Recently, the chocolate chip cookie phase has hit the food blogging world. Yup - first no-rise bread, then macroons, now for a short while cookies. Inspired by this article from the NY Times, bloggers have joined in the quest for the perfect chocolate cookie. The article, written by David Leite and with comments from the famous Dorie Greenspan, explained and explored the view that freezing or chilling your cookie dough for 12, 24 or 36 hours can influence the flavour of the end result. Leite experimented with 3 batches of cookie dough, cooking each one after 12, 24 and 36 hours. He came up with the result that chilling your dough does improve your cookie and you end up with a more carmelly and rich flavoured cookie!
Well, thats all fine and fabulous, but to me a cookie is a cookie and something I make generally because they are supposed to be easy and quick. Yesterday I made my chocolate chip cookies and cooked them straight after whipping up the dough as I couldnt wait a day to get some fresh cookies! I used my actual oven for the first time and it was a bit experimental - I found it hard to be sure that the oven was at the correct temperature as the dial only shows 50, 100, 150, 200 etc whereas my old oven went up in 10's. Anyway, I cooked them at what I presumed to be 180 and I think they worked pretty well.
This is the recipe I always use for chocolate chip cookies, with my comments in pink:
Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Dorling Kindersley Childrens Step-by-Step CookBook
Makes 18 cookies
70g (2 1/2 oz) caster sugar
70g (2 1/2 oz) soft brown sugar
115g (4oz) softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (the cookies would be good with this - sadly we didnt have any in)140g (5 oz) plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (forgot :P )
175g (6oz) chocolate chips (I didnt use nearly this much - I used about 3/4 of a 150g bar! I could have used a bit more but it was hot and I wasnt doing very well bashing up my chocolate so it was melting!)
1. Set the oven to 190'C / 375'F/ Gas Mark 5. Beat the butter with both lots of sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy.
2. Break the egg into the bowl and beat it into the mixture until smooth. Then add the vanilla essence and mix it in.
3. Add the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda to the mixture, a little at a time, and stir everything together well.
4. Add the chocolate chips and stir them in until they are evenly spread through the cookie mixture.
5. Butter the baking trays and spoon small mounds of the mixture on to them, leaving big spaces between the mounds. (Don't butter your trays - line them with paper instead)
6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minuts until they are an even golden brown colour, then move them to a wire rack to cool.
I think this recipe worked fairly well - it is very simple as it comes from a childrens book! As I mentioned in the recipe, buttering the trays was a bit of a waste of time as one tray completely stuck to the bottom and had to be really scraped off which broke them up. Lining them with parchment paper would be much better. The cookies tasted good - crunchy edges, melted chocolate chunks in the middle! I don't think this is the ultimate cookie recipe and I would like to experiment with some others - if any one would like to share their favourite?? I am sorry for the lack of photographs today - by the time I remembered half the batch had gone. I piled up the few that were left but my camera was out of battery :( I left them, planning to photograph them later but that night only one was left! I gave my Dad (cookie stealer) strict instructions not to eat it until he got back from work the next day so I could photograph my lonely cookie this morning. Lo and behold, I got down this morning, searched for it and the cookie thief had been! Anyhow, as my Mum said "they weren't that photogenic anyway"! Humph!
Back soon as I have lots to cook - mocha kisses sandwiched with chocolate buttercream, tomato and pesto tart and the best brownies ever!