These are the fluffiest chocolate chip cookies you will ever eat. If you don’t believe me, look at the picture and see for your own eyes. They are ncredibly ooey and gooey, may not be cooked through (I’m told this is a plus), and will melt in your mouth. I really don’t feel the need to say much more than that – just make yourself a batch!
Fluffiest Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Puffy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Levain Bakery Copycat)
- 1 stick cold organic butter, cut into small cubes
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firlmy packed
- 2 tblspn granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, cold (cage-free, organic, brown)
- 2.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 & 3/4 cup unbleached AP flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 heaping tsp salt
- 1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (suggestion: guittard fair trade!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees & prep your Silpat (or parchment paper) onto a large baking sheet.
- Beat the cold butter and sugar until barely combined (not creamed, not fluffy, not runny- still very cold) Then beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, then add them in 2 batches to the wet dough. Once mixed together, add in the chocolate chips, and be liberal with them! You only make puffy chocolate cookies for the first time once :)
- Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out the cookie dough onto your baking sheet and then freeze the baking sheet for 10 minutes. The taller your mounds of cookie dough, the more puffy (and undercooked in the center) your cookies will be.
- Bake your cookies for 11-13 minutes or until the outsides are lightly browned and the insides are mostly done – or, if you’re like most of my friends, purposefully undercook these guys so they’ll be mushy masterpieces. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes or as long as your willpower holds… then devour.
They’re waiting for you. Will you make a batch? They’ll make you new friends, repair problems relationships with old ones, perhaps even pave your way to lifetime luck and happiness. Try it out for yourself :)
Oh, gosh. These are SO addicting. You wouldn’t think so, but something about these little shortbread-like cookies comes out into a perfect mix of salty and sweet to accost your tastebuds, take them hostage, and bring you to an all new level of Heaven. They’re THAT good. I feel like I don’t have anything else to say here – just make them. And then devour. And lock them in a box with key because you’re going to need to hide your cookies and hide your cranberries because folks are eating all of them out here, and fast :).
Adapted From Martha Stewart’s Cranberry Coins
- 1 full cup (2 sticks… I know) softened butter (Martha calls for unsalted, I say use salted. it’s going to create an awesome play on the sweetness)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (you don’t really need to sift)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups organic AP flour
- 1/2 heaping cup roughly chopped dried cranberries
- tiny pinch of salt (you already have some in the butter)
- Beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla (hence the lack of need for sifting) with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the flour and salt and stir just until combined
- Stir in the dried cranberries and divide the dough in half.
- On parchment or wax paper (your choice, I prefer wax myself), shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long (think of it as a very long hot dog, roughly that diameter)
- Take a piece of tape and close your wax-paper-covered-log shut and chill in the fridge for half an hour (at minimum, can certainly be more)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and slice the dough into 1/4ish-inch thick slices with a sharp knife. Martha suggests rotating the log periodically so you can make sure they stay circular in shape, and place them on a silpat-lined large baking sheet about an inch apart (they won’t expand much)
- Bake the cookies for 20 or so minutes, rotating the sheet around halfway through (so around the 10-minute mark) and bake until a light golden sheen appears- then move to a wire rack for some minimal cooling before you devour them
H picked this recipe out of her lovely Martha Stewart cookie magazine for the holidays and this was one of our offerings of the 12 Weeks of Cookies – we each picked a cookie recipe each week to make and this one was my favourite from the whole bunch… they were fantastic :). H clearly has great taste- and picked out this one as they’re meant to be easy to ship! They can last in the fridge closed up for over a week but I assure you they won’t last that long :)
Peanut butter and chocolate- what’s not to love? When you combine those in the form of a cookie that is both flourless and butterless… and uses all natural ingredients- and only 5 of them, at that… well, life gets peachy (and yes, that was a terribly-structured run-on). Happiness takes on an all-new form in these cookies that- I’m almost ashamed to say- are mildly adapted from a recipe of Paula Deen’s. It’s true- she at times will make something that won’t fill your arteries in semblance to Houston’s highways.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Mildly Adapted from Peanut Butter Cookies by Paula Deen
The only changes I made were as follows:
- I used Skippy Naturals creamy smooth peanut butter (no-stir, it’s fantastic) as opposed to your usual high-fructose-corn-syrup-ladden variety
- I added 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the dough prior to first mixing
- As the sugar requirement ambiguously stated “sugar” without clarification, I opted to diversify my “portfolio” and used 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- I chopped 3/4 of a Hershey’s Symphony tablet into small chunks which I mixed into the dough right before forming into balls to bake
- My oven- which usually is on the hot side- took about 23 minutes to bake the cookies, not 10… so be warned that the 10 may be far too conservative.
For the rest, I honestly followed the recipe as-is and it produced splended results. Mine don’t look a thing like her picture, but that doesn’t detract from the superb flavour and texture! They’re really delicious, very quick, and perfect for when you’d like to make cookies but have few ingredients on hand.
For our weekly cooking date, H suggested Mary Englebreit’s mexican wedding cookie recipe, and who was I to refuse these adorable confectionaries? It was a simple recipe- utilizes very few ingredients- and is rather foolproof save for one thing: the toasted nuts. That said, they were incredibly tasty and addicting. Unfortunately- or fortunately, depending on how you look at it- the powdered sugar on the outside truly is a must. I kept a few unpowdered for photographing and they’re really just not the same! These are very yummy, very portable (though watch out for the sugar rubbing off!) and would make a great potluck item.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Adapted from Mexican Wedding Cookies by Mary Englebreit (or Paula Deen)
2 sticks soy butter, room temperature/soft
2 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur organic preferably)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (for baking) + another 1/2 cup for coating post-baking
1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup each of walnuts and pecans, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment/wax paper
- Cream the butter and sugar at slowly until it is smooth in a medium-sized bowl. Once mixed well, add in the vanilla.
- Gradually add the flour (in perhaps 2-3 batches)
- Mix in the pecans and nuts with a rubber/silicone spatula (toast them first in the oven! but don’t overtoast- see note below)
- Get your hands nicely floured up, then take out about 1 tablespoon of dough (I used a spoon) and shape into a fat little ball. Continue to dust hands with flour as you make more cookies. Place onto prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake for 17 minutes. Cool until you can handle them without yelling, then roll them in the extra confectioner’s sugar and set aside to cool on a wire rack. Then, 10-15 minutes later, roll once more (the first round will have become transparent).
Unfortunately, I’m unable to find Mary’s recipe online, but this one from Paula Deen is, I’m frightened to say, very close as a substitute. The proportions of ours were 2 sticks of butter (smart balance! soy butter!) to 2 cups of flour. We toasted the nuts at 400 for 10 minutes and they were a bit burnt- my oven is overtly powerful! So maybe set your timer for 5 and then check- although in the cookies, they still taste fantastic, in my opinion.
The Mary recipe also has you bake the cookes for 17 minutes (or something like that) at 400 degrees rather than 40 minutes at 275- I wouldn’t be surprised if Paula’s are a bit mushier than ours turned out (they’re like a semi-dry shortbread cookie). Lastly, Mary’s recipe calls for rolling in sugar after baking, cooling on a wire rack, then re-rolling. I’m also tempted to try these with half whole wheat flour, half AP, and perhaps some wheat germ thrown in to add healthiness. It’s worth a try! If nothing else, they’re seriously cute :).
What happens when you take a chocolate chip cookie recipe from Emeril and change it into an experimental cookie? The result: macademia nuts, cashews, almonds, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg… and a whole lot of salt. :) My sister was not at all a fan, but she’s not a savory cookie type of girl. Similarly to my last cookie attempt, everyone else enjoyed them- maybe these cookies are cursed in general to always have one person not enjoy them. The nuts were pre-salted (rather heavily) and what with that salt and the (although minimal) additional salt I added as per Mr. Lagasse’s instructions, the result was a very salty cookie indeed. That was the one complaint, of sorts, that I’ve had about them. The boyfriend didn’t find them to be too salty, but I think he’s been well-converted to my salt-loving ways now :).
I made the following changes:
- No chocolate chips: substitute for 1.5 cups mashed macademia nuts, cashews, and almonds
- Add 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon nutmeg (in future may also add 1 teaspoon ginger for sweetness to combat the saltiness)
- Whole wheat pastry flour used
In the future, I’ll try to not add pre-salted nuts, or combat it with extra sugar. But the texture is very nice, and as I rather quickly moved them to a metal tin after cooking on the rack, they’ve remained very soft, moist… and a bit sticky, but that’s beside the point. The important part is that as far as experiments go, it wasn’t too terrible :).
Continuing my search to find and then refine the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe, I decided to try this one from the Food Network kitchens. I though this one would be a winner: canola oil instead of butter; whole wheat pastry flour; etc. I followed the recipe exactly as suggested save for using slightly less chocolate chips than suggested- not out of cleverness or whatnot, but simply because I had gone slightly overboard with my last attempt and used a bit over half the package of chips :).
The canola oil is a nice substitute for butter, I did like that… and the wire rack I recently purchased did help somewhat, but the bottoms are a bit burnt, the middles a bit too gooey (they didn’t cook quite evenly), and they have, in my opinion, a rather peculiar taste. However, I am unable to file this one under “accidents” because, oddly, I am the only person who doesn’t like these! My sister calls them fantastic, and suggests you microwave them for 25 seconds if eating them the next day to get that fresh-baked taste. The boys I have fed them to enjoy them, but as the default value for whether a guy likes a cookie or not is “yes”, I am wary of those results. Note to self: give these to a few more girls before making final conclusions.
Two weeks ago, I made my first “successful” batch of cookies. The first attempt was a try for snickerdoodles… those ended up as an accident (see: cinnascotti). Then I made some chocolate chip cookies which were not even worth photographing. Some lessons from those:
- Even if the recipe says to sift, don’t. If you’re going for a gooey, chunky consistency, sifting will not be your friend.
- Similarly, stay away from pastry flour. I had gotten some new whole wheat pastry flour I wanted to try- that, too, was a mistake. Far too light and airy!
- Overmixing is yet another no-no- my first batch was so, so, cakey… and I’m told a major reason why was overmixing. Even if there are some little patches of flour that aren’t fully integrated, they’ll cook properly in the oven.
- Refrigerate your dough for 45 minutes to an hour before scooping onto the cookie sheet. This will allow for a better consistency and allows you to complete the next step, which is to
- Make the dough as squares or tall cylinders to ensure good thickness (or so I’m finding so far)- this gives them farther to fall and gives you a greater possibility of thickness in your cookie
- I’m finding wax paper and parchment paper to be fine substitutes, so if your recipe calls for parchment on your cookie sheet, feel no qualms about the wax, so long as it’s of nice quality
All that said, my third attempt was a happy success. Far too buttery, of course- I came to the conclusion that prior to really understanding the relationships between these ingredients in a cookie context, I wasn’t ready to make changes as of yet- but my next attempt will reflect wheat flour instead of white (but not pastry! haha), and some applesauce instead of some of the butter. I’d like to eventually get down to earth balance instead of the remaining butter, but I’m not sure it’ll melt in as well as the “real” one, so this will probably take another 3 or 4 iterations to perfect. The up side though is that once the base cookie recipe is appropriately altered and proportioned, it won’t have to be chocolate chip… the possibilities are endless! :)
They seemed like they would be fairly simple. And, of course, I thought, surely I could substitute out some of the butter for apple sauce, and leave out perhaps a third of it. Who needs butter? All these silly people online going on about how you *need* butter, well, I was going to show them…
I have a terrific dessert book “I <3 Sugar” which had a very respectable snickerdoodle recipe, so it seemed like a sign. It seemed to be going well… the smell was enjoyable… the hour-long minimum suggested wait for the dough to chill seemed excessive, but I thought it best not to argue.
…then I realized the extra egg I accidentally put in.
the result, once the whole thing was completed? well, between the lack of butter and the extra egg, they at first came out like cute little cinnamon breads. however, they hardened quickly overnight, becoming cinnamon-flavoured bread-roll-looking biscotti. hence, despite the lack of their being cooked twice and therefore undeserving of the name, I decided upon “cinnascotti”. unfortunately, no one was particularly fond of them, although as he’s a terrific vaccuum (<3), the boyfriend finished the lot: