Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kate's WBL Chocolate Chip Cookies

*PS if you bake these up let me know how they taste for you*
-->I am always on the look out for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. What’s my definition of the perfect chocolate chip cookie? It has to be soft and chewy on the inside with a tender bite on the outside. Not too sweet. Not puffy and cake like. Not crisp and thin. Moist but cooked through. No shortening, all butter. The true test is how they taste a day later, because they all taste pretty darn good out of the oven. I have tried a lot of recipes. Jacque Torres? Great cookie, a little sweet for me, but still an awesome cookie. Alton Brown’s “chewy”, pretty good- still a little puffy. Nestle toll house- has shortening, at least the last time I checked. Neiman Marcus? Tasty- but sometimes I am not in the mood for oats and if I remember correctly those have oats in them. I’ve also adapted a lot of recipes. I guess I’ve never been completely satiated for more than a batch or two of the same recipe, then I am on the lookout again. Tonight’s recipe is born of my procrastination. I am surrounded by moving boxes and quite frankly, overwhelmed. There is so much to do, people/children to take care of, laundry to fold, school to keep up with. And STUFF. Too much STUFF and not enough room, that’s what happens when you move into a house that is ½ the size of the one you just left. While it’s been nice to just toss things into the “garage sale/get rid of me” boxes, it seems like there is still so much to be put away and organized. So what do I do when I am overwhelmed? Stressed? Moody? Frustrated? Happy? I bake or cook. There’s just something about being in the kitchen that calms me down- brings me to a certain comfort zone, I love it, it’s my element. Perhaps I am even passionate about it. It doesn’t matter if I am good at it, the best or what. Whatever it is, it’s comforting, relaxing, and it’s my way of taking care of my loved ones.

This recipe has things I like in a chocolate chip cookie- tender, a little crisp on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, not puffy and cake like, easy recipe. Some elements are missing- I like my cookies a little bit lighter, I’m not talking about lighter as in cook them for less time. I am talking just the color of the dough. Now I could rectify that by using a light brown sugar but quite frankly I love the depth that dark brown sugar gives to this cookie, I love molasses. Maybe you can’t really even tell as far as taste but I like using the dark brown sugar. It’s a little bit sweet to me, but that means it’s probably just fine to most of the public. I just don’t like a lot of sweetness. I could cut the granulated sugar a bit the next time I make these and see what that does. I don’t think I will mess with the amount of brown sugar though. Maybe, dare I say it? Less chocolate chips? It’s also missing the ¾ cup of toasted walnuts or pecans- because Diva will want some and I didn’t want to make two batches. I suspect having nuts in the cookies would cut the sweetness also. The day after these were baked they were still soft and chewy, and a little crisp on the outside.
Sometimes I will add nutmeg, cinnamon or ground espresso to chocolate chip cookie dough. I decided not to this time around and keep it pretty simple and classic. All in all it’s a delicious cookie and you can bake them anytime, no waiting for butter to get soft! I hope you enjoy these.
 Kate's WBL Chocolate Chip Cookies
½ c butter
¾ c dark brown sugar
¼ c granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 ¼ tsp vanilla
2 ¼ c bread flour
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ tsp dry yeast
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ c chilled butter- grated or cut into tiny pieces leave in refrigerator until ready to use
2 c semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
¾ cup toasted pecans or walnuts
Cut ¼ cup chilled butter into tiny pieces, place in refrigerator until you are ready to use it. You can also use a cheese grater- the larger holes, if you place the butter in the freezer for about 20 minutes before grating it.
In a small pan heat ½ c butter until foamy and a little browned. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Beat melted butter and the sugars well. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
Sift the flour, soda, yeast and salt into a medium sized bowl, stir in chilled butter.
Stir flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Stir in chocolate and nuts.
Chill dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Scoop dough by tablespoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 oven for 8-11 minutes. I baked mine for exactly 10 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet once they are out of the oven for 1-2 minutes. Remove and place on cooling racks to completely cool- although they are good hot out of the oven too.
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