Monday, July 28, 2008

Cookies, and consequences of a broken printer


I came across a chocolate chip cookie recipe on that everyone was raving about. I've recently been trying to obtain a recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies, and I made up my own recipe using honey and brown sugar, but they weren't much chewier than the Nestle's Tollhouse recipe I've been using since before I could say "cookie". I decided to try this recipe.

At first glance, this recipe, which was published in the New York Times at some point in the recent past, looks similar to Nestle's cookies. The egg:everything else ratio is low- 2 eggs, but everything else is bumped up. See:

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt.

Only.... our printer's broken, so I just jotted everything down. Only..... I didn't do such a good job.

Well, ok, I'll walk you through what happened. I combined the butter and sugars, beat for 5 min, added the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, and then I just dumped all the dry ingredients in there and mixed by hand. (I used all-purpose flour instead of cake and bread). Here's the funny part: I missed that whole part about 1-2/3cup cake flour. I added 2cups minus 2T of flour. And the dough was soft, more like batter. (Finally I added in 1 12-oz bag of chocolate chips- 1.5bags would have been better.)

Now, on ravelry with all the raving and recommendations for this recipe, there was a discussion of refrigerating the dough, and why and how necessary and how long, etc. I think they concluded it's so the flavors can combine and just make it yummier. Well, my practically flour-less batter definitely needed some hardening, so I thought, maybe that's why you fridge it.

But... me being me, I had to bake some! The dough was so tasty, I needed to eat the cookie, just one. So I baked 6 (1-T balls of dough/batter, 350 for 18-22 minutes, per the recipe).

After 15 minutes, I smelled over-done cookies. I went to investigate.
Um.... they're kinda spread out.

Um... they're kind flat.

Well, they never got refrigerated. That must be it. But the next morning, they came out exactly the same, as they did after 24 and 36 hours in the fridge. Hmm. How odd. They also seemed extremely greasy, and the butter:flour ratio was incredibly high. That seemed problematic- but everyone else was so impressed with the recipe! I did not understand.

Then.... I went back to the website. And discovered that I'd forgotten the part about 1-2/3 cup of cake flour (i.e. all-purpose in my kitchen- I would like to try this with part cake and part all-purpose, though). So, I added in more flour to the remaining batter, accounting for what I'd taken out to bake, and baked the cookies.
That's better. Cookie-shaped and chewy. These really are good cookies.

One thing, though- there's part about sprinkling these with sea salt, which seems like a cool concept. I actually think they're salty enough on their own (and I was using unsalted butter), and I like salty things. Try them and see what you think about that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

chocolate chip cookies part deux look yummy enough to eat! i don't know what it is, but i'm always looking out for chewy chocolate chip cookies. don't get me wrong, i love crunching into a cookie, but there's something about a soft bendy cookie that i just love. i'm going to have to give this one a try soon!! and btw, let's get those pics posted of the clap!