Saturday, February 12, 2011

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mostly adapted from the recipe on the package of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. I started using these chips in the cookies recently after it seemed that the Nestles Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and recipe that I have always used seemed to not be as good as they used to be. Was there a change in the formulation of Nestles Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips -- I don't know. Anyway, I use a combination of the Ghirardelli chips and the Nestles chips and like that variation of chocolate flavor and texture better than either of the chips alone. The perfect chocolate chip cookie is about the technique as well as the ingredients, and another key to getting the best results in consistency is in the mixing technique: (1) creaming the butter with the sugars very well before adding the other ingredients, (2) adding in the eggs by mixing at low speed and only until incorporated (so as not to beat air into the eggs which would contribute to a higher rising cookie), and (3) mixing in the dry ingredients gently and only until incorporated (thinks this creates a more tender cookie). I also like the way they bake using convection baking at 375 degrees and baking them after refrigerating the dough (at least 1 hour NOTE: can be refrigerated for a day or two before baking -- this allows you to make the whole recipe in small batches of dough, 1 or 2 dozen a time, so you can have fresh baked cookies when you want them. Alternatively, cold cookies can be reheated gently in the toaster oven to refresh their fresh-baked crispness and melted chocolate texture).


2 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet, unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Nestles Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat butter with white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla well, until mixture is very light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed and only until incorporated after each addition. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients on low speed, mixing only until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Can be baked immediately by forming tablespoonful drops of cookie dough on the baking sheet and baking for 9 minutes (longer if not using convection baking), and reversing the sheet front to back 2-3 minutes before the 9 minutes is up. The rest of the dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated to be baked later. When ready to bake, cut off slabs of dough with a sharp knife, break into tablespoonful sizes and place on baking sheet. Bake as directed. Baking the cookie dough after refrigerating it like this also seems to improve the texture of the baked cookie.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.