Monday, 5 August 2013

The Start of the Chocolate Chip Cookie Journey

Chocolate chip cookies are one of those things that everyone has an opinion about, and rightly so. For a baker it is very much fundamental that they find a recipe that they think is perfect and that search can be a very hard one because chocolate chip cookies come in so many forms. Chewy, crispy, biscuity, soft, cakey, smooth, craggy, white, milk, dark, big chunks, little flakes...the list goes on and yet I have never yet met a person who doesn't like a chocolate chip cookie. The wealth of recipes I have found through Pinterest (yep, that addiction is still going strong) is amazing and many of them talked about the jourey the baker went on before settling in a specific cookie place. There is one post that I really like and has very much inspired this one but annoyingly I cannot find the pin anywhere so I can only conclude that I've managed to accidentally delete it but as soon as I find it again I'll update this post straight away. It's too good not to share. Basically the lady who wrote it used the Nestle Toll House cookie recipe and adapted it in different ways to do a comparison on how the end result was affected. If I remember rightly the variations were more flour, all brown sugar, all white sugar, just bicarb, just baking powder, chilled dough and melted butter plus the original. It's driving me insane trying to work out where I saved this bookmark and why the pin isn't on any of my boards! Someone posted it on Facebook a few days ago too and I can't even find it on there. Grrr!

In the meantime, WAIT, STOP, I'VE FOUND IT! It was there all along where I was just looking. Here it is - The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies from Handle the Heat. The blog looks fantastic and the lady who wrote it seems lovely too. So, where was I? Oh yes, what I was trying to say was that I've decided to go on my own adventure to find the recipe which I personally thinks gives the best chocolate chip cookie and to give the results of each stage on here. This is going to take me a very long time because I have A LOT of recipes I want to try and I'll want to try other none chocoalte chip cookies in the meantime. There are so many recipes to consider already out there that the ones I explore with will not be my own creations, at most I'll alter a quantity of an ingredient if I can tell stright away that I won't like it e.g. if I think the result will be greasy from too much butter. There comes a time when a baker just needs to accept that a previously published recipe is better than dreaming up their own version but then again, anyone reading this who has read a few of my other posts will know that I cannot resist fiddling about with a recipe so the last few sentences may go out of the window. To be honest, I've meddled already. The recipe I'm going to give you today called for12 massive cookies to be made but as nice as they would've been to eat, it wouldn't have been very good for us so I made the brave decision to dramatically cut the size down and hence why the recipe made 58 cookies. Yep, 58. This was on Tuesday last week and now there are only a handful left but are you really all that surprised when I tell you that my brother Christopher  (I mentioned him in my Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cake post) nd his family including my three nephews arrived on Wednesday? They were in the house on their own for several hours on Saturday too with only the dog to tell tales on them. Oh, and the near empty biscuit barrel.

So this recipe. It originally comes from Best magazine advertising Persil Small and Mighty but I can't find it on either of the websites. At the size I did, the cookies were just crisp on the edges and cakey in the centres. Oddly enough, as the days went on, these cookies got crisper. I can't say crunchy, that wouldn't be quite right but the flavour seemed to develop with age instead of going stale which is the usual case. The one I had last night was just crisp all the way through but not hard at all. You could say they were melty. I seem to be coming up with a right assortment of words today! Plus, they didn't suffer from using cheaper chocolate. Normally with chocolate chip cookies I like to use Bournville but I went for chips this time because they had been in the cupboard for aaaaaaages and I thought the stocks should be refreshed. But use whatever you fancy. The next recipe lined up to be tested, or retested I should say because I have used it many times before but never uder such scrutiny as this, is from the same collection of recipe cards that I mentioned in my last post. I promise to stick (mostly) to the recipe the first time, then I'll start playing around with the sugars. For now though, here's the CCC stage one. What's your favourite form of chocolate chip cookie?

Ingredients:
225g margarine
175g caster sugar
175g soft brown sugar (light or dark as you wish)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
350g unsifted flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
350g chocolate, chopped, whichever you like or a mixture
 
In a big bowl, cream the margarine, sugars and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended.

Mix in the eggs then the flours and bicarb until it is even again then stir in the chocolate. Try to remember that the purpose of this recipe is to bake the cookies not to grab a spoon and dig in when you get to this bit.

Set the oven to 190 C/170 C fan and line a few baking sheets with baking parchment. Scoop up the mixture, around 23g worth at a time if you want to be picky and arrange onto a sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 mins until the cookies are just firm to the touch, rotating half way through the time. Prepare more trays while waiting. They will spread rather a lot so be careful if you want to avoid joined up edges.

When done leave on the tray for a few mins to firm up then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Let the tray cool before preparing the next lot of cookies and continue to bake one tray at a time until all the mixture is used up. It might take a while.

But at the end it will all be ok because you can chill with this:
 
Enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. Mmmm chocolate chip cookies are the best! Good luck on your chocolate chip cookie adventure! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it's certainly going to be a very yummy one =)

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