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Friday, February 18, 2011

Chocolate chip cookies with coconut, baked from freezer
A couple of months ago as I started my obsessive blog reading I ran across a baking book title several times. Apparently Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours is a very popular book among foodies. After seeing it mentioned countless times in over a dozen blogs I wandered into my local Borders and found the much mentioned book. It was love at first sight. The cover of the book pictures a scrumptious looking cake (which I have yet to make), and the pictures inside further reinforced the yummy factor of the book. Alas I left the bookstore without the much coveted book. Months went by before I stumbled onto, which has to be one of my favorite websites to shop from, and there on that site I found the book (way cheaper than at the bookstore) and I bought it.

I was so excited that I sent the book to the wrong address. Luckily it was to the house of a family member and I picked up the book shortly after it was delivered. For weeks the book sat on my kitchen shelf, I would occasionally eye the pages with a madness that is equivalent to that of a kid at a candy store. I finally got the courage to bake from this book, I have to be honest that I half expected the final product to be a let down as is what tends to happen when something is hyped up to the level of this book. I was wrong. My first baking experiment with this book was the Perfect Party Cake (pg. 250.) Since then I have trusted that whatever I bake from this book will turn out amazing.
Chocolate chip cookies, baked from room temperature

Today was no different. Today I took a try at My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (pg. 68.) These cookies are amazing. I used a Callebaut bittersweet chocolate block and though it was strenuous work to turn it to chunks it was well worth the effort. I have to be honest I've been dreaming about this cookies since Monday. However something unfortunate happened on Monday when I made Red Velvet cupcakes (they weren't what I expected), I finished all the vanilla extract. I almost flew into a panic when I measured out the last teaspoon. So in order for these cookies to happen I had to buy some more vanilla. I settled on Madagascar Bourbon vanilla (it smells really good, I kind of want to live in the bottle.)    

I have to admit making this cookies took a bit of time. I never knew how hard it was to bake and take pictures at the same time.They are well worth the effort. When I was searching online for people who had baked these cookies for the Tuesdays with Dorie group, I found that a lot of their cookies look flat. Now I like my cookies being a little on the chunky side. So I divided my batter in half (also added coconut to half.) I toasted the coconut and placed the half with coconut in the freezer while I baked off the other ones. The room temperature cookies spread more but still remained soft and chewy at the center which is a must for me. The ones that were chilled did not spread as much but also had a nice texture, the coconut did however add a nice saltiness to the cookies. This book is a must! I absolutely love it and these cookies are amazing.


My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
From: Baking From My Home to Yours
Makes 45 cookies (I got around 51)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional) or pecans (optional)


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts. (The dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. If you'd like, you can freeze rounded tablespoons of dough, ready for baking. Freeze the mounds on a lined baking sheet, then bag them when they're solid. There's no need to defrost the dough before baking - just add another minute or two to the baking time.)

Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.

Bake the cookies - one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point - for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that's just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.


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I am a college student who would rather read a baking book then a textbook. I have become quite adventurous recently and enjoy trying new things.
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