Saturday, August 9, 2014

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I like to post my 'best classics' recipes on occasion for those who are just learning to cook or looking for a great rendition of a standard dish. This cookie recipe is an excellent rendition of a classic. Not too sweet, but very rich.



Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup castor or baker's sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup (250g) salted butter, softened
2 tspn vanilla essence
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1 egg
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts - (1/2 cup Walnuts and 1/2 cup Pecans)
2 cups chocolate chips


  • I use half and half Walnuts and Pecans to get that classic cookie taste but any nuts you have on hand will do. 
  • Dark or semi sweet chocolate chips add the best flavour; using 2 or more brands of chocolate chips will give variation in the texture and add interest. 
  • To reduce calories I use sugar free chocolate chips and replace the castor sugar with Splenda. Do not use all Splenda or the cookies will not brown

Method



  • Preheat oven to 165C (325F) 
  • Soften the butter either by leaving it out of the fridge or using the microwave. Butter that is partially melted has the best results for the final cookies. 

  • Cream the butter and sugars together using an electric mixer, once the butter has lightened in colour add the vanilla and the egg and whip until well combined. 
  • Add the flour, baking soda and salt and then mix until a dough is formed.





  • Coarsely chop the nuts, if you have a herb grinder or small food processor this will give the best consistency. 
  • Add the chopped nuts and the chocolate chips to the batter and then mix thoroughly using a spatula



Testing the effect of portioning on the final results - scoop cookies, chilled batter, hand shaped, spoon drop, batter balls


  • I spent some time experimenting with different methods of portioning and baking the batter to give the "most attractive" cookies and these gave the most consistent results. Use a spoon or your hands if this is too much bother
  • Line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper or silicon baking liners; make sure to let the sheets and liners cool before reusing them or the butter in the batter will melt and change the shape of the cookies
  • Using a cookie scoop measure out the batter into drop cookies (around 1tbspn of batter per cookie) spaced around 2 inches apart
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  • Do not flatten or otherwise reshape the scooped batter. Add some extra chocolate chips to the top of the mounds so that some chips will be exposed above the cookie. 
  • Put the tray with portioned cookies into the freezer for 15 mins, cooling the batter gives better shape and reduces spread during baking
  • Once the batter is frozen place the tray into the oven to bake for around 15 mins or until the batter is very lightly golden brown - remember that the cookies will continue to bake slightly after being removed from the oven

  • Cool on a rack and serve with coffee or cold milk. Store in cookie tins lined with baking paper and keep for 1-2 weeks if you can.

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