February 3, 2012

It’s Never Too Late

I said I'd try to share a cookie recipe a few days before Chinese New Year. Well, I might not have kept my promise. I might be late for that. But it’s never too late to share a good recipe, because good food is for all year round. (And we still have less than three more days before the festivities end!)

Chocolate-Chip Cookies for Chinese New Year

This is especially true with these delectable chocolate chip cookies. I have churned out a total of five fairly large containers of them for this Chinese New Year. And prior to that, I’d made them three or four times. People don’t bake and eat them only during Chinese New Year. It’d be a shame to put them on the table and in our mouths just once a year.

Though you may be getting quite some Americanism throughout this blog, said chocolate chip cookies are not American whatsoever. First, they aren’t big but bite size. Second, they are neither soft nor chewy, nor moist and gooey. Then, they are supposed to sit in the oven for a fair amount of time before they are ready.

Baking Chocolate-Chip Cookies

The cookies are baked for a good 25 minutes at 170°C (340°F), and then gently for another 10 minutes with the oven switched off and its door shut, until perfectly dry. The last 10 minutes brilliantly utilize the residual heat in the oven to cook the cookies, so you won’t end up with chocolate chip cookies with burned bottoms.

The result is crunchy vanilla-scented, chocolate-speckled cookies. They give off a mild nutty-buttery flavor. They aren't cloyingly sweet, too. Don’t be fooled by their humble appearance. Munching on one will get you started on a second, and then a third, and a fourth, until you have to arrest your hands for reaching out to the cookie jar far too often. (I’ve tried. It’s hard.)

Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies 脆朱古力粒曲奇

These chocolate chip cookies are also developed for fairly long storage, say, up to a month. They are sturdy enough to be stacked and stored in a cookie jar, and even mailed to a friend or relative afar. Oh, have I told you they look handsome in a mini care package, too?

Of course, having said all these, this Chinese New Year won’t be my last of baking these “un-American” chocolate chip cookies. You may bump into them again here next Chinese New Year, or on my Flickr page whenever I have a hankering for these cookies. Who knows.

Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies 脆朱古力粒曲奇

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The original recipe actually calls for cake flour, which has relatively lower gluten content, compared to all-purpose flour. I’ve tried using both, and I find there’s no noticeable difference in texture and lightness. Either way, it’s to your call.

Also, these chocolate chip cookies taste gazillion times better with miniature semisweet chocolate chips, because you’d then have bits of chocolate evenly distributed in the cookie. Those made with regular-size semisweet chocolate chips somehow don’t taste right. So are those of milk chocolate chips — they tend to get a bit too sweet, at least to my liking.

By the way, the following recipe doesn’t yield a lot, so double, or even triple, the quantities, as you wish.

100 grams unsalted butter, softened
50 grams superfine sugar
1/8 heaped teaspoon fine sea salt
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

50 grams whole egg(s), lightly beaten, at room temperature

150 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon double-acting baking powder, preferably sifted

100 grams good-quality miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Line baking sheet(s) with parchment, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, with a hand mixer on medium-high speed, cream together (A) until pale and fluffy. Then, on medium speed, gradually mix in the egg(s) to incorporate.

In another medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together (B) to combine. Then, with a large rubber spatula, by hand, mix the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, and halfway through, stir in the chocolate chips, to combine. The dough should look rather gloppy. Don’t overmix, or you’d end up with rock-hard cookies.

With help from a spoon or two, drop the dough, about 15 grams per cookie, onto the prepared sheet(s). Leave about one centimeter of space between the mounds of dough. Then, using your finger, flatten the top of each cookie slightly. Bake for 25 minutes, and then another 10 minutes with the oven switched off and its door shut. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving and/or storing. Repeat with the remaining dough (if any).

Yield: about 30 cookies

Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies 脆朱古力粒曲奇


Mrs Ergül said...

How do you juggle baking so many trays with having to finish baking with the residual heat? Reheat the oven for every new tray? Anyhow I think my family will like this. Will make them soon!

mmmyen said...

As what u had described : Buttery and crunchy..

taste fabulous :)

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