Thursday, October 02, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies


I love cookies. Big, fat, chewy cookies, choc-a-block full of chocolate and nuts. My favourite store bought ones are Mrs Fields, or Ben's Cookies in the UK - amazing. Apart from The Rock's favourite chocolate chip cookies, which are full of oatmeal for extra texture, I adore the classic chocolate chip cookie - just chewy dough, big chocolate chunks, and walnuts.

I don't quite buy into that whole "ultimate" choc chip cookie thing. After much research and recipe comparison, I've come to the conclusion that all classic choc chip cookie recipes are pretty much the same. And besides, "ultimate" is a relative term. It's really up to you to make them how you like them. Do you like milk chocolate or dark? In big old chunks or little chips? Walnuts, almonds, or no nuts at all? Thin and crispy? Thick and chewy?

When I'm in a super-cookie mood, I like to make up a batch of cookie dough, form them into appropriate cookie shapes, and keep them in an airtight container or freezer bag.


You can bake the cookie dough straight from the freezer...


... and that way, freshly baked chunky chocolate cookies are never more than 15 minutes away. Extremely convenient, and very impressive if you're having friends over for a girls' night in, or even a proper dinner party. As Colin Cowie says, "Frozen, ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookie dough is a... fantastic option for a last-minute flourish!"


On a more serious note, keeping the cookie dough in the freezer instead of baking it all at once means you're more likely to limit yourself to one or two. So it's a (relatively) healthier. Unless, of course, you go the whole hog and sandwich a scoop of ice-cream between 2 cookies.



The Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie
(adapted from The Ghiradelli Original Chocolate Cookbook)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup chocolate chips/pieces/chunks of choice (I like Lindt Milk)
1/2 c chopped nuts of choice (I like walnuts)

Cream butter with sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat in egg. Mix flour with salt and bicarb; mix into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate and nuts. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls, and press flat into cookie shapes. Place cookies on a tray, and place tray into freezer. Once cookies are firm enough to keep their shape, place cookies in a freezer bag or airtight container, sealing well.

When it is cookie time, pre-heat oven to 180C (375F). Take desired number of cookies and place on a lined baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven, until cookies are golden brown and cooked to your liking. Lift cookies off tray with a spatula, and leave to cool on a wire rack for as long as you can bear to wait. Remember that cookies will continue to firm up as they cool.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

so hard to find yummy cookies in Brussels! thanks for the post, it's inspired me to try baking my own! bisou f

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

I completely agree, most of those 'ultimate' cookie recipes are pretty similar. So what's with the 'ultimate' tag? Anyway, yours look delicious, good idea storing them in the freezer. As if that would stop me :)

Lisa said...

They look delicious! And, as always, I'm impressed w/your org skills.
Did you read the article in the New York Times recently about how to get the best cookie? Chilling the dough for hours was a key step to "perfection."
You were two steps ahead of everyone.

thanh7580 said...

I don't know about ultimate choc chip cookie, but that New York Times article was quite interesting to me, coming from a science background. I've yet to try that recipe, but will give it a try just to see if I can notice the difference. In fact, I might bake two batches, one with the extended fridge time, one without and do a double blind test to see if anyone, including myself, can spot the difference.

julie said...

Hi Sarah! I love cookies too. Yours look great, as ever. I have just baked some by Dorie G. that include some chopped up Maltesers. Mmmhhh warm cookies can't be beaten :-)

Actually, I wanted to offer my sympathies for all the bad people you'd invited to Sunday lunch but perhaps you deleted that post already (too many f**ks in it, lol)... stupid ones who didn't deserve all your hard work!

Randi said...

What kind of chips did you use? I've never seen chips with that octagon shape.