Thursday, 14 January 2010

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies

Hello. My name is Daniel. And I have a sweet tooth. There. I said it. But I'm not the only one in my family...my wife is very partial to all things sweet, my older son can sense chocolate 10 miles against the wind and it's not much of a bet to say that my youngest will follow in our family's sweet footsteps one day.

Now, instead of fulfilling my sweet cravings with supermarket-bought junk (which I do anyways...Toffifee anyone?), I'm attempting to resort to more home-made goodies. It won't be less calorific, but at least I know what goes in the finished product.

Chocolate chip cookies are a staple of our household. But they HAVE to be soft and they HAVE to be chewy.





Ingredients (makes 24 cookies... IF you can resist the dough)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 230g butter (about 2 sticks), softened
  • 1/2 cup granular white sugar
  • 1 cup muscovado sugar  (you could use normal soft brown sugar instead)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (NOT vanilla essence!!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (you can use ready-made ones, but I prefer to use equal parts of high quality dark, milk and white chocolate that I then chop myself)

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (about 375°F) 
  2. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda 
  3. In a separate, larger bowl mix sugars and butter with a hand-held mixer on medium speed (you can also use a kitchen machine) until light and fluffy
  4. Reduce speed to low and add the eggs and vanilla extract
  5. Using a metal spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips
  7. Put heaped tablespoons of the cookie dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (make sure to leave enough space in between, so max. 9 cookies per sheet)
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned
  9. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
  10. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week (they NEVER make it that long in our household - the last batch barely lasted 3 days *sigh*)



Tips for adapting this recipe
By adding cocoa powder (2 heaped tbsp should to the trick... but add more sugar to the eggs to offset the bitterness of the cocoa) to the flour  you get dark cookies. You can reduce the amount of chocolate chips a bit and add dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, chopped dates), chopped nuts (pecans and macadamia go very well with this recipe) or caramel fudge. Any combination you think may go well together, really.

Tips for freezing
This is great for freezing. After Step 6 (when you've done stirring in the chocolate chips), put the dough on cling film and roll it into a log shape form (5-7cm diameter, using the cling film to hold it together. Place in a freeze-proof bag or container and keep until you have the munchies for cookies. Either defrost the entire dough in the fridge and follow the steps above, or, using a serrated knife cut about 1 cm thick slices of the frozen dough (you may want to give it a few minutes at room temperature before) and place bake them immediately -  you may have to increase baking time by a few minutes.





1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention step 6.5, where you give me a teensy little amount of raw cookie dough, and then i sneak at least five more table spoons of it while you're trying to bake. That's the best step!

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