The CCC Quest: Episode 1

Butter, flour, eggs and sugar… And chocolate chips. It shouldn’t be too difficult, right?

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Well, I don’t know about you but I am still on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’m still searching for The One. Google “perfect chocolate chip cookies”, and you’ll get 1001 results; of websites and blogs, all claiming that they have found the perfect cookie, yet the recipes differ. There seems to be a lack of consensus on what makes for the chocolate chip cookie. Now, before we get into the different variations (crunchy, chewy, cakey and whatnot), I’d just like to put it out there that perfection is relative. I suppose there’s a perfect cookie for each cookie category that exists. The Perfect Crunchy, Perfect Chewy, the list goes on…

Subway cookies are a good example of my kind of Perfect cookie. I have yet understand how they achieve that perfectly chewy inside, and crisp cookie edge. I don’t like my cookies plain crunchy because I feel like I’m going to break my teeth, and chewy cookies are so hard to get right because you risk your cookie coming out soft/underbaked rather than chewy.

SO I’ve decided to embark on a quest. A quest to find the recipe of my Perfect chocolate chip cookie! I’ve been trying for so long anyway, so I guess I’ll attempt to document my journey through this blog.

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This recipe I attempted is from one of my favourite blogs of all time, iamafoodblog!! She has a number of chocolate chip cookie recipes on her blog, but this is her most recent one, adapted from Tara O’Brady’s new cookbook, Seven Spoons!

One thing I love about this recipe is — no mixer needed! It’s so simple and efficient, you literally only need two bowls to make this whole thing. One for the dry ingredients, and one for the wet. Yay! Also, this recipe calls for brown butter. The very first time I tried to brown butter, I burnt it. So, do keep a very close watch on your butter and one way to test it is to use a spoon and spoon some into a white bowl (ah, third bowl used!) to see how brown it is exactly. I found this guide especially helpful to browning butter.

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Also, Stephanie shared a very helpful tip to prevent one from overmixing their cookie dough: to mix the dry ingredients in just a little (you should still be able to see streaks of flour) before adding in the chocolate chips and mixing it all together. You see, most recipes tell us to mix the dry ingredients in until “just combined” before adding the chocolate chips, but when you mix the chocolate chips in, the dough unfortunately gets overmixed in the process which is such a pity! So I ended up with something like this:

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I like these cookies because they do have a pretty good chew to them, but they lack a crisp exterior. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m baking it for too short a period of time, because the original recipe said to bake it for 10-12 minutes but I found that it wasn’t enough. I actually changed the oven setting to ‘fan’ in a bit to brown the tops a bit more…

Chocolate Chip Cookies v1: Tara O’Brady’s (from iamafoodblog), adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • 115g butter, cubed
  • 66g brown sugar
  • 33g white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 204g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • chocolate chips (as many as you want!!!)
  • sea salt for sprinkling

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to approximately 180 degrees celsius. Line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Brown the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly to ensure even melting and browning. Remove from heat as butter is just about to brown and let it cool for a bit.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda and baking powder together.
  4. Whisk the sugars and butter, followed by the egg and the vanilla extract.
  5. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, gently fold or mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, you should still be able to see streaks of flour. Pour in the chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
  6. Scoop them out in one-tablespoon scoops onto baking paper, sprinkle some sea salt on top of them and bake for about 15-17 minutes.
  7. Let them cool on a wire rack before eating :-)

Conclusion: these cookies are good, I’d say that they’re above average, but they’re not tHE ONE. But I’m getting there, one cookie at a time.

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