Alton Brown’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Oh yes, the Chocolate Chip Cookie. I may have found my new Go-To recipe!!
Many bakers seem to be searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I too, have been searching for the ‘perfect chocolate chip cookie’ I do have a tried and true recipe that I fall back on that I know will not fail me but like many bakers, continue to seek out and try new versions of this classic. I have received almost a dozen emails from my blog readers requesting I try another chocolate chip cookie recipe and several have requested this recipe in particular. It comes from my beloved Alton Brown.

Several bloggers have already tried other versions of his chocolate chip cookie recipe so I decided to go with a recipe that I have had saved for over a months now. I was emailed the recipe by a friend and I do not own the book from which it originates, if my citing is wrong, please drop me a line and let me know.

I chose this recipe for a few reasons. It calls for no special ingredients,  it calls for an unusual method of mixing the ingredients and it implements the use of unconventional baking temperatures. Like my last cookie recipe, no mixer is needed to whip up this recipe, however, a little arm power is essential for adequatley mixing the chips into the dough. The dough came together in less than 15 minutes and after a short chilling in the fridge (the recipe does not require this but I feel it enhances the flavor of the baked cookie) these were ready to bake.  As stated before, unlike usual cookie recipes that call for one constant baking temperature, this one starts the cookies out at a higher temperature and then has you lower the temperature right after placing them into the oven to bake. I am asuming the higher initial temperature helps set the edges and the lowering of the temperature ensures consistent baking (no burnt bottoms and underbaked centers) producing a cookie with crisp edges and soft, chewy centers. What better combination in a cookie??

The texture of these cookies is great, everything I would look for in a cookie, phenomenal actually. They are slighlty crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the middles.  They taste great out of the oven (after cooling for 10 minutes). I can’t wait to try them after they cool completly.
The depth of the flavor is also phenomenal, the perfect combination of brown sugar and butter. I was surprised that the cookies came out as chewy as they were and that thebrown sugar flavor was as pronounced as it was, given I used equal proportions of white and brown sugar. Once again I used a combination of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips and found that proportion was just perfect in my opinion, sweet but not overly so.

I do have two complaints about this cookie. First, the finished cookies were too greasy in my opinion.  After realizing this with the first pan, I allowed the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then transferred to paper-towel lined cooling racks to cool completly. This seemed to help soak up a bit of the grease. Second, you really need to monitor the cookies closely while baking as you need to constantly increase and decrease the temperature of the oven. This was fine today as I was in the kitchen cleaning, however, these may not be ideal for those who are multi-tasking and want to bake up a batch of cookies quickly (it took my oven 5 minutes to reheat to 375 between baking the batches).

Overall I loved these cookies. So much so that I am going to make another batch tomorrow for a party. I will decrease the butter by a 1/2 stick to see if that helps with the greasiness of the baked cookies. If I can make these less greasy while maintaining the flavor these may be my new favorite cookie. If you try adapting this recipe with great results PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know!

One last thing, Alton also gives directions on how to bake the dough as one large pan cookie which would be perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and parties. I would love to try baking it this way and then decorating with a little buttercream frosting!

I rate these cookies an 8
Only because I thought they were too greasy in my opinion, these would be at least a 9 for flavor and texture alone

Chocolate Chip Cookie #10 
Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food Cookbook

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I only used 1/2 tsp and felt that was enough)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup un salted butter, melted and slightly cooled (I used salted butter, like always) **
2 cups chocolate chips (1 used 1 cup semi-sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees*.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the melted and cooled butter, sugars, egg yolks and vanilla until may-128combined. 

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the butter mixture and  fold the ingredients together just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and fold to combine. Do not overmix.
I chilled my dough for 2 hours because I always do, but Alton does not call for this step.

For individual cookies, use a spoon or a disher and dish out your cookies, 2 inches apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. *

Bake for 12-15 minutes (Mine were done in 12).
Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined counter top.

*As soon as you put the cookies or cookie cake into the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. Alton Brown swears by this initial temperature boost.

Alternate Option:
For a cookie cake, dump the dough into an ungreased pizza pan or whatever kind of pan you have and gently press down until the dough is evenly distributed around the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or light golden brown.

**UPDATE: 5/4/09:
I made these again, only this time I used only 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 TBS) and found the baked cookies to be less greasy without sacrificing the flavor. I did chill the dough overnight so that may help keep and enhance the flavor of these cookies. I highly recommend chilling the dough at least a few hours before baking.
I also allowed the cookies to cool on paper-towel lined cooling racks for about 5 minutes and then transferred them to a regular cooling rack to cool completley. I found the paper towels to help absorb any grease from the warm cookies while the regular cooling rack allowed the bottoms of the cookies to firm up alowing the edges to become crisp upon cooling achieving the texture I  desire.
All in all I would recommend this recipe and suggest you play around with butter amounts and cooking/cooling methods that suit your tastes and preferences. I can’t wait to make them again!

Magic Make it Your Way Cookies

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I had a can of sweetened condensed milk to use up and decided to search the Eagle brand website for a cookie recipe. Usually I make 7-Layer bars but was in the mood to try out something new today. Well, needless to say I was under-impressed by this recipe as a cookie but it is promising as a muffin top cookie, read on.

One plus is this dough comes to together quickly, infact the directions don’t even call for a mixer. I did however have a difficult time stirring the dough as it was very sticky and I think a mixer would have helped a great deal. (but who couln’t use a little work out while baking?)

I decided to divide the dough into two batches and added chocolate chips to one batch and 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts and 1/2 cup cinnamon chips to the second batch. Boy am I glad I experimented a bit with the ingredients, it was the saving grace for these babies.  I chilled the dough for 20 minutes as I felt it was way to sticky to bake right away.

The first sheet of cookies I just dropped on the sheet using my cookie scoop. This resulted in cookies that baked up puffy and very cake-like with rounded pale tops and golden bottoms. After trying a chocolate chip one I felt they had no flavor (I believe because their is no  sugar in the recipe, only what is in the sweetened condensed milk). The second sheet I again used my cookie scoop to scoop the dough, this time, however, I rolled the dough balls in a cup of sugar and placed them on the sheet. I pressed down slighlty with a cup to flatten the tops. I enjoyed these results much more when prepared this way (the chocolate chip version is still lacking deep flavor however but looked better). The cookies are still more cakey than cookie but I feel the roll in sugar is a welcomed flavor boost, especially in the cinnamon nut version. 

I enjoyed the cinnamon nut vfebruary-124ersion of the cookie much better than the chocolate chip version (little flavor and too cakey for my liking). The cinnamon nut cookie was almost like eating a cinnamon nut muffin in cookie form. The nuts, cinnamon and cinnamon chips really shined through and made up for the lack of flavor in the dough itself.
I would not reccomend the chocolate chip version but think adding coconut, dried fruits, almond extract, nuts etc. may have potential if cakey cookies are your thing.

Overall these were not horrible cookies and would work in a pinch if you are out of sugar and desperate to bake something. Needless to say these will not be taking the place of my favorite chocolate chip cookie any time soon.  However, I did enjoy the cinnamon nut version and may make them for brunch as I think these are better as ‘muffin’ top cookies than traditional cookies.

I rate this recipe a 5 (chocoalte chip version)
I rate this recipe a 7 (cinnamon nut muffin top version)

Magic Make it Your Way Cookies
adapted from Eagle
 3 cups all-purpose flour
 3 teaspoons baking powder
 3/4 teaspoon salt
 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
 2 eggs 
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
 One favorite ingredient (ingredients below) 
1 cup sugar for rolling dough (can add some cinnamon for the cinnamon nut version)

*I divided the dough and added 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips in half the dough and
   1/2 cup cinnamon chips, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup toasted walnuts in the other half of the        dough
   
 Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. february-123
If using nuts, spread on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-15 mintues stirring every 5 minutes for even toasting. Do not burn. Take out and allow to cool.

 In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir in butter, eggs, vanilla and EAGLE BRAND®. Fold in one of your “favorite” ingredients.

 Using a cookie scoop drop dough balls into a bowl of sugar and roll to coat.
Place on prepared baking sheet and press down slightly with the bottom of a cup. 
Bake  10-12 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

Remove at once from baking sheet. Cool. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.
 
 
Notes: “Make It Your Way” with your favorite ingredient (pick one): 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 1/2 cups raisins 1 1/2 cups corn flakes 1 1/2 cups toasted shredded coconut

Toasted Pecan, White Chocolate and Toffee Chip Cookies

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Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I have tasted several cookies in my time. Let me tell ya, I have found my new favorite cookie. I have been craving my favorite blondies all week but was in the mood to make cookies. Not only because I did not want to end up eating the whole pan of blondies by myself (I have done this more times than I can count) but because I wanted needed to freeze some dough for later baking (or so the scale has told me). I decided to adapt my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe to include my all-time-hands-down- favorite blondie add-ins.

I pride myself in baking goodies that any home cook/baker/mom/dad/sister/brother can make. I am a firm believer that you don’t need super fancy or expensive ingredients to bake up mouth-watering, jaw dropping, family pleasing treats! I am proof of this. My recipes are usually straight forward, require few steps or fancy ingredients to pull off and no special equipment to make. These cookies are no exception. I took a basic recipe and kicked it up a notch by doing a few easy steps that anyone can do.

First, I toasted the pecans and allowed them to cool before adding them to my dough. Toasting the nuts creates a deeper and richer flavor which is noticable in baked goods, especially those with simple flavors. Secondly, I use dark brown sugar. There is more molasses added to dark brown sugar giving it a deeper and richer flavor and color than its lighter counterpart. Dark brown sugar will give the cookies a darker color after baking, which I also find more attractive visually. Lastly, I made my dough but chilled it overnight before baking. Allowing the dough to chill before baking further deepens the flavor profile of the dough and the finished cookie as documented in this article (though my grandma has been doing this for years!). These small, easy steps will take your cookie from good to great, by giving them a richer, deeper flavor and color.

So, back to my cookies. Let me tell you, these are phenomenal!  The white chocolate is creamy and smooth,  which compliments the flavors of the toffee pieces and toasted nuts all contained by a rich toffee flavored dough. I had a difficult time not eating all of the dough! The thing I love about this recipe is not just the fact that it taste rich and chewy just  like my blondie recipe but unlike my blondies, I was able to freeze several dough balls to bake later when my sweet tooth screams for a treat. YUM!

I rate this recipe a 9.5

Toasted Pecan, White Chocolate  and Toffee Chip Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2  cup Heath Toffee Pieces
3/4 cup Toasted Pecan Pieces
1  cup White Chocolate, chopped (I recommend using white baker’s chocolate, not white chips)

Toast the Nuts:
Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 350.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Spread nuts on a baking sheet.
Bake in oven, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Turn off oven.

Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.
With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter & sugars until thoroughly combined.
Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined.
Gently fold in toffee pieces, pecan pieces and white chocolate chunjanuary-035ks.

Cover bowl tightly and place in refrigerator until ready to bake (at least 12 hours but up to 72 hours).

When ready to bake allow dough to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a spoon or medium cookie scooper, place dough balls on prepared sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9-12 minuts until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft & puffy. Do NOT overbake!

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

*Instead of baking all of the dough at once you can drop dough balls onto a cookie sheet and chill until firm. Place in Freezer bag and freeze for later baking. Allow to come to room temp and bake as usual watching carefully not to overbake.

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Lucky me, I have no food allergies that I know of making cooking and baking (and consuming all of that food) a breeze.
I got the idea for these cookies after a friend of mine asked me to bake some cookies for her son Jake’s  birthday party.  The only request she made was that they be egg free (I guess one of his cousin’s is allergic to them). Knowing that Jake loves my chocoalte chip cookies I really wanted to make them for his birthday. The only problem is that they contain eggs. Well, after reading some cookbooks at the library I discovered several cookie recipes that do not call for eggs but instead use cream cheese (not necassarily as a substitute).

I decided to give it a whirl and use cream cheese in place of the eggs in my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Eggs are usually used in a recipe to provide moisture (the yolk) and structure (the whites). The cream cheese adds the moisture and helps create the structure needed in the cookie without drying them out (as egg whites do).

The result? Wonderful! They came out much better than I ever could have expected. Just like the original, their texture is spot-on.  A slightly crisp outside gives way to a chewy interior that is far from cake-like.  They sport a paler color than their egg-using-counterparts making it very easy to overbake them. I removed mine from the oven when the bottoms began to tan and the edges were pale yet set. I noticed that the cookies had a somewhat shiny gloss to them after they had baked making them hard to resist! You could not taste the cream cheese at all but they did have a slightly different flavor than the original (not in a bad way).
These also stayed soft (with a slight crisp exterior) for two days in a covered container. They did not last after that but I am sure with the cream cheese in them, they would stay soft for several days.

I can’t wait to try substituting cream cheese for the eggs in a few more cookie recipes!

I rate this recipe an 8

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until room temp
5-6 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

*I chilled the dough overnight before baking, which I recommend.

Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. (Don’t do if chillindecember-0442g overnight)
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.With electric mixer, or by hand.
Mix butter and cream cheese together with a mixture until smooth. Add sugars and beat until thoroughly combined.
Beat in vanilla until combined.
Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chips. Chill dough overnight. OR

Drop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are set and bottoms are light brown. Do NOT overbake!

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

 

*Update: 12/26/08:
After a bit of searching on the internet, I found that someone else has tried this as well!

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

I hate to start out a post this way but compared to the Double Butterscotch cookies I made earlier  these were disappointing. I found this recipe in a church cookbook I received for a birthday gift. I just love cookbooks like this as they often have tried and true family favorite recipes.

These cookies are not “bad” but they just didn’t wow me. The addition of sour cream in a cookie recipe is something I have never tried before today. As I expected they baked up puffy and cake-like with a light texture. I don’t mind cake-like cookies but much prefer the chewy version of chocolate chip cookies.

You can not taste the sour cream at all in the finished cookies but the dough had a tang to it. The dough was very sticky and was difficult to scoop onto the baking sheets using my scooper. I ended up using a table spoon and my finger to plop balls of dough onto the sheets to bake. I usually love to eat the dough when making cookies, but the texture and flavor of this dough was not apealing to me at all. I expected the dough to spread out more than it did while baking, especially since the dough was not as firm as most cookie doughs. In fact the cookies didn’t really spread at all and baked up pretty much how I spooned the dough onto the sheets so take care to make the dough blobs look pretty, haha.

The finished cookie, baked up nicely with golden bottoms even though the tops remained light in color. These are not cookies you want to eat right out of the oven, They are best after they have set for a few minutes. They remain nice and soft thanks to the sour cream adding extra moisture. I didn’t feel they had enough flavor or sweetness, maybe just my tastebuds.

Next time I would omit the chocolate chips and substitute 1 1/2- 2 cups toasted pecans, candied pecans or walnuts. I think these cookies would be good with a lightly sweet cream cheese icing to compliment the addition of nuts. I am not sure I will be making them again any time soon but feel they do have potential. If anyone makes these I would be interested in hearing their thoughts on them and any suggestions they have that may make me revisit this recipe sooner rather than later.

I rate these cookies a 6 (but have room for potential)

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup shortening or softened butter
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In large mixing bowl cream shortening or butter, sour cream and sugars until well mixed. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat to combine.
Measure flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Slowly add to creamed mixture and beat until combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 9-12 minutes until bottoms are light to golden brown.
Cool on wire rack and store in covered container at room temperature.

Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Once again this recipe comes from the hand written cookbook given to me by my grandma. I have to say that these cookies bring back many childhood memories. I remember helping my grandma make these cookies, I stand on a chair to reach the counter and would help by sifting the dry ingredients together for her being careful not to get flour all over the counter and myself.

I patiently waited while these baked, sneaking bites of cookie dough while my grandma was not looking. The ingredients in these cookies may turn many of you off. They use butter flavor Crisco and oil instead of butter as the source of fat. Typically I only bake with butter but the unique combination of the fats along with the use of cream of tartar give these cookies their unique texture. They have a more cake-like texture than other cookies I typically bake, which usually would be a bad thing, but for some reason I love these cookies like no other. They are so different in flavor and texture than my typical recipe that I feel these are a treat when ever I make them. 

While these cookies are soft and cake-like out of the oven and stored in a sealed container at room temperature, I have to admit that my favorite way to enjoy these cookies is frozen. Yup, you heard that right. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these cookies straight from the freezer. They have a light and crisp texture that can’t be beat! I think my love for these frozen cookies comes from my childhood memories. My grandma would bake these in huge batches and freeze the extras in tupperware containers in her big chest freezer. My cousins and I would sneak cookies from the containers and eat them before dinner whithout getting caught while we played Nintendo and Barbies.  Man, I could eat 4-5 of these frozen cookies at a time, still enjoy a dinner of meat and potatoes and was stick thin. Wish I still had that metabolism! haha.

Hot, room temperature or frozen, these cookies are a great alternative to your typical chocolate chip cookie when you are looking for something just a little different! Be warned though, they don’t have that  “butter” flavor that your typical cookie would have and may not suit the tastes of everyone.

I rate these cookies an 8.5

Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup oil (use good quality vegetable oil)
1 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tesaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Sift together in a large bowl the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and flour (you can whisk if you don’t have a sifter)

In a large mixing bowl cream together the oil and Crisco. Add the sugar and brown sugars and beat to combine. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat.

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix only until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Chill the dough for 15 minutes.
Drop dough on parchment line baking sheets (I use my medium scooper).
Bake for 8-11 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn light brown.
Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature, or if you are like me, store in a sealed container in the freezer.

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

It seems like there are as many variations to chocolate chip cookies as there are stars in the universe. Many bakers pride themselves on being ‘known’ for their chocolate chip cookie recipes.  Most recipes include the basics: butter (or some other fat), sugar, brown sugar, egg, flour and a leavener, what does differ is the ratio of each ingredient used.

Despite all of the recipes to choose from, I rarely make plain chocolate chip cookies and when I do I usually just use the same recipe over and over again (like my mom always says “if it’s not broke, why fix it?”). Well, it may not be ‘broke’ but I was in the mood to bake chocolate chip cookies and wanted to try a new recipe. I was looking for a  recipe a little different from my ‘go-to’ one but didn’t require any fancy ingredients or techniques.
I dug out a cookbook I had bought at a church bakesale last summer and the title of these cookies caught my eye. They are a basic chocolate chip cookie but what makes these cookies different from most is the omission of white sugar. The use of only brown sugar gives these cookies a slightly deeper flavor than most and produces a cookie with a chewy texture.
I don’t know if these will replace my ‘go-to’ recipe (that I am known for) but these were very very good. The dough tasted phenomenal (thanks to that brown sugar and vanilla!). The cookies were soft right out of the oven and needed to cool on the sheet for 5-7 minutes on the baking sheet until I could transfer them (without them falling apart) to a cooling rack to finsh cooling.  The texture of these cookies is chewy but not thick and the brown sugar and vanilla give these cookies a flavor that is a little ‘deeper’ than most. These were easy to make and did not last long around the house (a sign that this recipe is a keeper)

Next time I will add some toasted walnuts or pecans because I think they would pair nicely with the flavor of these cookies.

I rate these cookies an 8

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I used half semisweet and half milk chocolate)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix just to blend. Gently fold in chips.
Place dough onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet using a scooper.
Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies and your oven) or until cookies are pale brown.
Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack until cooled completly. Serve or store in airtight container.

Intense Chocolate Shock Cookies

I am a firm believer that in order to have a trully ‘Chocolate’ cookie it should include melted chocolate in the dough and not just cocoa powder (a combination of both is also accepted).  While I love cookies and chocolate, I am not a huge fan of Chocolate Cookies (gasp! I know). I do however enjoy Chocolate cookies with a bowl of good old vanilla icecream. MMM good.

I found this recipe on a piece of paper taped to the back cover of an old church cookbook I bought at a yard sale last weekend. The paper was splattered with chocolate batter and had grease spots from melted butter. I knew these had to be yummy as the worn recipe was a sign that these were made often. I was sold (plus, I have a soft spot for old hand written recipes, blogs and the internet depersonalize (word???) so many family treasured recipes that whenever I find an old hand-written one, my heart jumps a bit. I feel like a highschool girl getting ready for her first date unsure of  how it will turn out. Wishing for the best but preparing for the worst. Knowing that either way, it will be an experience none the less).

I made these to take to a work picnic and they were very well received. The recipe underlines “Do not overbake” so I erred on the side of caution. The texture of these cookies were great! Once set they had chewey (not cakey) interiors with slightly crisp edges. The taste is not as tooth-acheingly sweet as I would have thought. I think the bittersweet chocolate mellows out the sweetness and provides a rich chocolate flavor. The milk chocolate chips I used balanced out the semisweet and bittersweet batter perfectly, though I am sure semisweet or dark chocolate would be equally as good.

Next time I make these I may add 1/2 tsp espresso powder to deeped the chocolate flavor more and maybe add some walnuts. As is they are very good, adults and kids both said how great they were. Four people asked for the recipe, so that is always a sign of a good recipe. I am not sure I would make these again unless I was taking them for others to enjoy. Like I said, I am not a huge fan of chocolate cookies. That did not stop me however, from enjoying four of these (not at the same time) with scoops of vanilla icecream.

I rate these cookies an  8.5

Intense Chocolate Shock Cookies
source unknown
4oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 oz.  semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 TBS butter, cut into chunks
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a microwave save bowl combine the chopped chocolate and butter. Heat in microwave stirring every 20 seconds. Heat until almost melted, stirring until smooth and melted. Do NOT overheat chocolate mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy (about 2-4 minutes).
Reduce speed to low and slowly add the melted chocolate mixture. Beat to combine. Add the flour mixture until and mix until just combined.
Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Allow dough to firm up for 10 minutes before baking.
Drop dough by tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes or until tops are shiny, center is soft but edges are set. Do NOT overbake.
Allow to cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transfering to rack to cool compleletly.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies. Period

It is no secret that I love the combination of PB and chocolate. To me there is no better combination when it comes to sweet treats. Needless to say, I will use any excuse to make treats involving this delicious combination.

This recipe is by far my favorite Peanut Butter cookie recipe ever; and believe me, I have tried many many recipes (Like I said ANY excuse to try more Chocolate/Peanut Butter combinations). The recipe below has been six years in the making. I first received the original recipe as part of a recipe exchange in a club I was involved in my junior year in college (Thanks Heidi). Not being much of a baker back then I liked the recipe but did not know how to tweak it to better meet my preferences (tender and chewy with a lighlty crisp exterior). Don’t get me wrong it was a good cookie to begin with but felt there was potential for more. There were things I LOVED about the original.

I have tried many recipes for Peanut Butter cookies since first receiving the original recipe but have always come  back to the one from Heidi. One thing I love about this recipe is that there is more than twice as much Peanut Butter than butter. I firmly believe that Peanut Butter should not share the spotlight with butter in ANY cookie that claims to be a Peanut Butter cookie! I also love the addition of chocolate and Peanut Butter chips (genious) and that you roll the dough balls in sugar before baking. This creates a slightly crisp exterior that compliments the delicate texture of the interior perfectly!

As my experience in baking grew I began to tweak the origianl recipe each time I made it and I am happy to say I am finished tweaking.
It now meets and exceeds my expectations of what a Peanut  Butter Cookie should be. I know everyone has a different idea of their “perfect cookie” so these may not be your cup of tea, but I do suggest at least trying them. I make these often and every time I take them somewhere people comment on their wonderful light texture and great Peanut Butter flavor.

There are a few Hints/Tips to making these bad boys:
1. I like to chill the dough for about 15 minutes before baking and keep it chilled while one pan is baking (especially during the warm months as Peanut Butter tends to ‘melt’ easily and makes the dough harder to work with). Chilling helps the cookies keep their shape while baking and helps with the delicate texture of the baked cookie.
2. You need to let these cool on a baking sheet for at least five to ten minutes after removing from the oven, if not they will fall apart because they are so tender! You can finish cooling on a wire rack before storing.
3. To keep these nice and soft, store a piece of bread in a sealed container with the cookies, make sure it is not touching the cookies (I place it on a piece of wax paper on top of the cookies in the container)
4. If freezing the balls for later baking, Chill dough, roll into balls and freeze. Don’t roll in sugar until ready to bake.(See photo)
5. These are delicate cookies and can be difficult to transport. I find a single layer of cookies transports beautifully. If needing to stack cookies to transport, place a few sheets of waxed paper in between layers.

I rate these cookies a 9 (hey, there is always room for improvement right? ha ha)

The Original Peanut Butter Cookie (from Heidi)
tweaked by bakingblonde
1 cup + 2 TBS peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 TBS milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Peanut Butter chips (I recommend the Reese’s brand, the generic are not the same)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Sugar (for rolling dough balls, may need more or less)

Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchement paper.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter. Once combined beat in the white sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla.
In a large bowl wisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently add to creamed mixture and mix until almost combined. Fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes.
Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Genlty roll the dough balls into sugar and place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Carefully press each ball with fork tines to create a criss-cross pattern.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 5-10 minutes until sturdy enough to be transfered to a wire rack to cool completely.

Treasure Cookies

What is a treasure? In my mind it is something surprising and good.

I am not sure how these cookies got there name, it may be because they have a unique texture and surprising ingredients. However they got their name, they deliver a tastey treat that may not be as good as gold, but is GOOD none the less. What makes these cookies unique is that they are egg-free and the base of the dough is made from crushed Graham Crackers and Sweet and Condensed Milk.  Add to that a few baking staples and some coconut, chocolate chips and nuts and you have yourself one heck of a tastey cookie.

These cookies are chewy, very chewy and not cake-like in the least bit. The coconut provides some depth and structure to an otherwise gooey cookie that would easily fall apart while enjoying. The Graham Cracker crumbs can be provide a subtle depth of flavor without being overpowering. While they don’t replace my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, they do satisfy my sweet tooth and are a snap to make. These cookies are sweet, but not overly so in my opinion and offer a welcomed change of pace from the traditional cookie.

I rate these cookies an 8

Treasure Cookies
Source: Allrecipes
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used Milk Chocolate)
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a small bowl mix cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder.
In a large mixing bowl, beat condensed milk and margarine until smooth.
Add cracker crumb mixture and blend well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans.
Drop by rounded teaspoon on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Store loosely covered at room temperature.