The past two weeks were a whirlwind and by looking at my calendar for the next two weeks, it doesn’t get much better. The biggest difference between the past two and the upcoming two is that I don’t have over 800 individual desserts to make.
Now I loved the challenge of helping out my friend Rebecca for her Gallery Grand Opening but the one true thing I learned out of all of this is that I NEVER, EVER, EVER want to become a caterer. It’s too dang stressful. Not to mention that a good caterer “has” to try everything they make. 4 pounds on the hips in 2 weeks = not good.
One of the items on Rebecca’s dessert wish list was a soft chocolate chip cookie. So, being the thorough baker that I am, I tried 3 recipes. I only made 2 myself with my friend Amanda being kind enough to share a taste test of a third recipe with me. So for about 3 days I had nothing but chocolate chip cookies on the mind, on the lips and on the hips.
My family was lovin’ this assignment. I rarely make chocolate chip cookies because I just hadn’t found a recipe I liked as much as my mom’s and whenever I make her recipe, it just doesn’t turn out the same. Must be a different type of love that she puts into her cookies than I do.
So my mission was to find a soft chocolate chip cookie. I made the 2 different recipes and had my family be the taste testers. I “forced” my husband and kids to eat cookies several days in a row. I know, poor things, but don’t call child services on me yet. This “forced torture” they enjoyed thoroughly.
They first had to tell me which one they liked better because of taste and then which one was the softest. And the best part was, we all came up with the same conclusion. The chocolate chip cookie recipe we all liked best is the one below from Cookie Cravings, an e-book from Two Peas & Their Pod. After trying this cookie recipe, I can’t wait to try some more from the e-book.
I’ll slowly be working off these 4 pounds of sweets because we all know they are much easier to put on than take off. But just so you know what type of person you are dealing with here – I am willing to sacrifice my body in order to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie for a friend. I know you’d do the same for me.
Some of the photos you see on my site over the next month were taken by another photographer friend, Karen Solverson. It’s great to have professionsl photographer friends until I compare my photos to their’s and then I see how much more I have to learn. Thanks Karen for spending a few hours with me and my food!
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 20 - 4" cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 24 hours of chill time
Cook Time: 12 - 14 minutes
This recipe calls for cake flour and unsalted butter. This is the first time I baked with cake flour. Now I did make a batch with just all purpose flour and they turned out just fine too so don’t stress if you don’t have cake flour in your pantry, go ahead and use all purpose if you need to. Same thing with the unsalted butter. I made a batch with unsalted and then batch with salted and I preferred the batch with using salted butter.
The recipe calls to make 4" cookies - those are pretty darn big. Feel free to make them smaller and adjusting the bake time by a few less minutes.
This is also the first time I've ever chilled chocolate chip cookie dough before baking and it works like a charm.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Sea salt, for sprinkling
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, about ½ cup flour mixture at a time. Mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 24 hours. The dough can be chilled for 72 hours.
5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Take about ¼ cup of cookie dough and roll into a large ball. Place cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
Cookie Cravings by Maria Lichty of Two Peas and Their Pod