Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Extraordinary Cookies

Oh!  Look at this, a Thankful Thursday post and a recipe!  To be honest, I'm just thankful to have gotten through the week, almost.  I'm due at work tomorrow at 8:30am, so we'll see about that.  But before I (finally) go to bed, I'd like to share this extraordinary recipe for chocolate chip cookies.  You know, I haven't yet posted a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it was not for lack of trying.  I like to think it was because I hadn't yet found my one, the cookie with which I was supposed to fall in love and bake for happily ever after.  I thought I did, but it was the one everyone else thought was right, not me (hey, that sounds like a sappy human love story).  I even thought I might have finally fallen in love after it had spent 24 hours in the fridge, but no, it was only a brief infatuation.

Aren't they pretty?  Cute speckles of chocolate, cradled in a sweet, mildly vanilla base.

Then this cookie came along, highlighted by Todd, half of the White on Rice Couple, written by Alice of Savory Sweet Life.  Despite the high recommendation and the extraordinary praise given by the author, the ingredient list looked humble to me.  Simple steps, like most chocolate chip cookie recipes.  Half didn't have any chocolate, as both of us are fans of the cookie part, uninterrupted by chocolate.  We made them small, perfectly sized for nibbling and stealing fresh from the cooling rack.  Small shards of chocolate scattered through the cookie, often concealing a nearly pure chocolate interior, dreamily molten when warm, solidly chocolaty when cooled.  The first bite blew me away.  Soft and chewy, toffee-sweet with slight undertones of salt, I was considering my second cookie before I finished my first.  I'm thankful for this chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Vanilla-toffee or chocolate chip?  Both, I say :)

Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from Savory Sweet Life
Makes about 2 dozen small (2" diameter) cookies

1¼ cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
¼ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chunks/bits (we actually only made half the cookies with chocolate)

1 medium mixing bowl
1 large mixing bowl
1 rubber spatula
1 wooden spoon/mixer for creaming butter and sugar
¼ teaspoon measure
½ teaspoon measure
1 teaspoon measure
1 tablespoon measure
¼ cup measure
1 cup measure
Cookie sheet/s for baking
Parchment paper to line the sheets
Cooking spatula (for lifting cookies off the sheets)
Wire rack (for cooling cookies)


1. In the medium bowl, gently mix together the all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Set aside.

2. In the large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light(er in color) and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until more light and fluffy.  

3. Gently fold in the flour mixture with the rubber spatula, using it to scrape down the bowl and your wooden spoon, if necessary.  When the flour is almost completely incorporated, toss in all the chocolate pieces and gently mix just a little more.  You can also make half the dough into cookies, and save the other half for real chocolate chip cookies, like we did :)

4. At this point, decide if you want to make the cookies immediately or chill them in the fridge for up to 36 hours.  Chilling the dough actually makes the cookies softer and a little lighter because the flour fully absorbs the liquid, but these cookies are still delicious baked right away.  If you decide to bake them right away, preheat the oven to 360°F.  Line your cookie sheet/s with parchment paper and set aside. 

5. Form the dough into balls the size of your choosing; we decided on little snack-sized cookies about 1" in diameter.  Lightly flatten each ball on the sheet, spacing them about twice the diameter apart.  Bake each tray about 7-8 minutes at 360°F for small cookies, and 8-10 minutes for anything larger.  Remember to check on them about a minute before they're supposed to be done and take your cookies out before they are entirely done, as they will continue baking on the hot sheet.  Let them cool at least 5-10 minutes, then gently lift them off with a cooking spatula and set on a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Taken by my lovely suitemate and great photographer.  I'm thankful for her, too!

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