RECIPE and VIDEO: The Art of Chocolate Chip Cookies


My Italian mother reuses everything, especially ricotta tubs and deli plastic containers. And when I was growing up, my mother bought giant tubs of ricotta to keep up with the massive amount of cooking she was doing. And she saved and recycled those big tubs to fill with chocolate chip cookies to have on hand for our back to school snacks every day. The lids fit tightly to keep the cookies moist, and they were as large as a cookie jar, but kept the cookies fresher longer. As a working mom now, I realize to have freshly made chocolate chip cookies in those giant recycled ricotta tubs in the pantry weekly was a huge blessing. My siblings and I were very lucky.

My mother's recipe was not anything special, simply the recipe on the back of the toll house bag. But when she finally taught me how to make them, I realized that the basic chocolate chip recipe held the fundamentals of baking; the mixing of the dry ingredients, the softening of the butter and whipping with the sugars first. I realize now, as many people were not taught the basics of cooking and baking, the art of chocolate chip making is somewhat of a lost one. Especially when I looked into top searched terms regarding cooking and baking, "how to make chocolate chips" is a top question of the population.  SO here I am. I am a helper, I help.

Below is an adaptation of a well-loved recipe from the New York Times for what is supposedly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. In fact, you will run into many chocolate chip recipes in your baking life. The Nestle Toll-house recipe is a perfectly wonderful recipe-it pretty much raised me! But whatever recipe you use, there are some fundamentals I will take you through in the video below that will help you understand some baking principals and what makes any chocolate chip cookie successful. 

One debatable point is to refrigerate the cookie dough or not. The NY Times recipe recommends chilling for 36 hours. Growing up, my mother had no time to wait for cookie dough to sit and chill for a couple days. Honestly, who does? Especially if you have hungry rugrats clamoring for your baking treats. What I discovered is that chilling does make a chewier, more intensely flavored cookie-but you only need to wait about 30 minutes to get the most of what chilling the dough does for you. But you don't have to chill it. Baking the dough right off the mixing stand creates a softer, cakier cookie. So it is really up to you.

Below is a how-to video where I explain all of this. If you like it, please subscribe to my channel. I update it every Friday! Come join in the fun.


"Bestest"Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from NY Times

Ingredients:

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2 cups minus 2 tablespoons of cake flour (8 1/2 ounces)
1 2/3 cups bread flour (8 1/2 ounces) 
1 1/4 teaspoons of baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 
1/4 cup of butter, unsalted, softened to room temperature 
1 1/2 teaspoons of coarse kosher salt
1 cup +2 tablespoons of granulated white sugar 
1 1/4 cup of light brown sugar firmly packed 
2 eggs at room temperature 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 1/4 pound of semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl with a fork and set aside. Whip the butter in a large bowl until fluffy then add both the sugars and mix until a light yellow color and a fluffy texture. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat well until creamy.

 Slowly the dry ingredients, mixing with your mixer on low until everything is just combined. Mix the chocolate chips by hand, folding them in with a spatula. Cover batter tightly with plastic wrap and chill batter for 30 minutes (or up to 36 hours).

Let batter sit out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to warm up slightly so it is workable. Drop batter by the tablespoon 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, flipping the sheets midway for even browning. Let cookies "set up"on the baking sheets for about five minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in a an airtight container for 3-5 days (if they last that long).


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