You need a treat every now and then. We are trying to eat a more healthful diet, but find it hard to forgo all sweets. After trying various packaged products, I found that the best approach is to make my own lower sugar, lower saturated fat, higher fiber snacks. These cookies have a bit less sugar than the usual, plus they use oil instead of butter. Using dark chocolate instead of chips means more more anti-oxidants from cocoa.
Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate Chip Cookies’
Whenever possible, I like to use oil instead of margarine in baking. I was tempted by this recipe for chocolate cookies at Not Without Salt (and see the update post), but it was a butter based recipe and the recipe explained that the creaming of the butter and sugar was important to the final texture.
I wondered: Could I substitute oil for the butter? What does extensive creaming of the butter and sugar do in this recipe? It probably adds little pockets of air, which would make for a fluffier cookie. It also probably helps dissolve the sugar, which would also impact the texture. Cook’s Illustrated claims that dissolved sugar is key for cookies that are crispy on the edges and chewy in the center, and they have a technique for dissolving sugar in melted butter. Their trick is to stir the sugar/melted butter/eggs, rest 3 minutes, stir, rest 3 minutes, stir, rest 3 minutes, and then stir in the dry ingredients.
I am partial to Pam Anderson’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and her recipe also uses melted butter.
So, I decided to go with the basic proportions of the Not Without Salt cookie recipe, but with 6 ounces of oil and 1 ounce of water instead of the 8 ounces of butter. I used my own mixing method, based on the Cook’s Illustrated technique, and I used the baking temperature from the Pam Anderson recipe.
The resulting cookies were chunky and chewy. They tasted better a little underbaked–when fully browned they tended to get a bit too hard when cool. The flavor was even better the day after they were baked. They remind me a little of Acme Supermarket Bakery cookies (which are made with canola oil, at least at the supermarket near me).
Update: these cookies taste even better two days after they were back, with a richer, more pronounced caramel flavor. The cookies that baked longer and were harder got softer from being stored in an airtight container with all the other cookies. Is it the little bit of turbinado sugar in the recipe that gives the amazing caramel flavor, or is it from the sugar being stirred well to dissolve better? Cook’s Illustrated claims that dissolving the sugar better before baking helps develop richer caramel flavors, so maybe that is it. All I know is that the brown sugar flavor is really intense and compensates for the lack of butter flavor.
Second Update: I have made these cookies with extra-large eggs and all dark brown sugar (instead of the mix of different sugars) and the batter is much looser and the cookies are much chewier and softer, even when baked the longer amount of time.
I’ve been holding out on you. I should have posted this recipe long ago, but this cookie has a way of slipping through the cracks.
Years ago, my sister called me up, raving about a fantastic peanut butter cookie recipe that she insisted came from me. I had no idea what she was talking about.
My sister was shocked. “You mean you don’t make these cookies anymore? Oh, you must make them!” She told me the recipe was in the cookbook that I put together for her when she got married.
I took a look at the cookbook and I remembered how I came up with the recipe. I wanted a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, so I added some peanut butter to a chocolate chip cookie recipe. So far, pretty standard. But, then I had the idea to add in coffee powder, and lots of it. It was part of my Maida Heatter phase. Maida Heatter often added in coffee powder to intensify a dessert’s flavor, and it became my secret weapon. Here, I fearlessly wielded that weapon like a cudgel, adding in 2 tablespoons of coffee powder.
I called my sister back. “Do you really follow the recipe and add 2 whole tablespoons of coffee powder?” She told me, that, yes, she does, and why was I asking, since it was my recipe in the first place? Well, okay . . . .
I made the recipe (using a little less coffee powder) and found that the coffee and peanut butter flavors fused together in an interesting way, balancing each other so that the cookie was not strongly coffee-ish or peanut butter-ish, but mostly a very intense chocolate chip cookie with a deep rich flavor.
Depending on how much coffee powder you use, the cookies will taste and look quite different. My mother goes full on with the coffee and her cookies look almost as dark as if she used cocoa powder in the dough. I can’t bring myself to use that much coffee (I know, I know . . . it was my idea to begin with). With 1 1/2 teaspoons of coffee powder, the coffee is barely there, subtly intensifying the peanut butter flavor, making the cookies more Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-ish (see above picture). With 2 teaspoons, the flavor is almost like Cracker-Jacks, with a rich caramel molasses and roasted peanut flavor (see below picture).
Caramel and roasted peanuts (well, roasted anything) have added flavor compounds and a certain bitterness that comes from the process of caramelization and the Maillard reaction. Coffee has a certain bitterness, too. In fact, coffee flavor is in part a result of the Maillard reaction because coffee beans are roasted, as well (which is not to say that coffee is bitter only because of roasting, but there are those who argue that roasting is primarily responsible for bitterness in coffee). Cocoa beans (chocolate) are also roasted. The browning of cookies and the enhanced flavor from that browning comes from the Maillard reaction. Could this be why a little coffee powder intensifies flavor so well, because it has flavor and bitterness associated with well-browned food?
Random food science digression: food scientists now believe that the antioxidants in coffee come not from caffeine or the chlorogenic acid found in green coffee beans, but these antioxidants are rather mainly a direct by-product of the Maillard reaction during roasting.
You can also get different effects by using all light brown sugar, or half light brown and half white, or half dark brown and half white. Although the recipe calls for white flour and margarine, I have successfully made the cookies with whole wheat flour and oil.
I wanted to serve warm chocolate chip cookies with ice cream as a Shavuot dessert. I needed them to be crusty on the outside and gooey on the inside, and I Pam Anderson’s recipe was just the thing. The secret of these cookies is melting the butter, shaping large cookies, freezing the dough balls before baking, and baking at a hot 400 degrees.
Freeze the cookies right after baking and then warm them up right before serving with ice cream. This prevents the staling that robs chocolate chip cookies of their out-of–the-oven crisp-chewy-gooey-ness.
I like weighing my ingredients, and Travelers Lunchbox conveniently converted the recipe into weights. You will have about 42-44 ounces of dough, from which you can shape twenty cookies (2 ounces each).
Note: Girl Detective, another blogger that loves this recipe, has fallen for Kate Moses’s recipe, but with the baking method of Pam Anderson’s recipe–next on my to-try list!
Nothing earth-shaking, just a dairy-free chocolate chip cookie recipe with the weights given for the ingredients (ounces and grams). No salt is added because the Earth Balance margarine is salted. (more…)
So, how do they make chocolate chip cookies at the White House? Well, under Roland Mesnier’s watch, apparently they made them soft and chewy.
In Dessert University, White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier gives a recipe for chocolate chip cookies (also go here or here) that are made especially soft and moist with the addition of molasses. (more…)