Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tasty Tuesday–Chocolate Chip Cookies Tutorial (Also includes directions for a “Big Cookie”)

Tasty Tuesday

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday here at The Young'ns!
There’s a recipe index under the food tab above if you’re ever looking for a recipe I’ve already blogged.

We all have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, right?? Well, I’ve had several people tell me that mine are fantastic, and I really have no idea why mine turn out better than some. So, I thought maybe a tutorial would help. My husband’s all-time favorite cookies are chocolate chip. Add kids to that, and I basically *have* to be good at making them! I timed myself once, and I can have a batch of dough ready in less than five minutes. If' I take longer to make the dough than it takes the oven to heat up, I’ve taken too long :-)

Anyway, Chocolate Chip Cookies in pictures:

{Ingredients}

IMG_4164

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), salted. The real deal. No substitutions.
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (that’s the regular white kind)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla. or so. I actually add a bit more than that,  but that’s a personal preference. Also, you’ll see in the picture that I attempted to make my own vanilla extract. It didn’t work all that well, but that’s a story for another day
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour. I usually use Hungarian High Altitude, but I’m currently out, oops.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups Nestle Chocolate Morsels. Do yourself a favor and don’t get the generic ones.

{Tools I Use}

{Directions}

  • Soften butter. I do this by unwrapping it into a bowl and microwaving it for 20 seconds. You can tell it’s done when you can dent the top with your finger, but there’s no melted butter in the bowl.                                       IMG_4165
  • Place both sugars and the softened butter in the mixer and turn on low. Mix until creamy, about one minute. It should look something like this when it’s done:IMG_4168
  • While that’s going, mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. I usually just give it a bit of a stir with the teaspoon measurer.IMG_4167
  • Add both eggs and the vanilla to the mixer bowl. IMG_4169
  • Mix until it looks something like this:IMG_4170 Beware of overmixing at this stage. You still have to mix in the dry ingredients and you don’t want your cookies to be tough. Just mix until it’s pretty well combined, but you don’t have to kill it!
  • Slowly add in the flour, a bit at a time, until all flour is combined. I basically cover the top of the dough with flour, and then let it mix just a bit before adding more. The reason you don’t want to add all of it is so that it doesn’t make a huge pouf of a mess AND so that you don’t overwhelm your mixer. Also, for this step, you’ll want to make sure that it’s really all mixed in! So if you need to stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape down the bowl a bit, do it! I also find that sometimes the very very bottom middle doesn’t get mixed well, so I usually scrape  that too.IMG_4171IMG_4172IMG_4174Okay, your dough should look like this now.
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix just enough to combine. DO NOT OVERMIX!! This is important because you want those chips to stay whole and you really don’t want tough cookies. Really.IMG_4175
  • Now is where you’re going to love that cookie scoop and parchment paper. Lay out the parchment paper on two cookie sheets and scoop away! I have played with the configuration of the cookie balls a lot, and here’s what I have found to be the best: 8 cookies staggered like this will leave enough room between them so they don’t get stuck together, but doesn’t waste too much space either.IMG_4180
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes. They won’t look done yet. That’s okay, pull them out anyway. They should be just getting brown along the top and edges, but only a tiny bit.IMG_4182These are done!    IMG_4184These are a little bit overdone. See the one in the bottom right? Brown all over. Too done.
  • Let cool on a rack until all the way cool. Then you’ll see why you pulled them out “early”. They brown a bit and harden a bit after they’re cool. Whatever you do, DO NOT stack them before they’re all the way cool. You’ll end up with ball-o-cookie (not that I’ve ever done that before, right Mom?) IMG_4185                     Try not to burn yourself as you break one open and enjoy the ooey gooey chocolately goodnessIMG_4187

 

Okay, a note about “bar” cookies. There’s a restaurant (or two or three) that have those yummy big cookies a la mode, some of them being better than others. Want to make one at home? It’s way easier than you think! Use a 9” cake pan and this recipe for cookie doughIMG_4181

It takes half of a batch of dough to make a cookie this size, so you can either make two big cookies, or make one big cookie and about 16 regular cookies, your choice.

To bake the big cookie, pat it into the cake pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 or so minutes. You want it to get a bit browner than the cookies so that the middle gets all the way done. I forgot to take a picture right after I pulled it out of the oven, so this looks a bit darker than when I actually pulled it outIMG_4192

Slice it like a pie and eat with a glass of milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, delicious!

 

I hope this helps in your chocolate chip cookie endeavors! Let me know how they turn out :-)

~S

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