February 16, 2011

it's the melted butter darling

A few weeks ago Evie and I made a bath of chocolate chip cookies. I had kind of gotten out of the habit of making cookies every week. I mean, for one thing, even if I intend to restrict myself from eating the actual cookies once they are all baked, I still have to taste the dough, right? And also that all important first cookie out of the oven, well, I have to make sure they are fit for consumption. That's my job. And sometimes a second cookie is required, after they've cooled a bit and...well, you get it. I eat them. But it's hard to resist your youngest child when she asks to bake cookies with you. And they were soooo good. Sooooo good. We ate them all in one day. (the four of us that is, geesh, you didn't think just Evie and I ate them all did you? Ok, well, we could have, but we were nice).
So I made some more. And again, they were so freaking good. And not just good, they were pretty. Like bakery cookies. Now I love to bake but I'm no professional, so I knew it wasn't me, it had to be the recipe. I started thinking about what it was that made them so yummy.They do have a lot of chocolate. Really, a lot. And anything with a lot of chocolate has got to be better than just some chocolate. But it's wasn't that. It was the chewyness and the fact that, if they managed to stay around for more than four hours, they were still chewy. But not cakey. Then I realized that, unlike the old chocolate chip cookie recipe, this one didn't use softened butter, it used melted butter. And then I realized that several of the recipes I've tried in the past few months have had melted butter. I wish I could get all science-y on you here and tell you why, but I can't, so I'll just tell you. It's the melted butter darling. (The chocolate doesn't hurt either!)

This recipe started out as Smitten Kitchen's Crispy Chewy Recipe but has a few minor changes. First, I usually use unsalted butter and then salt in baking and I did with the first batch, as is called for in the recipe. But I found that the cookies actually had a slight salty aftertaste. I think it's because we use Kosher salt and maybe the salt crystals were just too big and so you can really taste them when you run into them. The second time I made them I tried adding the salt to the melted butter, and also reduced the salt. And that was better, but not my favorite. The third and fourth times I used part salted and part unsalted butter and left out the salt allotgether, and that was a winner. The other change is that in addition to the chocolate chips I also chopped up a bunch of semi-sweet baking chocolate and added that too. So you get chips and chunks and little speckles of choclate in pretty much every bite. I think the chucnks really make the thing shine. And how could they not, I mean, it's chocolate. I also weighed the ingrediants because that works better for me from batch to batch.
OK, health concious people, look away. No, I mean it, look away. This recipe is not good for you in ANY way. But it's yummy. So I'm going to share it.

So Much Chocolate Chip/Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

5 ounces salted butter
1.25 ounces of unslated butter
190 g dark brown sugar
100 g white sugar
1 egg plus 1 yolk
350 g of flour
1/2 baking soda
5 ounces chocolate chips (milk chocolate)
6 ounces baking chocolate (semi-sweet) broken into chunks

Melt the butter in a saucepan and alow it to cool slightly. Using a hand beater, whip in the sugars and eggs until you have a creamy looking, light brown mixture.

In a large bowl sift the flour and the baking soda together. Fold in the wet ingrediants and mix just until incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and chunks.

The mixture will be a little loose at first but will harden up in a few minutes so it's best to give it a second before starting to scoop it out.

Roll rounded tablespoons-full of dough between your hands lightly and then space about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone sheet or parchment. Bake at 325 for 11 minutes and then allow the cookies to cool slightly on the sheet before removing.

And that's it. Pretty basic recipe, just melted butter. Have you had any baking revelations lately?