February 13, 2011

I'm on a mission

I made myself a bucket list for 2011. Things I want to try, accomplish, do. One of the cooking related things on my 2011 bucket list is to find the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Now, I know, it's a chocolate chip cookie Steph, who cares? I care! I don't have a go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. And I love a good chocolate chip cookie, so I'm really ready to find the PERFECT recipe.

So I'm taking my time and making cookies this year, hoping to find the ultimate recipe for a basic chocolate chip cookie - nothing fancy, nothing with add ins, just a basic chocolate chip cookie.

In order to keep track of my baking, I've made myself a spread sheet. DORK? YES! But this way I'll be able to recall the cookies and really find the best recipe for me. I've also started freezing one dough ball of each cookie - and at the end of the year, I'll bake all of them and figure out really, once and for all, which one is superior for my tastes.

So what am I judging on? Appearance, out of oven taste/texture, milk dunk test, day after taste/texture, and the hubs take on the cookie. I mean, he HATES chocolate chip cookies, and really cookies in general. But if I can find a cookie he even remotely enjoys, than that has a lot to do in the ratings scheme as well.

So I started the other weekend with this recipe from Baking Bites for Brown Sugar Chocolate Chunk Cookies.
My review:
Chocolate Chip Used: Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Pieces
Ease of Recipe: Super easy recipe, very few ingredients, no chill time. Quick to prep and bake. Done in 3 cookie sheets and 1 hour total, start to finish.
OOO (Out of Oven) Texture: Crispy bottom, fluffy - taller cookie, soft center that is still moist, crispy edges.
OOO Taste: Not too sweet, mild chocolate flavor (dark chocolate)
Milk Dunk Test: Doesn't absorb a ton of milk but it does help make it a little moister. When dunked when the cookie is hot it's DELICIOUS!!
DA (Day After) Texture:Firm, center is still soft as is cookie, lost its crispy edge, a very dense and solid cookie
DA Taste: a little sweeter, still the same. Just cold
Appearance: Not all pieces have chocolate chunks at the surface but just brown flat tops, but very symmetrical in size, not too much spreading
Husband Rating: Not bad, better if no chocolate. Soft interior but the bottom is too crunchy, top is fine
Overall Notes: Overall a really nice cookie, good taste, texture and not too sweet. I think the chocolate pieces tended to sink during the cooking process a bit compared to how the recipe was pictured. Should have floured my chips perhaps? The cookie is great the 2nd day if you warm it in the microwave for 7 seconds. Determined this is really a cookie that is best served warm because it is so dense.

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (pref. kosher salt)
14 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, gradually blend in the flour mixture until no streaks of dry ingredients remain visible. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Shape dough into balls just over 1-inch in diameter. Place on prepared baking sheet, allowing for room to spread.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are very lightly browned around the edges. Cookies may look slightly “wet” – but not raw – at the center (bake until golden all over for crispier cookies).
Cool for 3-4 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 1/2 – 3 dozen cookies

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