Friday, May 23, 2008


There is something about cold, gloomy, ominous days that throw me into a crazy baking rage. I'm unstoppable on these types of days. Well, yesterday was just that kind of day. I go in stages with various sorts of baked goods. The last few months I was really into cakes, specifically layer cakes. I enjoy being creative with the actual construction and decoration of a layer cake. However, the flavor of this month are finger food type treats, such as cookies, brownies, bars, etc. Anything bite sized that doesn't require utensils is categorized as a finger food in my book. 
Anyway, these cookies are one of the few finger food recipes I made yesterday (more posts to follow). I'm always searching for that perfect, simple, chewy, yet crispy, chocolate chip cookie.  I can easily pull up 1 zillion chocolate chip cookie recipes online so that's where my research began. I perused several recipes starting with the ingredients section which I knew would ultimately be the selling point for making that particular cookie. The recipe I decided to use was a great choice! These cookies satisfied my every desire in a chocolate chip cookie; chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside--score! I made these into mini sized cookies amounting to about 6 dozen!! For the chips, I used Nestle's swirl chips (chocolate/white chocolate) as well as regular semi sweet. I'm a total chip whore. Peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, bittersweet chips, semi sweet chips, butterscotch chips, etc etc. I even add chips to recipes that don't even call for it. You can make these cookies 100 different ways by substituting different kinds of chips. You can even add coconut, nuts, raisins, etc. Have fun with it! Be creative! These are the perfect finger food treat! Utterly delicious....

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

2 1/8 c Flour 
1/2 t table salt
1/2 t baking soda
12 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (I don't use unsalted butter because I never buy it - salted butter works just fine in this recipe when I use it!)
1 c brown sugar 
1/2 c sugar 
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 t vanilla
1-2 c chocolate chips (I used an entire 11oz bag of Nestle swirled chips as well as 1/2 c. of Nestle Semi-Sweet chips)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

Form dough into balls using a spoon and place on cookie sheets (I lined with parchment paper). I formed little dough balls to create mini sized cookies, so use your judgement based on how big you want your cookies to be.

Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (As you know, everyone's oven is different. I baked my mini's for about 11-12 minutes and they came out perfectly). Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

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