Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Precious Chocolate Chip Cookies.....We wants one!

Nothing says 'You're special' better than Chocolate. Chocolate in any form, a bar, a cake, a fondue, a pastry, with fruits, baked, sprinkled...or a Perfect Chocolate Chip just always works!!

Stuff 'em up in a Big Cookie Jar with a pretty bow, and Smeagol would think "We wants one!!"...Yup yup Lord of the Rings and a die-hard Gollum fan!! :D
Anyways, to me this just seemed as the best "I'll Miss You" gift for a 4 year Toddler who I know loves spicy food and Desserts. Why Miss you, you ask?..Aah cos he is my neighbor's son and they moved away this past weekend. We'll surely see them often, but I really miss coming home to those occasional "Hi Jyoti Aunty."...aww I just had to bake him some quality cookies; And these lived to my expectations. His Mom reported back, that he loved 'em so much that he'd like to bake some with his Mom this holiday Season. So while they get baking, I thought I'll spread the word on how awesome Ashley's Chocolate Chip Cookies really are.

Came across Ashley's wonderful website Not Without Salt, while looking for the best choc chip cookie recipe out there. And the moment I saw them I could hear Angels not only sing, but also play their harp. LOL..I have been looking for a Ghirardelli-like chocolate chip cookies. Those in my opinion are awesome most cookies, with a chewy center and the decadent chocolate square chips...ummm that's purely indescribable! And these Chocolate chip cookies are just that. Ashley isn't joking when she says, "It is the last chocolate chip cookie recipe you'll ever need." Hear ya Ashley, and while savoring one right now Growling Tummies Approved. :)

Also, this is post goes out to all the wonderful kids in my life...each and everyone of them. All you munchkins will be very special to me forever...especially my lil niece Annvi, who wanted to travel via the phone to come bake and eat these choc chip cookies <3<3

Before you begin baking, I suggest you read Ashley's Chocolate Chip Cookies Revisited which also directs you to Dana's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. I used a few tricks that they have been kind to share, and I'll share them with you in form of pictures :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients (yields 30-35 cookies depending on how big or small you bake..plenty to go around ;))
  • 1 Cup or 2 sticks Butter (8 oz) (I used Salted butter..but you can use Unsalted)
  • 1/4th Cup White Sugar (2 oz)
  • 1/4th Cup Turbinado Sugar (2 oz)
  • 1 3/4th Cup Brown Sugar (12 oz)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence (Original recipe calls for 2, but I only had 1 on hand..didn't miss it :P)
  • 3 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour (1 lb)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda (Make sure it's fresh)
  • 1/4th tsp Salt (Original recipe calls for 3/4th tsp..but I compensated for the Salted butter)
  • 12 oz Chocolate (For the amount of Sugar the recipe calls for I used 4oz of Unsweetened 100% cacao, and the rest 8oz was Semisweet chocolate chips. I didn't notice the unsweetened part except for when trying to lick the melted chocolate after baking was over :D..seriously don't do it! ;))
  • Handful Salted Macadamia nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 360ºF. Place the rack in the middle of the oven. (Only if you are going to bake as soon as the dough is ready. I hear you saying, "Hell ya..I am baking it asap...what do you mean only if..."... LOL..OK OK, but I let it rest for a minimum of 4 hours in the refrigerator)

Line your sheet pan with parchment paper and keep aside.

Cream the butter and the sugars until very light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes on medium high.
That's a lot of sugar! Light and fluffy on the right...Creamed it for about 7-8 minutes at speed 6.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing at a low speed, while adding 1 egg at a time. Make sure the first egg is incorporated completely before adding the next.
After each egg incorporation
Add the vanilla and Scrape the bowl down. Scrape the bottom of the bowl too.

Mix the flour, soda and salt in a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Now with the mixer on a low speed, slowly add almost all the flour. Reserve a good 1/4th cup of the flour mixture.

Mix only until just combined. Be careful to not over mix. This took about 40 sec on the STIR speed.
Look at the white streaks of flour. Just combine, don't over mix! (I know, bad lighting)
Remove the bowl from your stand mixer and add the remaining flour and mix with a spatula. Again, don't over mix. We still have the chocolate to be combined, everything will be taken care of then.

Don't worry about the white streaks of flour, we still have to mix the chocolate in.
Time to add the chocolaty goodness now. I used 4 oz of unsweetened 100% cacao and remaining 8 oz were semisweet choc chips. Add it all in at once.

Stir until just combined. You will see all the flour getting mixed too.
Cookie Doughn't you want some...yeah am a Coldstone fan!! :P
Alright, now it's time to refrigerate the dough. If you cannot resist, then use a 1 1/2 tablespoon ice-cream scoop to scoop out mounds of dough on a lined sheet pan. Allow the scooped out mounds to rest on your counter for about 10 minutes before baking. Trust me it helps!!!

If you are like me and believe in allowing the dough to rest, then follow the steps below, for ease of baking later.

Divide the dough into 2 parts and shape them in form of logs. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate them for at least 4 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven and line your sheet pans. Have at least 2 ready.

Take out the dough from the refrigerator and carefully cut the log into about 1/4 inch sized pieces. This will make smaller cookies. If you want big sized cookies cut them about 1/2 inch long. To render it some shape, I pressed each square log shaped piece into an ice-cream scoop and laid it down on my sheet pans.

Leave at least 2 inches between each dough mound. No need to press down the dough, leave the mounds as is. At this point you can add some Sea salt or even chopped Macadamia nuts.
I got about 12 smaller cookies per sheet.

 Set the sheet pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake only one at a time for exactly about 12 minutes.
The cookies should be golden brown on the outside and gooey and should seem undone in the center. You would want to bake more, just looking at them, but trust the recipe. They continue to cook as they cool, so do not overbake!!!

Right out of the oven...Yummmayyy..the really hot ones are sooo goooeeeey and delish!!!
Leave these undisturbed on the pan for about 2-3 minutes and then carefully transfer on a wire rack to cool. The cookies should easily come off the lined paper.

Dig right into these delicious cookies. Oh and don't forget the rest of the prepared cookie sheets. I am baking 2 batches today, will take more pics with the macadamia nuts and update the post.

Update: As promised the Salted Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Cookie Baking and Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays 2012!!! :)

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