Friday, January 13, 2017

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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A warm, chewy chocolate chip cookie is a universally beloved treat.  They remind many of us of our childhood and the inevitable bliss of a sugar high created by scarfing down a whole plate of fresh baked goodies.  While I enjoy making all types of cookies, chocolate chip is my go-to because I know that they will be a hit with almost everyone.

The recipe I always use is one I inherited and is used by most of my family – but has been heavily edited by me.  In fact, in preparing this blog post I played with my usual formula a few times, resulting in three different batches of cookies (which, I assure you, did not go to waste).  Finally I achieved what I believe to be the absolute perfect chewy chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C butter OR margarine
  • 1/2 C vegetable shortening
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 C flour
  • 1-2 C mini chocolate chips

Equipment

  • large bowl
  • small bowl
  • spatula
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • stand or hand mixer
  • cookie baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • 1” cookie scoop (optional)
  • baking racks

NOTE: Using butter for this recipe will result in crispier cookies while margarine results in softer, chewier cookies.  Use one or the other depending on which kind of cookie you prefer.

Prior to making the dough, remove the butter or margarine from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature – do not melt it or it could throw off the texture of your cookies.  When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In your mixing bowl combine the butter/margarine, shortening, granulated sugar and dark brown sugar and cream together with mixer (you can do this by hand but it is a lot of work).

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Beat the mixture until it is fluffy and lightened in color, about five minutes.  Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla and blend completely.  In a separate bowl, crack the two eggs (using the separate bowl is useful in case you drop an eggshell) then add to your batter.  Once the egg is incorporated, whip the mixture for five minutes to fully blend, dissolve the sugar and lighten the dough.  Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides with the spatula.

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At this point you no longer need the mixer, so remove it from the bowl.  Using the spatula, fold in the flour one cup at a time.  The dough should stiffen up considerably.  When all the flour has been added, incorporate the chocolate chips; I use a cup but if you like very chocolately cookies add two cups.

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On the parchment lined cookie sheet, place 1” balls of the dough approximately 2” apart.  If you have a cookie scoop or melon baller, it makes it easy to keep the sizes uniform but if not just use a couple spoons to shape the balls.  Bake for 14 minutes, remove the sheet from the oven and slide the parchment onto a baking rack to allow the cookies to cool.  If you do not have racks, just slide the parchment onto the stovetop or countertop; if you leave them on the hot baking sheet they will overcook and not stay moist and chewy. 

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