Friday, December 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies (#1 and #2 in the countdown)

I've made two decisions for the New Year.  (Dare I call them resolutions?)
1.  to  join Weight Watchers
2.  to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie  (besides the one my mom makes, which is the perfectest!)

You might think these 2 things are conflicting.  Except that WW teaches you can eat everything--in moderation.
So...that's my story!  And I'm sticking to it.

Time to dig out my many cookie recipe books!
(this would be stupid to do, because I have leftover Christmas cookies in the freezer, except I actually made these BEFORE the holidays)

These being 2 different recipes from my cookbook  "The Search for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie"  by Gwen Steege.  (I guess I am not the only one on a quest)
(that sticker is not coming off at all....it's stuck like glue... so now you know I am a bargain shopper too)



My quest, in today's post, will serve me with my  very own cookbook countdown too, as well, as  Cookbook Sundays, and  See Ya in the Gumbo, two great blog hops.
But back to the cookie--the Chocolate Chip Cookie. Everybody's favorite.  There are so many variations on the CCC.  What is your favorite?
I prefer a crisp/chewy CCC, while the Handyman loves a soft cake-like CCC.
I wonder if we can find a common CCC ground this year of me making  a CCC recipe a week?

This will be fun!  (for me)

I thought I would just work my way thru this cookbook to find out if what Steege says is the best, really is the best.
Her first chapter  is on Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies....some that are quite similar to the Original Toll House  Recipe.

She says,  "the ingredients are all pretty standard, but each will produce a different texture and taste, depending on the proportions of those ingredients, the presence of butter, margarine or shortening, or even the method of mixing everything together.  We each seem to hold in our mind some archetype of  "The" chocolate chip cookie--is one of these that model for you?"

I was disappointed that none of her recipes had adjustments for high altitude.  I think it makes a huge difference in the chemistry of baking.  We sit quite high at just over  4000 feet above sea level.
I also had a slight problem using margarine, but, I am making the cookies as written, so... onward I went.
I began with cookie recipe #1.  It is labeled "Finalist".

Hmmmmm.....
too flat and greasy for my taste.  But that didn't stop me from eating them...I just didn't like them as well as my mom's.
I think the altitude thing played a big part here.  I followed the directions EXACTLY but the dough was soft and the cookies flattened out.  I don't like that.  Having said that, tho, my son and his girlfriend loved them.




Chocolate Chip Cookies I

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
6 tbls granulated sugar
6 tbls brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/21 cup chopped nuts  (optional)
6 oz  (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate bar cut into pea-sized pieces

Sift flour before measuring, then resift with baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
Cream butter. Add sugars gradually, and continue beating until creamy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Stir in sifted ingredients. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet, placing cookies well apart.  Bake at 350F for about 8-10 minutes.



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The second cookie I made from this book was touted as being softer and chewier than most traditional CCCs.
They were softer, but they were not the  crispy-chewy consistency I like.
And they were a bit heavy on the chocolate chips for me.  I love CCCs, but like about half as many chips as is usually recommended.
But again--this didn't stop me from eating them.



Chocolate Chip Cookies II

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine at room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
2 eggs
18 oz  (3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

Sift flour before measuring, then resift with the soda and salt.  Set aside.
Combine the margarine, sugars, vanilla and water in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer about 2 minutes, until creamy.  Add eggs and beat until fluffy.
Gradually add the sifted ingredients and beat with the mixer for about 2 more minutes, until very well blended.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. 
Bake on the middle oven rack at  350F for 10-12 minutes.  Do not over bake.
Remove from oven when slightly browned, lightly crisp on bottom, they may seem slightly undercooked. 
Cool 1 minute on baking sheet, them remove to paper towels to cool completely.



I'll be back next weekend with a new chocolate chip cookies on my countdown.
Do you have one that you always use?  Never vary from?  Or, are you like me and are always looking for that perfect cookie?
If you already have the perfect recipe, please share with me!  (except you mom, I already know your's,  and it really is perfect!)

10 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Good luck with your goals!

teresa said...

delicious cookies!

good luck with ww! i swear by that program, it helped me lose 30 pounds last year.

~Jess said...

If you need any taste testers let me know :-) Chocolate Chip cookies are my absolute favorite!

Cyndi said...

Hi, Debbie, just popping in to tell you I made your MUd Hen Bars the other day. We're eating the last of them tonight. They are fabulous!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

What a great challenge you've set yourself, and a delicious one at that :-) I look forward to following your quest. I am definitely a crispy/chewy lover.

Thanks for sharing these at Cookbook Sundays.

Sue :-)

Karen said...

Everybody loves CCC's! I like your New Year Decisions :) My fave CCC recipe is this one http://ohboykarencooks.blogspot.com/2010/05/thick-and-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Alison's Book Marks said...

CCC really are so personal, aren't they? I suggest two things to try: 1. Add a little bit of baking soda to your dry ingredients. You'll avoid the flat cookie. 2. Try refrigerating your dough for 30 min once it's all together. This too will keep it from turning into a frisbee. Can you tell flat cookies are my biggest peeve? Enjoy your quest for the perfect CCC!

And, I wish you the best on WW. I'm thinking about joining too.

MM said...

Thanks for linking up!
I like flat, ccc that have a little bit of crispness. But I also like a recipe I have for giant (made using 1/4 c dough), chewy ccc too. Honestly, I just flat out like ccc! Can't wait to follow along with your quest for the best.

Elaine said...

Try the Flour Bakey Chocolate chip coookie recipe and do refrigerate dough overnight! Great big delicious ones!

Anonymous said...

Oh Deb, next to your Mom's, I will bring you the best CCC ever. I even made it in the R'n'R of 70's San Francisco with these cookies. Why didn't you tell me about this quest, because I would have given you the recipe a long time ago.