The ULTIMATE Chocolate “Chip” Cookie
There really isn’t anything better than a fresh warm chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven. As I explore the world of comfort foods, I am always trying to “one up” the memories of the foods I enjoyed so much. So let’s face it…Chocolate chip cookies always came in a bag or a box, or were spooned out of a giant sausage shaped cylinder of processed cookie dough that tasted A LOT better raw than it ever did baked.
Here’s my dilemma on Chocolate Chip cookies…I HATE Chocolate Chips…let me repeat this…I HATE CHOCOLATE CHIPS…I know…that is a totally horrible thing to say, right?!!! I mean, chocolate chips are in all of our favorite things…Cookies, ice cream, cakes…However, I don’t believe that they have a real function in gastronomy…certainly NOT for THE INGREDIENT WHORE…Chocolate chips are usually cheap chocolate in the first place with far too much sugar. Secondly, they have the cocoa butter removed and replaced with vegetable shortening.
So, what to do? Make your own!!! Now I know what you are thinking…you are picturing me laboriously melting good chocolate and forming perfect chips with a pastry bag. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I take bars of good quality chocolate (I like to use Lindt 70%), place them in a zip bag, and beat them into different sized pieces with a rolling pin. The result of this quick step is different size pieces of chocolate that melt in different directions, creating a sort of “strata” in your finished cookie, giving your cookie “layers” of chocolate.
My recipe calls for a LOT more salt than your typical cookie recipe. I use fleur de sel only, but any sea salt with a good grain will do. Kosher salt will do in a pinch, but DO NOT USE IODIZED (table) salt. I have yet to find a need for table salt in ANY situation, and definitely NOT an INGREDIENT WHORE ingredient!!! These cookies with this amount of salt are definitely more suited for adults.
Dark brown sugar is also kinda necessary. When made with light brown sugar, I felt that the cookies lacked the depth of flavor that is accented by good dark chocolate and sea salt.
Also, I like to measure out my cookies using a scale, and I do make my cookies massive, at 3 1/4 oz each cookie. I bake only 5 cookies on a silpat max, and never put more than one tray in the oven at one time.
Now listen…I know, IT’S JUST A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE, right?!!! NO! Ingredient Whores do not approach ANY recipe that way.
So, here we go…
The Ingredient Whore’s Chocolate “Chip” Cookies
1/2 lb unsalted butter
2 C DARK brown sugar
1 Vanilla bean, split and scraped
12 oz All Purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
10 oz GOOD QUALITY (I use Lindt 70%) chocolate bars, crushed using a rolling pin in a zip bag. DO NOT process the chocolate in the food processor. Irregularly sized pieces of chocolate are IDEAL.
Cream your butter and dark brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Add in the contents of the vanilla bean. Add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each is added.
Add in the salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Once again DO NOT USE TABLE SALT. We are Ingredient Whores, and have thrown away all traces of table salt from our homes!!!
Add in the flour all at once, and mix until just about combined.
Stir in chocolate.
Make 3 1/4 oz balls of dough, and place no more than 5 on a Silpat lined cookie sheet (I like to turn my cookie sheet upside down for cookies)
Bake at 360 Degrees for 16 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
***These cookies stay chewy for days, as long as they are stored correctly. I do NOT refrigerate cookies. I also do not freeze cookie dough, as I don’t like to freeze anything except ice cubes and ice cream.***
****For the cookies in the picture, I also added 1/2 C of shredded, sweetened coconut. I just love coconut…x