A Simple Chocolate Chip Cookie

March 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

These cookies nearly didn’t make it to you. No-one needs another recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I pondered, without it having some kind of jazz to offer: giant in shape and skillet-baked, dough being left to rest for 36 hours, with bacon added. And then I reasoned that if I wanted a chocolate chip cookie that was plain, unadulterated, and ready to eat within half an hour, there was a decent chance that someone else out there might want that too. So here they are.

When it comes to all things food related, I often have a tendency for over-complication. I’ll opt to walk the extra five blocks to pick up the meat I want, or eschew three local pizza joints then stand in a long line elsewhere to satisfy a specific pie craving. Lots of my baking requires specific ingredients, which over time does lead to a very well-stocked baking pantry, but can be infuriating if all you desire is a sweet hit, right now.

The very joy of these cookies, then, is precisely that there’s nothing complicated or unusual about them. The chances are (if you bake semi-regularly) you’ll have all the ingredients on hand to knock these together. You can make them in a single bowl (washing up is one area of my life where I am very happy to keep things uncomplicated) and if you aren’t faffing around with a tripod and macro lens in between things, I reckon you could be eating them 30 minutes after walking into your kitchen and pulling out the mixer. That is, if you like your cookies fresh from the oven (if you don’t, you might as well stop reading now: this blog is not for you). The addition of the oats gives a nice chew to the cookie and a mild pretense of them being healthful (aside: where did this word “healthful” come from and why is it suddenly everywhere? What’s wrong with “healthy”? ). But as with any good chocolate chip cookie the raison d’etre is the chocolate itself so be sure to go ahead and choose whatever kind you personally like. Super dark, milk, somewhere in between, even white. These are your cookies: make them so. All that remains is to pour a glass of milk, put your feet up, and keep it simple, if only for once.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from The Green & Black’s Organic Ultimate Chocolate Recipes: The New Collection

Yields around 16 cookies

125g/1 stick unsalted butter (ideally at room temperature – I gave mine a cautious few blitzes in the microwave to soften it)
100g/1/2 cup caster/cane sugar
50g/1/4 cup muscovado or light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
140g/1 1/4 cup plain/all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
75g/1 cup rolled oats
200g/1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (anything from 70% dark to milk, as per your preference. I used 63% Guittard chips)

The way I like to make these cookies is by putting the bowl of my stand mixer on a digital scale, taring it to 0, and then weighing ingredients directly into it. You start out weighing in the butter and sugars before beating, then beat in the egg and vanilla, then return the bowl to the scale, tare back to zero, add the flour, baking powder and salt right in there, tare again to zero, add the oats, return to the mixer and combine, then back to the scale and tare again before adding the chips. A recipe like this is one place where US style cups can be helpful as you don’t have to use this method (and having super precise ingredient measurements doesn’t really matter for cookie dough), but if you are using weights this method keeps things really simple and washing up at a minimum too. In a pedantic, over-complicated world you would sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl before adding, but honestly with cookies it doesn’t matter if you just add the dry ingredients straight to the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 180C/370F. Have a baking sheet to hand and lined with parchment paper.

Using a stand mixer or hand held electric mix (or wooden spoon), cream the butter and sugars together until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat to combine then add the vanilla and mix. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and oats and mix together. Add the chocolate chips and mix one final time to combine it all into a dough. Place the dough in the bowl in the fridge to firm up for 10 minutes. At this point you could also freeze the dough (or half of it) for another day, or wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge for 24-36 hours until ready to use.

Form balls of dough about the size of a small plum, roll them in your hands and then place on the baking sheet, pressing them lightly to flatten. This is quite a stiff dough so the cookies won’t spread a huge amount, but nonetheless leave an inch or so between each cookie to allow for some spreading. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through for even baking if you like.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Eat warm or cold, with milk.

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