October 29, 2012

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few days ago I mentioned that I would be baking cookies for a fundraiser at work, and I questioned readers as to what kind of cookies I should bake. After hearing a few responses, I chose to make a twist on an old favourite, the chocolate chip cookie.

I had wanted to make something a little more adventurous and creative, like sugar cookies with royal icing, but I decided against it. As this is a bake sale, I need to appeal to the masses, and that's exactly what chocolate chip cookies do. And also, to be completely honest, they are pretty easy to make and don't require a huge amount of time and effort. Though it would have been fun to make and decorate sugar cookies, I just don't have the time right now.

So I decided to make Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, which are a slight twist on the original plain recipe. I chose to go with this type of cookie in order to ensure that they are purchased and not hesitantly skimmed over, like other kinds of less-familiar cookies may be. But I chose to specifically go with salted cookies as this provides a nice, subtle variation on the original theme. Therefore, though plain and universally appealing, my cookies are certainly not boring! In case you would like to make them for yourself, here is the recipe I used {adapted from For Me For You}:

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour

1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt {try kosher salt}
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup and 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 and 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Sprinkle of sea salt

1. Combine both types of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Once completely mixed, set aside.

2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until they are light and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Once fluffy, add in both eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla once eggs are thoroughly mixed in.

3. Turn the mixer setting to low, and slowly add in the dry ingredient mixture. Once the wet and dry ingredients have completely combined, add the chocolate chips and mix briefly, so that they are well-distributed throughout the batter.

4. Place plastic wrap around the dough, and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours, maximum 72 hours.

5. Once a minimum of 24 hours has elapsed, preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator and allow the dough to soften slightly.

6. Using a standard-sized ice cream scoop, scoop the dough into balls. Place the balls onto the baking sheet and sprinkle sea salt onto the top of each ball before baking. Make sure to space the dough evenly and far enough apart to allow the cookies to spread out without touching as they cook.

7. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. If you wish for the centers of the cookies to be soft, cook for only 15 minutes. Allow the cookies and baking pan to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the pan but continue to cool them on the wire rack for at least another 10 minutes.

I struggled a little bit mixing all of the ingredients together, as the dough becomes more and more stiff as you continue to add in the dry ingredients. Despite using my stand mixer I had problems, as the dough was so stiff that my poor mixer was visibly struggling to push the beater through the dough. Not wanting to put my mixer into harm's way any longer, I chose to mix in the chocolate chips by hand. Based on the crazy amount of chocolate chips called for by this recipe, combined with the stiffness of this dough, I also struggled with this. I much have been struggling a lot as my husband came over and offered to stir in the chocolate chips for me. With his help, I got everything mixed an into the fridge.

The rest of the baking process went smoothly. However, I ended up with 31 cookies rather than the estimated 24. I think that this may have to do with the fact that some of the cookies turned out bigger than others, and the smaller ones in the batch likely didn't have enough dough in them. If they had been bigger I may have gotten closer to 24 cookies. But nonetheless, the cookies turned out amazing! They were super delicious, thick and chewy in the middle, just how I had hoped they would be. And they were a huge hit at work, selling out completely at the bake sale!

Photo Credit: For Me For You

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