butter mixture. 
4.  Stir in chocolate chips
5.  Arrange spoon fulls of dough onto baking stone and bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes.  Know your oven.  Mine seems to bake a little on the cool side.  My cookies are done at exactly 11 minutes..every time!
6.  Transfer to a cooling rack.  Once cookies have completely cooled, arrange them on a pretty plate...and enjoy!

Thank you for your sweet visit!  I hope your weekend was simply lovely!  Cheers to a great week ahead!  Don't forget to bake up a batch of cookies and eat one warm from the oven!  Yummmm!

Best Wishes and Blessings,

Sharing With:
Craft-O-Maniac Monday at Craft-O-Maniac Blog
Melt in Your Mouth Monday at Make Ahead Dinners for Busy Moms