Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chocolate chunk cookies

Still looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookies? These ridiculously chewy cookies from Joanne Chang might be pretty close. By chilling the dough, your cookies will turn out with a richer flavor and chewier texture.

It's been way too long since I've made chocolate chip cookies. I was in one of those moods where I needed a classic chocolate chip cookie. But, I didn't want to repeat a previous recipe so I looked through some cookbooks until I found one I hadn't tried yet.

This particular recipe is from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery. I've made her peanut butter cookies, banana bread, pumpkin apple spice muffins and lower sugar blueberry muffins. My family and I enjoyed all of those recipes, so I figured that chocolate chip cookies were next.

In full disclosure, I did not chill my dough for a full 24 hours as Chef Chang recommended. I was heading to a neighbor's house for a cookout and did not have time to start these the day before. I did chill them for a good 4 hours so the dough was nice and firm, so my flavors did not get a chance to fully develop.

Also, my pastry chef in-training (Addie) tried helping me in the kitchen. She flattened the dough balls, but I think she went a bit overboard because my cookies spread a lot while baking. Make sure that you only slightly flatten the dough ball before baking; otherwise, you will end up with a puddle of cookies like we did.

Despite our mistakes, these cookies were awesome and ones I'd recommend you try. The cookies that didn't spread too much tasted the best. The perimeters of the cookies were nice and crisp, and the middles were soft and chewy, which is the way I prefer my chocolate chip cookies. I would have liked a slightly thicker cookie, but that was probably from my daughter smushing down on the dough too much. The two of us had a blast making these together and will most likely try another recipe soon.

Chocolate chunk cookies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs until well incorporated. Then add the vanilla.

In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Turn your mixer down to low and slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Mix until everything just comes together. Turn the mixer off and fold in the chocolate chunks by hand using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for several hours and up to overnight.

Once the dough has chilled completely, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.

Portion out about 1/4 cup of dough and roll into a ball. Place on your prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly. Repeat with remaining dough and make sure that you leave at least 3 inches in between each cookie. These cookies will really spread.

Bake in your preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown and middle looks slightly underdone. Turn off the oven and remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool. Let the cookies cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.

Cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will last for at least a week. They can also be frozen and thawed.

Yield: About 24 cookies

Source: Slightly adapted from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe


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