Sunday, 22 January 2006

Delicate Biscuit Ladies

I remember the first time I tried a Chocolate Chip Cookie, I couldn't stop popping them into my mouth. I had a great fondness for Chips Ahoy cookies. I think my sis and i were such big fans of Chips Ahoy and OREOS that my mom really started to worry bout our teeth. Of course, now that I am such an avid baker and still a great lover of chocolate, i'm more worried bout all the pounds i'm putting on. I think i'm already resembling a rice sack. The 48kg body has been chucked away in a closet i can no longer find my way back to. (sounds like Narnia) Pity pity, quoth Brutus. Anyhow, I haven't exactly found the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Every time i bake one, it just seems that there's something missing. Either it's too chewy for my liking, too crispy, too ugly, too mountainy, too tasteless or sth. :S
In my quest for the perfect cookie recipe and in my foray into the world dominated by the chocolate chip ladies, I experimented with this recipe from chocolate AMERICAN STYLE by Lora Brody. It's actually the Toll House Cookies recipe, inspired by the innkeeper Ruth Wakerfield who experimented with buttercookies and chopped chocolate chunks in 1937 at her inn the Toll House, Whitman, Massachusetts. I must say I can't really tell if the recipe was good because I tweaked it up and about but I should think so because this book is just amazing! I've decided that after i return it to the library, I'm gonna head down to Kino and buy it, along with Alice Medrich's Chocolate Holidays and maybe Lisa Yockelson's Chocolate Chocolate. Sucker.
Anyway, I turned this Toll House recipe into a Supersoft Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookie recipe. I didn't expect it to be supersoft but my sisters loved the softness (which is extremely rare because most ppl i know prefer crispy cookies to soft & chewy ones) so no harm done i guess.
I'm still on the lookout for the perfect chocolate chip recipe but no worries! It just means i'll have to keep baking to find out. (but golly, there goes the figure again.)

2 1/8 cup plain flour
1/8 cup (about 1-2tbs is fine too) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (i tried a new brand. Anchor butter. didn't really like the smell...)
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries (preferably non-sweetened)

Preheat oven at 190dCelsius.

Place sifted flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt in a bowl. Give it a light whisk.
Place butter, sugars in a bowl and mix. Add vanilla. Beat well. Next, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and beat. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries.
The Toll House recipe actually uses 1 cup toasted walnuts. I took this out as my family isn't too thrilled bout walnuts like i am and besides, i didn't have any lying about the house. But I would really have liked to throw in the walnuts because it would have given the cookies that extra urmph and crunch!
Drop the batter by rounded tablespoonfuls, be generous. Bake for 11 minutes or until the cookies are just a nice golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack for 10 min. The cookies will continue to cook on the sheets and in the process, turn a darker brown.

According to Lisa Brody: For chewier cookies, slam the baking sheets on the counter once or twice before placing them on the wire racks to cool. Interesting. I'm not too sure how that works but I think these cookies are chewy enough.


Johan said...

hey. great to find another avid baker! i love baking too. but i prefer baking cakes. =) keep it up girl!
by the way i found your blog from terelle's webby. her mummy was my class teacher in sec 3. =)
and as for your perfect recipe. imho, it's what you experiment and come up with. all the best for your hunt in the perfect recipe! i'm currently trying to perfect my cheesecakes. but too bad now in ns not much time. =(


diva. said...

hey johan! i made an oreo cheesecake once but i always feel making pastries,pies and cheesecakes are soooo tiring. I love making layer cakes, cupcakes n cookies though! :D n just maybe hmmm...only eating cheesecakes? ha.

johan said...

it is indeed tiring cos at the beginning the cheese is really hard to whip! haha. layer cakes are so er... time consuming? ya got to bake layer by layer! if i haf the time i'd love to try. haha

diva. said...

well johan, u juz make the batter and pour into separate pans! easy peasy. anw, have u met terelle's baby?

johan said...

hmmm. not yet. i enlisted 3 days before li-anne gave birth. =)

johan said...

oh. by the way those things at the roots of the groundnut/peanut plant are called nodules. they give off nitrates which are then absorbed by the other plants. =) it's a cycle.