Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Baking: Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband runs a club at his school called the Young Men's Club. Since he works at a performing arts school, there aren't a lot boys in his classes. I think it's because they don't want to take dance as their gym class. The club is a great opportunity for male students to bond and to talk about guy issues. Awhile ago, I started baking treats on Sunday nights for my husband to take to school for Monday's after school club meeting. He said the treats have doubled his attendance this year. Selfishly, the Sunday night baking is an excuse to try a new recipe or to use up ingredients taking up my precious cabinet space. This weekend, it was the latter.

I also needed an excuse to try out my new toy, a new flat beater with a scraper, that I picked up at Sur La Table yesterday. With the new beater, I won't have to constantly stop and scrape the bowl.

I still had almost an entire bag of chocolate chips left over from the owl cake pops. And I had a bag of white chocolate Ghirardelli chips, which I opened thinking I could use them for the owl ears only to remember that Ghirardelli makes their chips flatter. I decided to use both in my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

This recipe is not as decadent as my Jaques Torres chocolate chip cookie recipe, but then again, this recipe doesn't take at least 24 hours to make. So what makes this recipe different and better than the average Toll House recipe?

I use Italian pastry flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. I stumbled upon this flour at the gourmet market located on the ground floor of my apartment building. It has a higher gluten content, so it makes the cookies chewier.

The second key ingredient is adding an extra egg yolk (so one egg plus one egg yolk). This wisdom comes from Alton Brown and his Chewy episode on Good Eats.

Here is my adapted version of his recipe:

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Alton Brown)
Preheat your over to 325 degrees now

  • 3/4 cup salted butter (melted)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (make sure it's large, not extra large or jumbo!)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (use good quality, pure extract)
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 bag)
  • AND
  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips (1 bag)
  • or
  • 1 bag of M&Ms

  • Directions:

  1. Sift together the flour and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Pour the butter into your stand mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until well-mixed.
  3. Whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup or separate bowl. Never crack eggs over your dough/batter in case a loose shell gets in the mix!
  4. On a low mixer speed, slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
  5. Gradually pour in the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl (unless you have a super cool new beater-scraper!).
  6. Once the flour is worked in, drop the speed to "stir" and add the chocolate chips, M&Ms, and/or other goodies.
If you want larger cookies (like mine in the photo), scoop the dough using a 1/4 measuring cup. For smaller cookies, use a cookie scoop (a good rounded tablespoon). Make sure your cookie sheets are either lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. You should be able to fit about 6 cookies per sheet.
Bake larger cookies for 16-18 minutes (check them at 15 minutes though). Smaller cookies usually take 10-12 minutes.
As a side note, the dough mixture is really versatile. I've made the recipe with white chocolate chips and cranberries, with M&Ms and chocolate chips, with peanut butter and regular chocolate chips.... I think any combination that sounds good will work. Just make sure you have at least 24 ounces of something or the cookies will be really doughy -- unless that's the way you like 'em!

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