Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Never-Ending Quest For The World's Best Choc-Chip Cookies

A chocolate chip cookie is one of those rare recipes that almost everyone will have tried to make at some point in their lives. Even trickier, almost everyone will have an opinion on what makes them really good. The NY Times recently ran a big article on what makes for a good choc-chip recipe, but it does seem to vary person to person.
In our family, we are evenly divided on whether they should be thin and crispy (me and littlest daughter) or whether they should be soft and chewy (husband and eldest daughter). Without question, the chocolate is always semi-sweet, and I like to make them quite small (it feels less indecent when the kids want to have three or four). Choc chip cookies also freeze quite well, so if you make a big batch, you can always stash some away for later - I actually like them straight from the freezer. NY Times would definitely disagree with me on size, and not serving them warm! I would love to hear your suggestions if you have any on this???

I plan to share some more recipes for chocolate chip cookies in the future as my search for a definitive "best recipe" continues, and I will try the NY Times recipe for you as well (yes it is a sacrifice). In the meantime, this recipe from Martha Stewart has been called "quite possibly the best batch yet" by my husband. It comes from a special issue magazine called "Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies" that has a really wonderful range of biscuits in it - sadly I can't find it on Amazon, but look out for it on ebay.
Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
from "Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies"
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
250g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cooking salt
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet choc chips
Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk together flour and baking soda and put aside. Beat butter and sugars together at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 mins. Reduce speed to low, then add salt, vanilla and eggs. Mix until well-combined, about 1 min. Stir in flour mixture by hand then stir in choc chips. Do not overwork the batter.
Line oven sheets with baking paper. Spoon out the dough depending on your preferred size of biscuit. I use a heaping teaspoon to give a nice smallish cookie size. Bake until the edges of the cookies turn golden but the centres are still soft, 10-12 minutes. Cool on trays for 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to as week.

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