The Gull Reef Club

7/29/2012

Climate Controlled Chocolate Chip Cookies

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:08 pm

Like any good American, I love me some chocolate chip cookies. In fact, next to apple pie, I like chocolate chip cookies just a little bit more (subject to change based on my proximity to fresh baked apple pie, of course). Try as I might, I couldn’t find a good recipe to suit the subtropical climate of Savannah. My cookies all turned out flat and oily. It made no sense, as I am a self-proclaimed fabulous cookie baker.

I’ve been experimenting over the last few years to get to a recipe that works, using the Nestle Tollhouse recipe as my control formula. Last night, I got pretty close. For my own memory’s sake, here is what I did:

First – the ingredients as called for by Nestle and my edits:
*2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour – I used 2 1/2 cups
*1 teaspoon baking soda – I made this a heaping teaspoon
*1 teaspoon salt – I made this 3/4 teaspoon
*1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened – Over-butter alert! I used 1/2 cup shortening and a 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
*3/4 cup granulated sugar – I shortened this by about 2 tablespoons
*3/4 cup packed brown sugar – I didn’t pack it very hard
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract – doubled to 2 teaspoons
*2 large eggs
*2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels – I used 6 oz of milk chocolate and nearly 6 oz of 60% or 70% dark chocolate (what we had leftover)
*1 cup chopped nuts

Next – the steps as suggested by Nestle, as altered by me:
*Combine flour and baking soda;
*Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until very creamy. If you like using your mixer, do it at this step. Avoid over-mixing the remaining steps;
*Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just mixed in after each addition;
*Stir in about 1/2 of the nuts;
*Steadily beat in flour mixture. Mix only until the white of the flour disappears. It is really important not to over mix at this step;
*Stir in morsels and remaining nuts;
*Chill dough for at least a half hour, preferably more (but it was already midnight and I had to get a move-on);
*Heat oven to 375°F;
*Drop by domed tablespoon, flat side down, about 1 1/2 inches apart, onto single-layer metal baking sheets covered in parchment paper. Keep dough chilled between batches;
*Bake an upper and lower rack for 5 minutes, then swap the levels of the racks, turn each pan around 180°, and bake 4 more minutes (Nestle says ‘or until golden brown’);
*Cool on baking sheets for a minute or so;
*Place on wire racks to finish cooling.

Oddly enough, the high-altitude directions more closely mirror what I did here at about 45 feet above sea level.

Overall, the cookies came out quite good. Next time, I’ll use fresher chocolate, and possibly even a bit more baking soda. I’d really like them just slightly more chunkier than these came out. Excuse me now, while I go participate in the sampling of the experiment yet again.

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