Friday, September 16, 2016

The Science of Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cook's notes: Fresh baked cookies are hard to resist especially ones with chocolate chips. For many years I've been a huge fan of the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe made from the back of the Nestles' bag. Have you ever noticed how one cookie can look different from another? There is definitely a science to the baking. Check out this chart to see how different ingredients can alter the shape.  
I found these links quite informative on the science of cookie baking. 
http://www.handletheheat.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-chocolate-chip-cookies/
http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2013/12/the-food-lab-the-best-chocolate-chip-cookies.html
This link offers ideas for the baker on how to replace butter in baking. 
http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/How-Replace-Butter-When-Baking-21875486
When I came across this cookie recipe for Chocolate Chunk Cookies I wondered if it were possible that these cookies could be better than the standard Nestles Chocolate Chip Cookies.  
I must say that these cookies were a very close second to Nestles. I would definitely make them again. I really liked the chocolate combination of semi-sweet, milk chocolate and bittersweet, the perfect cookie texture with crisp edges and soft and chewy interior. It's hard to resist those delicious chocolate chunks and crisp nuts in every bite! And a little hint of flaked sea salt over the top is piece de resistance.
Recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy and makes 3 dozen cookies. 
These cookies  seem to beg for a glass of milk.  
 Ingredients:
  • 2- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (measure using scoop and sweep method)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1- bar (4 oz.) bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), chopped into chunks
  • 1 -bar (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped into chunks 
  • 1 bar (4 oz.) milk chocolate, chopped into chumks 
  • 1- 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
  • Maldon sea salt flakes (optional)
Directions:
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds, set aside. 
  • Mix butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add in one egg and mix until combined, then add in second egg, and vanilla and mix until combined. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks, chips and walnuts. Shape dough into large balls, about 2- 1/2 TB. each. Transfer balls to plates, cover with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour. 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees during last 10 minutes of chilling.
  • Transfer chilled cookie dough balls to parchment paper lined baking sheets and sprinkle tops lightly with sea salt if desired (keep rest of dough chilled in refrigerator). 
  • Bake cookies in preheated oven about 10 minutes (don't over-bake, the middles of the cookies should look under-baked). Allow to cool on baking sheet several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
  • If you won't be sprinkling the tops with sea salt then up the table salt to 3/4 tsp.

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