Wednesday, January 9, 2008

simplicity at its best...

There's nothing more appealing than a batch of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, the smell perfuming the kitchen, the delectable morsels beckoning. Break one in half to see the melting chocolate dotting the soft interior - none of those crisp cookies here, just simple, chewy, and delicious. I've searched for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for a long time and finally came across this one. Before this, my cookies have come out cakey and puffy, but this recipe gives the bakery-style chewy cookies that I love.

A few notes about these cookies:
  • The butter must be melted
  • The cookies will not look done after you pull them out of the oven. Let them rest on the cookie sheet until they set. If you bake them any longer, they will harden as they cool
  • I always use chocolate chunks; I find that chips don't melt and you end up with hard pieces of chocolate in your cookies. If you like that, then by all means use chips, but I like my chocolate melted and gooey. I usually use the semi-sweet chunks from Berkeley Bowl (they come from the dispenser) or else chop up a chocolate bar
  • Feel free to add in nuts, toffee bits, chocolate-covered espresso beans, etc.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies (adapted from Allrecipes)
make about 20 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch salt
3/4 cup (1.5 stick) unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (dark, semisweet, or milk)

Beat melted and cooled butter with brown and granulated sugar until well blended. Beat in vanilla, whole egg and egg yolk until light and creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add into wet ingredients and stir until just mixed. Be sure to not overworked the dough. Stir in chocolate chunks and additional add-ins by hand. Refrigerate dough for 10 minutes.

Drop by 1/6* cup fulls onto greased baking sheet, leaving plenty of space in between. I usually fit about 6 onto a standard 15x12 baking sheet. Bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for 11-13 minutes. Pull them out when slightly golden and let them cool on baking sheet.

*You can also make giant cookies using 1/4 cup dough per cookie. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

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