Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bake2Share: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Baker's Banter Blog

EVERYONE has a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe; this is ours. These golden cookies are packed with chips and loaded with buttery flavor. They walk the line nicely between crunchy and chewy: the edges are crisp, while the center is "bendy."

Our guarantee: These 3" cookies are fairly thin, with the chips under the crust offering a "bumpy" top surface. Their edges will be crisp and brown, while their centers are softer.

Read our blog about these cookies, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.

Ingredients

* 2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
* 2/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, right from the fridge, or at room temperature
* 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
* 1 teaspoon vinegar, cider or white
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 large egg
* 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

1) In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, salt, vanilla and almond extracts, vinegar, and baking soda, beating until smooth and creamy.

2) Beat in the egg, again beating till smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.

3) Mix in the flour, then the chips.

4) Use a spoon (or a tablespoon cookie scoop) to scoop 1 1/4" balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between them on all sides; they'll spread.

5) Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes, till their edges are chestnut brown and their tops are light golden brown, almost blonde. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan till they've set enough to move without breaking. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
12 mins.
Baking time:
12 mins.
Total time:
36 mins.
Yield:
36 cookies

Tips from our bakers

* To make mocha chocolate chip cookies, add 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder to the dough along with the salt.
* To bake extra-big, bake sale-style (5") cookies, scoop the dough in scant 1/3-cupfuls onto the baking sheets. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes (if the dough hasn't been refrigerated), or 17 to 18 minutes (if it's been refrigerated).
* A mere sprinkling of sea salt atop the balls of cookie dough before baking adds wonderful flavor to the finished cookies.
* For a deeper flavor, more toffee/caramel than vanilla, refrigerate the dough for 24 to 48 hours before scooping and baking. Bake till cookies are brown around the edges, with just a bit of pale center, about 12 minutes.
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