Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies win!

I was in the mood for some easy comfort food after that last, complicated concoction so I turned immediately to the old staple: chocolate chip cookies. I recently got The Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball, trusting the author as a contributer to Cook's Illustrated and, subsequently, The Best Recipe cookbook. Yeah. Not a great idea. I guess you never know about a recipe until you try it. His idea of the "best" chocolate chip cookie was bland, flour-y and tasteless. They quickly became Trash Cookies.

I compared his recipe to The Best Recipe and saw immediately he'd changed the fat (butter) content by half which explained why the ratio of flour was so off. The Best Recipe cookbook merely modifies the tried and true Tollhouse recipe (which, I agree, isn't perfect). Their modifications resulted in a perfectly shaped, textured and tasty cookie. Once again, The Best Recipe comes through. I really shouldn't be surprised anymore but any time I make something that comes out right, I really really am.

Source: The Best Recipe

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs, vanilla and water. Beat until combined, about 40 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl.

3. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, 15 to 20 seconds. Add chocolate chips and nuts and stir until combined.

4. Drop batter by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing pieces of dough about 1 inch apart. Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges begin to crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks with wide spatula.


Ale chuchis said...

How weird, I baked chocolate chip cookies yesterday too! My recipe had a quarter less butter and no water, though, I wonder if they really make a difference.

Also, things take longer to bake in my oven, and I heard somewhere that altitude influences that, would you know if it's true? It just throws me off-balance, and I ended up with too-crunchy cookies when I actually wanted chewy ones. *sigh*

And this is a bit embarassing to ask but, what setting do you use in your camera so the background will get blurry? I know how to do that in regular cameras with diaphragm, but I still can't quite grasp my digital one. o_O

(Nekare on LJ)

Niki said...

We're chocolate chip cookie twins!! \o/

I have heard that altitude affects baking but I can't quite remember in what way. :/ And I'll join you in your embarrassment by disclosing that I'm still working on Automatic focus on my camera. It does allllll the work for me... I'm still learning how to work manually and I believe it has something to do with aperture (setting the lowest aperture for your lens, I think). When I figure it out, I'll definitely let you know what I find.

BTW, how lame is Blogger that I can't directly reply to your comment OR friend your blog or anything? Unless I can and I just don't know how... Do you know? :/

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm a sucker for cookies and love trying new recipes for choc chip cookies. I'm bookmarking this one right now - your cookies look superb!