Thursday, January 7, 2016

Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies


“What was the best chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever eaten?” I asked Bart earlier today.  “The last one,” he said, licking off some crumbs left from the cookie he had just demolished.  Never make a batch of chocolate chip cookies two days before you need them.  My 60-cookie dessert tray was now down to about 40 cookies.  When he wasn’t looking, I hid the rest.

It’s true that any chocolate chip cookie is better than no chocolate chip cookie.   For some, size matters.  I’ve eaten chocolate chip cookies the size of small dinner plates, and I didn’t mind sharing them because they tasted too much like cake.  I’ve also had chocolate chip cookies no bigger than a quarter, but eating 10 of them to get my chocolate chip cookie fix seemed piggish.

My mother made a good chocolate chip cookie using the recipe on a bag of NESTLÉ® chocolate chips.  I tried the same recipe, but they never seemed to taste as good.

So I kept looking and sampling.  Today my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is one inspired by Mrs. Fields.  I’ve tinkered with it, adding a lot more chocolate chips and a few tablespoons of cocoa.  Baking cocoa is unsweetened, but there’s more than enough sugar in chocolate chip cookie batter to counteract any bitterness.  Like all chocolate chip cookies, these taste best about 10 minutes after you take them out of the oven.

Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies - makes 50-60 cookies 
1 cup (2 sticks) butter 
1 cup sugar 
1 cup brown sugar 
2 large eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 1/2 cups instant (uncooked) oats, ground to a fine powder in a food processor 
2 cups flour 
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3 cups chocolate chips 
Cream the butter and the two sugars in a large bowl.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add the ground oats, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat until everything is well mixed.  Stir in the chocolate chips. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  
Prepare cookie sheet(s) the way you normally do. I use a silicone baking mat, but I recently discovered parchment paper, which also keeps cookies from sticking. 
Using a tablespoon, scoop up enough dough to make 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for about 11 minutes.  Cookies will hold their shape but not brown.  Do not over-bake. 
Transfer the baked cookies to a cooling rack.
          For more chocolate recipes, get “Chocolate on the Brain”