Posts tagged with chocolate:

A Gluten Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

image

Our good friends from our “Chicago Days” who now live in Rhode Island spent the night with us on their way down to Florida yesterday.  It was so wonderful to spend some time with them. 

They were a  part of a close knit group of friends we had who, like us, were all transplanted to the Windy City from the east coast in the 70’s. We were all beginning our own families at this time, and before long we became family to each other filling the void that living far from one’s roots can create.

So we celebrated holidays and birthdays together, formed a gourmet club, had play dates for our kids, went apple picking, pumpkin picking, and strawberry picking, and the dads even took the kids on camping trips (without the moms).

As is life, eventually we all found ourselves relocating, many of us back to the east coast, but all to different cities.

But those were days we cherish, and no doubt the memories of those good times for our children (now adults, and some with their own children), have impacted their lives.

As luck would have it,  it was also my husband’s birthday yesterday, and what better way to spend it than with good friends!

I made a birthday dinner of Greek Chicken and Potatoes, Greek Style Green Beans and Tomatoes, and a Greek Salad, all of which was gluten free as our friend must adhere to this diet. 

image

image

image

While dinner was not challenging at all, I was not so confident about making my husband’s favorite chocolate birthday cake with a gluten free twist. 

I confess I have never made a gluten free cake other than the sponge cakes I make at Passover which are gluten free by nature since I only use potato starch in them, and an occasional flourless chocolate cake.

But I wanted this to be a real birthday cake, 2 layers with a special filling between the layers, and a decadently rich chocolate glaze. 

When I found a bag of gluten free flour at Trader Joe’s I thought I just might be able to pull off a gluten free birthday cake worth celebrating.

image

  I decided to follow the recipe for my chocolate cake, substituting the gluten free flour for the cake flour called for. 

A Chocolate Cake That’s Got It All

Butter, for coating cake pans

2 cups sugar

1 and 3/4 cups cake flour      1 and 3/4 cups gluten free flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch process

1 teaspoon instant coffee ( I used instant espresso powder)

3/4 cup boiling water

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

14 tablespoons (13/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, but not hot

2 (8-inch) cake pans

Directions

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease the cake pans with butter and dust with flour.  (I prefer to line the bottom of the pans with buttered parchment as well to prevent any sticking).

Whisk sugar, flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

Place cocoa and coffee in a medium bowl.  Whisk in 3/4 cup boiling water to form a smooth paste.  Stir in sour cream and vanilla and set aside.

With a hand  or electric mixer in  medium bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks.  Without cleaning the beaters, mix melted butter into dry ingredients until mixture is smooth.  Immediately add cocoa mixture, and beat until batter is smooth, 2-3 minutes.  Carefully fold egg whites into batter until just incorporated.

Divide batter evenly between pans and bake until a skewer inserted into center comes out with wet crumbs, 30-35 minutes.  Remove from oven, and let cakes sit in pans to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Invert each cake onto a plate, then onto a cooling rack. 

For the filling I whipped up some heavy cream into which  I folded some frozen (partially thawed) raspberries, making it a pretty shade of pink, and then covered the whole cake with a rich chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Fudge Glaze

1/4 cup (60ml) water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 ounces (170g) sweet cooking chocolate, broken into pieces

1/2 cup confectioners, sugar (2 ounces, 55g)

1 and 1/2 tablespoons dark rum (or Chambord Liqueur)

Pinch of salt

Bring water and butter to boil in a small saucepan.  Keep at simmer until needed.

Metal Blade:  Pulse the chocolate with confectioners’ sugar 5 times, then process continuously until chocolate is as fine as sugar.  With machine running, pour water and butter through the feed tube and process until chocolate is melted, stopping once to scrape the work bowl.  Add the rum or Chambord and salt and process for 5 seconds.

With the remaining glaze (I made 1 and 1/2 x the recipe) I decorated the top of the cake with a pastry tip.  Allow the glaze to chill a bit to thicken it enough to do this.

Some raspberries for the finishing touch, and I would say it was a delicious success!

And by what was left I think you might agree.

I’m now a believer that gluten free doesn’t have to be taste free!

image

California Toffee Butter Crunch

image

Between Christmas and New Year’s most of us find ourselves snacking on the abundance of cookies, cakes, and candies, which throughout the rest of the year are not as easily within our reach. 

But during the holidays it seems even the diehard dieters give themselves a bit of a reprieve.  After all it’s the season of joy, and can anyone really say that sinking our teeth into some delectable treat has not brought us at the least a tiny bit of joy?

So as my way of spreading some of this delicious joy I present to you this easy recipe for the California Toffee Butter Crunch pictured above.

Now this is not a gourmet candy.  In fact, you can tweak it however you like but the actual recipe which I have been making for many years calls for good old Hershey milk chocolate bars, (yes, I said milk chocolate), and roasted and salted store bought almonds (yes, I said salted). 

Add to that a buttery toffee (yes, I said butter), and you have a candy so satisfying that, as the saying goes, “you can’t eat just one!”

I made a batch this past week to give as some gifts.  If wrapped well it can be frozen so you can make it in advance if you have the time.  I, of course made it at the last minute.

As soon as it is well chilled, you can break it up, wrap it in cellophane, put a ribbon on it and go spread a little joy.

image

California Toffee Butter Crunch

(adapted from The Best Specialties of the House …And More, North Suburban Guild of Children’s Memorial Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois)

2 cans (6 oz. each) roasted, salted almonds

12 (1.65 oz.) Hershey milk chocolate bars ( this time I used 10 of the larger King Size  bars, broken up)

1/2 lb. sweet butter (unsalted)

1 and 1/3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

3 tablespoons water

image

Coarsely chop 1 can of nuts and set aside.  Finely chop the other.

Butter a 7 and 1/2 by 11 and 3/4-inch rimmed pan.  (If using the larger bars of chocolate use a larger (11 and 1/2 by 17-inch)  rimmed baking sheet).  Alternatively, you can line it with parchment paper.

Sprinkle with half of the finely chopped nuts.  Cover with half of the chocolate bars.

image

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan.  Add sugar, corn syrup and water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Using a candy thermometer, cook to 300 degrees. 

image

Quickly stir in the coarsely chopped nuts and pour over the chocolate bars.  Immediately cover with the remaining chocolate bars and sprinkle top with the rest of the finely-chopped nuts.

Take a large sheet of waxed paper and press gently so nuts will adhere.

Chill and break or cut into pieces.  Can be frozen.

image

Peppermint Brownies

image

These peppermint brownies are perfect for holiday entertaining.  I served them recently for dessert at my annual latke lunch I’ve been hosting for my aerobic dance class the past three years. 

It is a moist rich chocolatey brownie with a pronounced peppermint flavor.  Peppermint extract added to the batter along with the sugar that has been ground with peppermint tea leaves provides the pronounced peppermint flavor.

They are then covered in a smooth chocolate glaze and a bit of melted white chocolate is drizzled over them.  Using a toothpick or wooden skewer you  turn that glaze into a beautiful design, which is remarkably easy to do.  You really can’t mess them up! 

I searched for peppermint brownie recipes online and this one from Fine Cooking is the one that got my attention.  It was unanimous from my guests that these are winning brownies.  Add them to your holiday dessert list.  Here you go…

Peppermint Brownies (Fine Cooking, Greg Case, August, 2002)

Yields about 30 brownies

10 ounces (2 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, more for greasing the pan

10 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 teaspoons peppermint tea leaves (from about 2-tea bags)

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 and 1/2 ounce (1 cup) all-purpose flour

2 ounces semisweet chocolate

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 ounces white chocolate

Center a rack in the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan, line it with parchment (the paper should extend at least an inch above the long sides to act  as handles for getting the brownies out), and butter the paper.

Put about 2 inches of water in a small pot and heat to a gentle simmer.  In a heatproof bowl set over the water, melt 8 ounces of the butter and 8 ounces of the unsweetened chocolate.  Be sure the water is hot but not boiling and that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.

Stir occasionally with a heatproof spatula until the mixture is completely melted and uniform, 6 to 7 minutes.  Turn off the heat, but leave the bowl over the water.

In a food processor, finely grind the peppermint leaves with the sugar.

image

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, peppermint extract, salt, and peppermint sugar until just combined.

Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture (reserve the pot of water for later).

Slowly add the flour, gently folding it in with a spatula, until incorporated.

image

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a pick inserted into the center comes out almost clean (a few bits of batter should cling to the pick), 35 to 40 minutes.

Put the pan on a rack to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.  Lift the paper lining to pull the brownies out of the pan.  Peel the paper off the brownies and put them on a cutting board.

To make the glaze, bring the pot of water back to a gentle simmer.  Set a heatproof bowl over the pot and add the semisweet chocolate, corn syrup, and the remaining 2 ounces each butter and unsweetened chocolate. 

Stir frequently with a heatproof spatula until the mixture is melted and smooth; set aside. 

Put the white chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl and set it over the water.  Stir frequently until it’s melted and smooth; remove it from the heat.

Spread the chocolate glaze over the cooled brownies in an even layer using a spatula.

Drizzle the white chocolate over the glaze in evenly distributed lines. 

Use a toothpick or a wooden skewer top drag the white chocolate into the glaze and make a marbleized pattern.

  Lift the cutting board and firmly tap it on the counter to settle the glaze.

image

Refrigerate until the glaze is set, at least 20 minutes and up to 12 hours.  Cut into 30 bars, about 2 inches square (a knife rinsed in hot water and then dried will cut more cleanly than a cold knife).

image

Keep well covered and serve at room temperature.



Crisp and Chewy (Big) Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate

Tomorrow I’m taking these Crisp and Chewy (Big) Chocolate Chip Cookies to my sister’s for Memorial Day weekend.  I baked them for the first time a couple of months ago.

I had seen the recipe in a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.  The crisp and chewy part is what caught my eye, and decided to try them. 

It wasn’t until I was about to put them on the cookie sheet that I realized the recipe was for giant cookies, using a large ice cream scoop for each cookie rather than the generous teaspoonful usually called for.

It actually made me laugh because I’m always stressing to others the importance of reading through the complete recipe before beginning it.  Ha! Well the joke was on me, but in this case I was rewarded with the most delicious and largest soft in the middle, slightly crunchy on the outside chocolate chip cookies imaginable.

On this second go round of baking them I doubled the recipe to make about 40 cookies. I also used half semi-sweet chocolate chips and half dark chocolate chips (these are larger than the original semi-sweet Nestles chips).

They freeze beautifully wrapped well.  I will be taking them to our Barbeque tomorrow evening along with my Vermont Potato Salad which should go great with the ribs my sister is planning to serve! 

Happy Memorial Day, and take time to remember the veterans, and the gift of freedom they’ve given us.

Crisp and Chewy Big Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Martha Stewart Living) (makes about 20 large cookies)

2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 and1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 and 1/4 cups dark brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 extra large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips (half semi-sweet and half dark chocolate)

1.  Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture; beat until combined.  Mix in chocolate chips.

3.  Using a 2 and 1/4-inch ice cream scoop (about 3 tablespoons) drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.  

Bake until gold around the edges but soft in the middle, about 15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

Note:  MAKE AHEAD: Dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.  Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen.

French Chocolate Bark

The leaves are only just beginning to turn, Halloween is a couple of weeks away, and yet thoughts of the upcoming Thanksgiving are already spinning inside my head. 

In our family it’s become “my holiday”, the one that I’ve been happily hosting for some 30 years now, and the one that no matter where we’ve lived my family has always found their way to our doorstep for the long weekend.

  It’s really the one time of year we know we will all be together.

For me the planning is as much fun as the executing, and I’ve learned through the years that planning is key.  Which leads me to this post for The Barefoot Connessa’s French Chocolate Bark.

This is  a delicious confection that can be made weeks ahead and stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.  I made it for the first time several months ago for guests, and thought it would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving dessert buffet.

I followed Ina’s recipe pretty closely, but the nice thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to your own taste, substituting your choice of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate.

French Chocolate Bark (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten)

1 cup whole, salted roasted cashews

6 to 7 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

6 to 7 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 cup finely diced crystalized ginger

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup finely diced dried apricots

1/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a pencil, draw a rectangle that is approximately the size of a standard sheet of paper (8 and 1/2 inches by 11 inches) on a piece of parchment paper placed on a sheet pan, then thurn the parchment paper over.

Spread the cashews in a single layer on another sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes, until just toasted.  Set aside to cool.  (you will not need the oven after this.)

Place the semisweet chocolate and half the bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe glass bowl and microwave on high power for 20 to 30 seconds.  Stir with rubber spatula. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is just melted.  Immediately add the remaining bittersweet chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it lightly into the drawn rectangle.

Sprinkle the top evenly in the following order:  ginger, cashews, cherries, apricots, raisins.  Set aside for 1 to 2 hours until firm.  Cut or break the bark in 18 to 20 pieces and serve at room temperature.

Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place for several weeks.

Yield:18 to 20 pieces

Glazed Fudge Cake

The recipe for this Glazed Fudge Cake comes from a co-worker and friend back in the day when I was working at a kitchen specialty shop in Chicago.

I have to admit it was a dream job in some ways (not monetarily, of course), but in the respect that I was working at a job completely immersed in my passion…cooking!

Not only did I get to see and touch all the latest in cookware, bakeware, small appliances, kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, cutlery, gourmet food items, and more, I was expected to spend my time talking/selling to our customers who for the most part shared a similar passion.  So I get paid to talk, and  I must talk about food…not a problem!

Our regular customers became friends, and there was a constant  sharing and exchange of recipes, and culinary tips that was ongoing between all of us.  The Glazed Fudge Cake below is one of the many benefits I received from my days at Chef’s Catalog, The Store, in Highland Grove, a northwest suburb of Chicago.  The Chef’s Catalog still is in circulation today.  The store in Highland Grove is no longer open.

I made many good friends there, honed some of my culinary skills, and worked with a small group of women who really made it a joy to go to work. 

This cake is a bit unique in that the cake batter and glaze are  prepared using a food processor rather than an electric mixer.  Provided you have all your ingredients ready it is a surprisingly quick cake to make.  It is a deliciously moist cake and the glaze is velvety smooth. 

Glazed Fudge Cake (from my friend Judy Lesser, source unknown)

(Makes one 9-inch cake)

1 and 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (5 and 1/4 ounces, 150g)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 ounces (85g) unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces

1 and 3/4 cups sugar (12 and 1/4 ounces, 350g)

1/2 cup (120ml) boiling water

3 large eggs

1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 and 1/4 sitcks unsalted butter (9 ounces total, 255g), softened and cut into 8 pieces

3/4 cup (180ml) sour cream

1 and 1/2 tablespoons dark rum, or Chambord Liqueur

3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserve

Chocolate Fudge Glaze (recipe follows)

Fifteen minute before baking, place rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan.  Fit the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and butter the paper.

Metal Blade:  Process flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 3 seconds: remove and reserve.  Process chocolate and 1/2 cup of sugar until chocolate is as fine as sugar-about 1 minute.  Turn on machine, pour boiling water through the feed tube and process until the chocolate is melted.  Add eggs, cocoa, and remaining sugar and process for 1 minute.  Add sour cream and rum (or Chambord) and process for 5 seconds.  Spoon the reserved dry ingredients onto the batter in a circle and pulse just until the flour disappears-3 or 4 times.  Do not overprocess.

Transfer to the prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean-about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Cake will just begin to pull away from sides of pan.  Let cool to room temperature in pan on wire rack.  When cool, remove from pan.

In small saucepan, heat preserves until melted.

Cut four 2-inch strips of waxed paper and arrange on serving plate; they keep plate clean as you work.  Place cake topside down on plate, and carefully remove the bottom of the pan, and the parchment paper.  Spread the surface with preserves. 

Spread 1/4 cup of the Chocolate Glaze on top of the preserves.  Use a long thin spatula to spread the top and sides with about 3/4 cup of the glaze.

Optional:  Spoon remaining glaze into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe small rosettes around top edge of cake.  Serve at room temperature.

Chocolate Fudge Glaze

1/4 cup (60ml) water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 ounces (170g) sweet cooking chocolate, broken into pieces

1/2 cup confectioners, sugar (2 ounces, 55g)

1 and 1/2 tablespoons dark rum (or Chambord Liqueur)

Pinch of salt

Bring water and butter to boil in a small saucepan.  Keep at simmer until needed.

Metal Blade:  Pulse the chocolate with confectioners’ sugar 5 times, then process continuously until chocolate is as fine as sugar.  With machine running, pour water and butter through the feed tube and process until chocolate is melted, stopping once to scrape the work bowl.  Add the rum or Chambord and salt and process for 5 seconds.

Before using, let set at room temperature or in refrigerator just until slightly thickened and no longer runny, but still flowing.

Passover Chocolate Raspberry Dreams

image

As I mentioned in my last blog baking at Passover can be quite challenging.  I discovered this recipe many years ago in Chicago, most likely from an issue of the Chicago Tribune Food Guide featuring  Passover Dessert Recipes.

We are going to mys sister’s this year for our Seder, and I volunteered to bring the chicken soup and matzo balls, Mom’s Passover Lemon Sponge Cake, and something chocolatey. 

Here’s a lesson for you…share your recipes with family and friends because you never know when you may just need to borrow it.  When I decided to make the Passover Chocolate Raspberry Dreams, I searched and searched and couldn’t find it.  In speaking to my sister and telling her of my frustration, she told me to hold on because she may have a copy that I had given her years ago.  She did, and my Passover Chocolate Raspberry Dreams will be putting in an appearance at our Seder tomorrow evening.

Passover Chocolate Raspberry Dreams

image

Chocolate Brownie Base

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 cup matzo cake meal, sifted

1/2 cup potato starch, sifted

1/2 cup crumbled chocolate macaroons

Filling

6 oz cream cheese, optional

4 tablespoons milk, optional

1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves

Glaze

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate

3 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9x13” pan.

Stir cocoa into melted butter.

In large bowl beat sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs.  Stir in chocolate mixture just til blended.  Stir in cake meal, potato starch and crumbled macaroons just til blended.image

image

Spread mixture evenly into pan.image

Bake til toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Cool.

If using cream cheese and milk beat til smooth and fluffy, spread over cooled base.

imageimage

Spread raspberry preserves over cream cheese.image

If not using cream cheese and milk, simply spread preserves over base.

Melt chocolate and butter in small saucepan stirring constantly.  Spread chocolate glaze carefully over preserves.  Cool completely.  cut into bars.image

VALENTINE CUPCAKES
Turn your favorite chocolate cake recipe into cupcakes, frost with my fluffy white frosting, to which you add a drop of red food coloring to give it a hint of pink, and top with a heart shaped candy!  HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

VALENTINE CUPCAKES

Turn your favorite chocolate cake recipe into cupcakes, frost with my fluffy white frosting, to which you add a drop of red food coloring to give it a hint of pink, and top with a heart shaped candy!  HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Chocolate Bonbons

Recently I made these Chocolate Bonbons to take to my sister’s.  She shared them with her neighbor, who recently sent me a message asking if I would share the recipe with her because her family really loved them.  So here it is…  This recipe comes from one of the first cookbooks I purchased when I began working part-time in a kitchen specialty shop in Chicago years ago.  As the book says, “If they love chocolate, they’ll swoon over these!”

Chocolate Bonbons (from Marlene Sorosky’s Cookery for Entertaining)

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped hazelnuts or almonds(4oz.) (optional)

Garnishes such as halved hazelnuts or almonds, halved candied cherries, crystallized violets and chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Velvet Frosting

1/2 cup whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1 egg yolk, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 1-1and1/2 inch miniature muffin cups with bonbon papers; set aside.  Melt chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over hot water.  Remove from hot water, stir in sugar.  Add eggs, mixing well.  Stir in flour, baking powder, vanilla and nuts, if using.  Spoon a small amount of chocolate mixture into each prepared muffin cup, filling cups 1/2 to3/4 full.  Bake 8 minutes.  Bonbons will be soft and look under-baked but will become firm as they cool.  Cool in muffin cups.  Prepare Velvet Frosting.  Spoon frosting over each bonbon.  Garnish tops of bonbons with nuts, candied cherries, crystallized violets or chocolate sprinkles if you like.  These may be refrigerated up to 1 week or frozen.  Serve cold.  Makes 55- 60 bonbons.

Velvet Frosting

In a small heavy saucepan, mix cream and sugar.  Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add chocolate; stir to melt.  Stir a spoonful of chocolate mixture into the egg yolk to warm it slightly.  Add egg yolk mixture to saucepan.  Add butter; stir until melted.  Stir in vanilla.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever

Chocolate Chip Cookies…is there anyone who doesn’t love them?  I doubt it.  The very first thing I ever baked was chocolate chip cookies.  I was probably about 12 years old, and I followed the recipe on the back of the bag of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips.  They turned out great, and it became my specialty for years.

As the years went by I had my own kitchen, and I found myself spending more and more time there. My baking expanded to include cakes, cupcakes, pies, tarts, cobblers, jelly rolls, meringues, scones, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, rugelach, and more.  And although I’ve baked all kinds of cookies, chocolate chip still remain a favorite.

I’ve tried many different recipes for chocolate chip cookies, some being better than others.  My current favorite is this one that I found online and it is aptly named The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever   (recipe courtesy George Duran) 

makes 36 cookies

Ingredients

2 and 1/2 cup all- purpose flour ( I use unbleached)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used half light brown sugar and half dark brown sugar)

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla (no artificial, please)

2 cups (12-ounce package) chocolate chips (any good brand of semi-sweet)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (If you have convection, use it).

Line baking sheets with parchment.

Put the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and stir it with a whisk to combine.  Set aside.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter until it is lighter in color.  Slowly add in sugars and beat until it is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat until they are incorporated.  Stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture using low speed, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls (I use a mini ice cream scoop)  about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. 

Bake until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Let the cookies cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Note:  The recipe can be doubled easily. 

Once the dough is mixed you can chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or more before scooping onto cookie sheets.