Thank you to everyone for all of your support and good wishes for me in the Bake-Off. I recieved over 340 comments on my Snickerdoodle Snack Cake Bake-Off post! It was so fun traveling to New York, meeting the other contestants and competing in my first bake off in the Unilever Test Kitchens. Congratulations to Sara, Average Betty, for her winning Snowball Cupcake recipe.
The I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Bake-Off judges were so nice and liked my Snickerdoodle Snack Cake. Normajean, Unilever’s Test Kitchen Director, said it did taste like a Snickerdoodle cookie and Barry, ICBINB Brand Manager, even ate his entire sundae. The PR firm who arranged the trip was awesome and took care of every little detail. We were treated to limo rides, cooking demonstrations, and breakfast and lunch at the Test Kitchen with some of the delicious recipes they’ve created in the Test Kitchen for the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! website.
Anna, Cookie Madness, was also one of the contestants. (She won the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 2006.) Anna did a great recap of the Bake-Off and while I was there reading her recap, of course I had to check out her cookie recipes. She has a great top 10 list of favorite cookies and I’d love to bake my way through it one day.
But it was her description of Jacques Torres’s Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie that really caught my eye. “Crunchy edges, tender centers, lots of nooks & crannies and plenty of chocolate. These are the perfect chocolate chip cookies. Your friends will think you bought them at a bakery.” Since I had some Scharffen Semisweet Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks in the pantry that I’d been saving for a fantastic recipe, I decided to give Jacques recipe a try.
I baked one batch of the huge 4 oz chocolate chip cookies and they do bake up like a beautiful bakery cookie. I like my chocolate chip cookies a little more chewy in the middle, but these are the prettiest chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made and they would make a great Christmas gift individually wrapped. [/donotprint]
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon pastry flour*
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 pound good quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside. Don’t grease the baking sheets because this might cause extra spreading.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla, then add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate; mix until well combined.
- Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, (I used a very generously rounded tablespoon) scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. If you use a rounded tablespoon, check your cookies at 12 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I reduced the baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon and baking soda to 3/4 teaspoon to adjust for high altitude baking. Since they didn't have pastry flour at my grocery store, I substituted cake flour as suggested on Martha Stewart.
This post is part of a 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies blog hog. Be sure and check out all of the fabulous cookies the other 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies bakers baked up this week.