Thursday, 6 October 2016

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE

 

The perfect chocolate chip cookie is extremely difficult to achieve.  There are a lot of different theories regarding the type of sugar you should use, whether or not to melt the butter, should you add baking powder?  I've made many batches of cookies and I've never been completely satisfied.  I think the best cookies in the world are the Kirkland ones you buy in big plastic trays from Costco.  And I know I'm not the only person to have this opinion.  Whenever I'm there and they bring out a fresh stack there's a scramble to get a pack of just the chocolate chip ones.  You don't want to get stuck with a pack of mixed cookies - white chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin squeezed alongside the immaculate chocolate chip ones.  There's nothing wrong with a bit of oats in your biscuit, and white chocolate can be incredible, but they're so disappointing in comparison to the genius of the plain chocolate ones.  

I've studied the ingredients list of the Kirkland cookies - nothing too special, no secret there.  And I've tried out some of the re-creation recipes people have posted online.  Meh.  Part of the problem is that classic chocolate chip cookies are an American product, so a lot of the ingredients are difficult to translate to a UK shopping list.  E.g. shortening.  And if I'm honest part of the appeal of the Kirkland cookies is that they use chocolate that's a bit plastic in texture.  There's something about its melting point means it always seems to be soft, even when you store them in the fridge.  But, long story short, after testing and tweaking some recipes I've found my perfect chocolate chip cookie.  They're big, soft, crisp and chewy.  Just how I like my men - what?  They might not be your ideal, but if that's the case I suggest you try tweaking this recipe till you get what suits you.


INGREDIENTS
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 200g Self-raising flour
  • Pinch of good quality sea salt
  • 170g Salted butter
  • 200g Light brown soft sugar
  • 100g Granulated sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 200g Dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%, despite what I said above about rubbery chocolate) whack the packets on the kitchen counter to get big chunks
  • OR 100g chocolate and 100g of something else you want to flavour them with e.g. salted peanuts.
Heat the oven.  See, this is where it could all fall apart.  My oven runs hot so I heat it to about 160 (centigrade), but if your oven always correlates with recipes I suggest 180.  If you're at all nervous err on the side of having it cooler, you can always cook them for a minute or two longer.

Melt the butter in a pan or in the microwave.  Measure out the flours into one bowl (no need to sift) with the sea salt.  When the butter has melted add the sugars and the vanilla extract to it.  Leave the sugar/melted butter mix for half an hour so it cools down.

While it's cooling whack the packs of chocolate against the counter so they break up into chunks, then open the packs and snap the biggest chunks into smaller pieces.  Not too small though, bigger is better. When the half hour of cooling is up beat in the egg and egg yolk to the butter and sugar mix with an electric whisk.  Mix in the flours and chocolate chunks with a wooden spoon.

Roll the dough into balls - mine weighed about 75g.  Then flatten them so they're about 1.5cm thick.  Put them on a flat baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.  They will spread slightly.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  I like mine quite underdone, I would always recommend doing a test cookie to see if you want to cook them for longer.

Leave them to cool until the chocolate has set and you can easily lift them up.  Then fill them with ice cream and live the dream.

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