Sunday, March 16, 2008
all grown-up chewy chocolate chip cookies
Culinary in the Desert/Country is a food blog I discovered recently. I am astonished by the sheer number of dishes and desserts they manage to produce each week! Many of them look really good. When they posted a recipe for these chocolate chip cookies, I had to try it. I usually use a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that I really like - it tastes great, bakes great, and the raw dough and cookies both freeze well. My friend Jen told me today that she has an oatmeal chocolate chip recipe good enough to have supplanted the Cook's Illustrated recipe, so I'm eager to try that one soon!
Anyway, on to the recipe. It intrigued me because it's a chewy cookie (which Josh likes). Plus "grown up" just seemed like a challenge. Turns out it has three funky ingredients: Lyle's golden syrup (I used corn syrup since I couldn't get Lyle's), instant espresso powder, and chocolate malted milk powder (I couldn't find chocolate, so I used 3 parts regular malted milk powder and 1 part cocoa - just made up the proportions). Also, I didn't have bittersweet chocolate chips, but I used the ones from Trader Joe's, and I think they're a little darker than most semi-sweet chips.
YUM! I really liked the taste and the chewiness. The different ingredients all worked nicely together to create a delicious cookie that tastes just a tiny bit different from your basic cookie, but none of the flavors really jumps out to jar your tastebuds. They really don't taste like malt or coffee, which was a relief to me. My cookies were darker than their picture, but my cocoa is really dark; plus, since I was substituting actual cocoa for the choc. malted milk powder, who knows what the proportions were supposed to be. I imagine the powder is more the color of Ovaltine or Quik, which would've had less of an effect on the cookies.
My only nit was that my cookies did not have the same shape as theirs. Mine were flatter, and the chocolate chips stood out more, whereas theirs look more evenly incorporated; I'm not sure why. My brain doesn't seem to want to store the scientific information I have now learned more than once from Alton Brown about what kind of sugar/butter/leavening ingredients yield which kind of cookies. I'll guess it has something to do with the corn syrup, maybe the butter, but even still... theirs came out shaped better.
Oh! And another first: I used my Silpats and was happy with the results! I tried them side-by-side with parchment and liked them at least as much if not better. No bad burning smell, plus good news for the environment if I reduce the amount of parchment I'm using!
I would definitely make these again. Once I bought the few out-of-the-ordinary (for me) ingredients, the rest are things I always have on hand, so I should be able to bake many more batches. Josh's office will be happy.