Wednesday, April 20

Q = Quad Chocolate Chip Cookies

For the longest time, it was my ultimate goal to create the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie.  Looking back, I wonder how I ended up becoming so obsessed with this particular cookie.  I was not (and still am not) fond of the chocolate chip cookie.  I'll eat it, and usually they're good, but they're nowhere near my favorite.  It's possible that this may have been the beginning of my greater obsession with baking.
 Chocolate chip cookies are sort of an American staple, right?  Everyone makes them, most people love them, and they're certainly accepted as a sharable treat at just about any function you bring them to.

So when I decided I was NOT a cake goddess like my mother, I started playing with chocolate chip cookies.  The biggest problem I was attempting to overcome was that my cookies always turned out flat.  I received several suggestions and tried them all.  I paid attention to details like making sure the baking soda was fresh (e.i. buying a brand new box every time I tried to bake cookies!), to always using real butter and scrutinizing over every measurement.  Still - flat cookies.

In Baking classes, we learned about the importance of chilling dough before baking.  Even if all you do pop the balls of dough already on the tray into the fridge for 5 minutes beforehand, it apparently makes a difference.  I saw some proof of that, but still - flat cookies.  I stayed after class to discuss this issue with 3 different instructors!  I got answers like - "Less butter." - "More flour." - "Less brown sugar." - "Change baking temperature."  I assume we exhausted the possibilities of options.  Aside from totally messed up inedible cookies, the results were the same - splat face cookies.  This may be why I'm not fond of the cookie!

Finally, over the years of making several batches to simply appease my partner's desire for these annoying things, he one day off-handedly asked, "Can you add more chocolate next time?"
Ding!  Cookies are done!

Quad Chocolate Chip Cookies

8 oz. butter
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (or plain of course)
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt (I often omit, but some people like to counter their sweet with a pinch of salt)
4 cups assorted chocolate

Another standard butter cookie.  (Do I need to keep listing out instructions?  I'll assume not.  If you need help, you can always visit the Lemon Blizzard page for basics.)  Bake 325°F for large cookies, 350° for smaller ones.

So you may be asking why I've named these "Quad Chocolate".  You're right, I didn't quadruple the chocolate.  The amount is only doubled from a normal recipe (like the Tollhouse one I derived this from).  The quad is because I always use four types of chocolate.  White, milk, semi-sweet and the extra dark.  Here's the cool part - sometimes, I use all chips, other times I chop up whatever we have on hand.  (I totally dig the on-hand baking method!)  Got some Hershey bars lying around?  Chop 'em up and use them for your 1 cup of milk.  Like white chocolate better?  Use 2 cups of white and decrease the other amounts.  As long as you have 4 cups of chocolate, you should be good.

Now while I personally was slightly turned off by the idea of adding more chocolate to this cookie, it seems that having less dough and more "solids" keeps the cookie from oozing during baking.  I've not had a flat cookie since I started doing this.  I admit the actual "cookie" was my favorite part of this cookie and will warn you there's pretty much no way to get just a bite of "cookie" without chocolate in this version.

Funny thing, after establishing this as a perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe my partner recently asked, "Can you add more chocolate next time?"   .....

1 comment:

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