Friday, November 21, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies like the Bakeries Do Them

There’s something extra special about walking into a bakery or a café and seeing an array of clear plastic jars lining the counter, all filled with different varieties of extra-large cookies: the kind that one’s mother seldom, if ever, would bake in her kitchen. These are exceptional, in their size and in their taste, and no matter the quality of other homemade chocolate chip cookies, the glass-jar kind are of a seemingly unusual breed.

In reality, though, this is not entirely the case. Yes, there are singularities to these behemoth cookies, but once the secret is known they are exceedingly simple to make at home. The only thing that really needs to be done is a small adjustment of ingredients.

That’s what I did with these extra-large chocolate chip cookies, slightly modified from a recipe on Baking Bites. The secret is in the extra helping of brown sugar and vanilla extract, with a decrease in granulated sugar making them richer than the average cookie. The cooking time is also increased, in order to thoroughly bake through, and I allowed the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes longer than I would normally allow before transferring them to wire sheets. For my trial recipe, though, I used one part applesauce to one part butter, as I sometimes experiment with when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, in order to see how the consistency would be affected. As a result, my cookies did not spread as wide, but they still had a wonderful chunkiness and chewiness that I find very appealing in the bakery style cookies, but without so much of a buttery taste.

Giant Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 2 dozen

1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies/puffed rice cereal
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugars and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, followed by rice krispies and chocolate chips.
Using a 1/4 cup measure as a spoon, drop 1/4 cup scoops of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave at least 4 inches between cookies to allow for spread (I put 5 or 6 on a sheet). Cookie dough should be shaped in the 1/4 cup measure, not in a round ball (as this results in the most even baking).
Bake for 13-16 minutes, until cookies are golden at the edge. Remove from oven and let cookies set on cookie sheet for 6-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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