Monday, November 12, 2012

Smitten by the cookie monster

We've been doing quite a lot of baking lately since exams are over. One of the things I love about our new place (we've been here a year now!) is that there is an actual oven, which makes baking that much easier compared to using a convection microwave.
For example, I could never bake cookies before, the microwave was just too small. Just a note, when it comes to cookies, our family loves the soft, chewy ones. Mrs Field's over Famous Amos any time.  So for our maiden attempt, I searched online for a good soft cookie recipe and found one with loads of great reviews and no fancy ingredients needed.

It turned out to be a great hit and the first batch of 18 cookies was polished off within 2 days.  Since then, I've baked the cookies a few times and made just a slight adjustment to the amount of sugar as I found it a tad sweet.

Here's the recipe:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2g baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 170 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 220 g packed brown sugar
  • 75 g white sugar
  • 15 ml vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 350g chocolate chips or chocolate buttons
1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C.  Line cookie tray with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. 
4. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

5. Bake for 15 mins or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.   
Here are a few extra tips:

1. From what I gather online, there are 3 critical things to ensuring your cookie is chewy - melted butter, extra egg yolk and not to overbake.

2. In our humidity, the dough can get very soft and slide around on the tray, meaning you end up with wide and flat cookies. If you like a chunkier cookie, try keeping the dough in the fridge for about half an hour before baking. And using a parchment sheet is much better than just greasing the cookie tray.

3. Try using chocolate buttons instead of chocolate chips. It's so much more satisfying to bite into a melted gooey blob of chocolate.

Here's a funny story: I'd run out of chocolate chips and sent Kenneth to the bake shop to get some. The poor man stood in the aisle of a dazzling area of chocolate chips, cocoa compounds and chocolate buttons, bewildered. As he was calling me on the phone trying to ascertain if I needed "60% cocoa content", he was accosted by well-meaning aunties bombarding him with advice on which chip to buy!

Feeling adventurous, I decided to attempt my own double chocolate chip cookie for my chocoholic family.  What I did was substitute 60g of the flour with cocoa powder.

It turned out to be a runaway success - in fact, we're never going back to the white dough ones. If you're choco-freaks like we are, you'll love these.

They keep very well, no need to refrigerate. No more buying Subway cookies for us!

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