Friday, December 17, 2010

A Tale of Two Cookies

Everyone has their favorite chocolate chip recipe. And everyone has an opinion about the others that fall to the wayside in comparison to their favorite. Personally, I think my Outrageous Chocolate Chip recipe is the bomb, but I'll offer to listen to yours in all fairness.

Another baking opportunity presented itself last week, much to my happy surprise, with the request for jumbo chocolate chip cookies. I hemmed and hawed about what type of chocolate chip cookies to make and deliver, finally deciding upon doing half of the order my famous Outrageous Chocolate Chip recipe (adapted from this Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe) and another Jumbo Chewy Chocolate Chip recipe I discovered from Cooking On The Side. Both worked out splendidly, with everyone enjoying both varieties. My changes included adding almond extract to both recipes, adding walnuts and almond butter to my Outrageous Chocolate Chip recipe, and using more brown sugar in place of white sugar whenever possible (makes for better tasting cookies). And of course to make my Outrageous Chocolate Chip recipe, I doubled the recipe and made the spoonfuls of dough nearly 1/4 cup in size when putting them on the pan to bake.

In the end, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or baker, I guess. Enjoy!

Amanda's Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from: Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe
*double the recipe if making jumbo cookies*
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Make sure to blend until light and fluffy (a key to making a good cookie). Stir in the almond butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. For jumbo cookies drop, about 1/4 cup of batter on to lightly greased cookie sheets. For normal sized cookies, drop by the tablespoon full.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven for jumbo cookies (or 10-12 minutes for normal sized ones), until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Traditional Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from: Chewy Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe 
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 1 (12-ounce) package (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375°F.

Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until creamy. Make sure to blend until light and fluffy (a key to making a good cookie). Add eggs and vanilla and almond extracts. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Beat, gradually adding flour mixture, until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets (tip: line the sheets with parchment, if you have some). Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown. (Do not overbake.) Let stand 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets.

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