Monday, September 12, 2011

Dormitory Currency

When my godson bravely ventured to his first days in college, I sent some dormitory currency with him -- the sure way to meet people and make friends in a dorm -- Chocolate Chip Cookies!  They're also an excellent choice to bring along for parents' weekend, which will be coming up pretty soon.

I have learned a few things in my quest for the best chocolate chip cookies.  Alton Brown says that the darker the sugar, the chewier the end result.  Interesting!  He also reminded me that melted butter makes for a chewier cookie.  So true.  That's why my recipe for Blondies is the real deal that we remember from the 1970's. I wasn't totally convinced that bread flour with extra gluten was the way to go, though.

Bobby Flay threw me for a loop with his Kosher salt -- but it works!  There's definitely a subtle difference.

The most important ingredient, though, is the chocolate.  Personally, I just don't think Callebaut can be beat.  However, a conversation with a couple of my friends revealed a crucial factor that cannot be dismissed -- familiarity of flavor and consistency.  Once again, the it-doesn't-taste-like-the-ones-Mom-made curse raises its ugly head.  Whatever you grew up with is very likely to influence your expectations, especially where the chocolate is concerned, but also in the chewy versus crispy debate.

My friends think the original Tollhouse recipe cannot be beat.  I think that might be true for a lot of people.  There's a reason that Tollhouse cookies are so popular.  They're really good and that recipe is probably made and eaten every day by dozens of people. It's what we expect in a chocolate chip cookie.

Is this the end of my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie?  Probably not, but I'm pretty happy with this recipe!  It's incredibly easy and it makes a delicious chewy cookie.  Leftover raw dough can be wrapped in waxed paper in a roll and pieces can be cut off to bake as needed.  I have also baked them and then frozen them.  They tend to crumble a bit after they thaw the room temperature, but they're still very good.


Krista's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter (melted)
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

Melt the butter in the microwave at half power in short bursts.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.

Beat the egg and egg yolk with the sugars. Add the cooled melted butter, alternating with the flour mixture.  Add the vanilla.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

I prefer to use parchment paper, but a lightly greased baking sheet works just as well.  Drop the raw dough on the sheet in generous spoonfuls a couple of inches apart.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Remove to a cooling rack when done.

If you don't want to bake them all right away, roll the remaining dough in waxed paper and slide into a freezer bag.  When ready to bake, slice in inch thick rounds and cut each round in half.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.




27 comments:

  1. This sounds like a quick and easy recipe and the cookies look yummy. Can't wait to give this a try.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress
    Freelance Editing By Mason

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  2. I think the tollhouse cookies on the back of the Nestle's bag are utterly tasteless, but I know people who adore them. I wish I could find Callebaut chips where I live, but when I order from King Arthur Flour, I can get those and Merckens buttons, which I also love for a bigger "chip".

    Recently, I've started making cookies very similar to these: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/091crex.html They are awesome.

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  3. Mmmm! I love chocolate chip cookies. I've always made the Nestle's Toll House recipe, but I'm willing to give this recipe a try!

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  4. Yum! Is 3/4 tsp the amount for the baking soda to? What does the extra egg yolk add to the recipe? More richness? More or less moister? I will be helping my kids remove their belongs from their apartment after a fire. Chocolate chip cookies, help & a hug from momma & dad will help them feel better. Thanks, Krista your timing is perfect. I tried Alton Brown's bread flour cookies, but did not like them enough to include in my recipe collection.

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  5. Interesting thoughts on cookie making! I've never thought about familiarity of the flavor being important, but I think it *is*--it just taps into our memory bank a little. And that's interesting about the darker sugar making a chewier cookie.

    This sounds delish...thanks, Krista!

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  6. Hi Mason! They're so easy. I hope you love them!

    ~ Krista

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  7. Oh, Laura! What have you done? Now I'll have to try that recipe, too!

    I find your reaction to Tollhouse Cookies interesting. You're so right about people who adore them -- and then they're let down when cookies don't taste like Tollhouse. I think there is no perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe!

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  8. Vicki, I think you'll like these. Someday I'll have to do a side-by-side blind taste testing!

    ~ Krista

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  9. Helena Georgette, thanks for catching that omission! 1 teaspoon of baking powder!

    You're the only person I know who tried Alton Brown's recipe with bread flour. I think he makes some excellent points in the video, but bread flour just didn't sound good to me.

    The extra egg yolk adds richness without the drying factor of the egg white.

    ~ Krista

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  10. Elizabeth, memory bank is the perfect expression for the it-doesn't-taste-like-mom's problem. We obviously have taste bud memory banks that govern our expectations of how certain food should taste.

    ~ Krista

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  11. Krista - Your mouthwatering photos are making me want cookies for breakfast (not good)! But the recipe looks very good indeed. Isn't it ironic how important salt is in the flavoring of sweets? Totally agree, and, as Elizabeth mentioned, the Memory Lane Effect is fascinating. LOL on the title of your post, too. Chocolate Chip Cookies - the greatest friend-maker known to an American kid (from 7 to 70).

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com

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  12. Love chocolate chips but like it in the middle, not so chewy, not so hard. Will try yours and wonder if I baked a few extra minutes will it still be as good.

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  13. If you're looking for nostalgia, the one on the Nestle's bag is the way to go, no matter what it tastes like. Does anyone else remember when Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush made competing chocolate cookies? (I have carefully forgotten who won, although I saved Hillary's recipe.)

    Love the changes you've made, and the explanations. What fun we could all have with a tasting using different chocolates!

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  14. Cleo, so sorry that I started the chocolate chip cookie monster in you. Once I have something on the brain, I crave it until I eat it!

    ~ Krista

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  15. Dru, that might work. Or you could try using two whole eggs instead of one whole egg and one egg yolk. That extra egg white might give you the texture you're looking for.

    ~ Krisya

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  16. Sheila, we ought to have a cookie taste-off one day.

    Apparently, Hilary's cookies won, prompting Barbara to update her recipe! I'm seeing a plot in this!

    ~ Krista

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  17. Just recently learned that there is a difference between beet brown sugar and cane brown sugar. Do you use either one consistently?

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  18. considering it's "just" a chocolate chip cookie, there is a lot to think about in this post...

    " familiarity of flavor and consistency"... Thank the god's I am not cursed with that (My sainted Mother has so many great qualities... but not cooking).

    Add one of those scented candles you can get that smell like cookies and he has new friends for life!

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  19. Krista, you've obviously resonated with lots of people on this post. I adore chocolate chip cookies, and when I used to be able to eat gluten, I added ground oatmeal to the Tollhouse recipe. I remember getting that idea from a gal who sold tons of cookies in Los Angeles. The extra chewy of oatmeal made a huge difference. Now that i eat gluten free, I have to admit that I make a good cookie, using the Tollhouse recipe but subbing with the GF things I need. Still good. I could still win some co-eds "hearts." :)

    ~Avery

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  20. I love these tips, Krista. I will definitely be making these delicious little darlings. First I am going to figure out how they can be on my diet. And I intend to find a way! We all know that chocolate keeps those arteries clear.

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  21. CindyD, I try to use cane sugar. It's my understanding that cane sugar is preferable for baking. In addition to that, I've read that a major beet sugar manufacturer is now using genetically modified beets to produce sugar. I'm leery of GMO foods, so cane sugar is my preference for that reason, too.

    ~ Krista

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  22. Dave, the candle is a great idea! LOL!

    It's amazing how many factors there are in such a simple cookie. But I love learning these things. They come in handy for other recipes, too!

    ~ Krista

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  23. Avery, I have no doubt that you would win the hearts of many co-eds, even without chocolate chip cookies! Fascinating about the ground oatmeal. I'll have to give that a try!

    ~ Krista

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