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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Digital Kitchen Scale

digital kitchen scale

Recently, someone asked me why I post so many of my recipes in Metric measures (you know who you are!) instead of cups and Imperial measures. I said, "Well, I'm from Malaysia and we measured all our cooking and baking in grams." To which she responded, "You're in the US now, so get with it!" Ok, well, there are other reasons I do so.

Firstly, instead of cups, weighing your ingredients provides the best, most accurate measurement (more so when you're baking). Secondly, a lot of my recipes were handed to me from family and friends or cookbooks from Malaysia so the measurements are already written out that way (and if you really need to do the conversion, just Google it). And finally, even Alton Brown says it's much better to weigh your ingredients (especially flour) and metric measures are much more accurate (smaller units) so you get a more precise amount.

No Metric Measures (This Time!)

Okay fine, for those of you who've been turned off from trying my recipes because of the metric, here's one for you. (But seriously folks, get thee that kitchen scale I keep trying to convince you to buy and your life will be so much easier!)

This chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from my friend Gina. She is a wonderful baker and comes from a family of good bakers. I know this after having tried all the yummy baked goods her mom sent to her in Hawaii.

Chocolate chip cookies must be about as American as you can get. I think I've always identified this cookie as the American cookie (Famous Amos did that to us Malaysians). And I just love the chewy, soft texture of this chocolate chip cookie.

In Malaysia, most of our cookies are crispy or crumbly (yes, even the Famous Amos ones were crisp). I don't think I had tried a chewy cookie until I got to the US. I loved it so much that when I went home to Malaysia for a visit, I baked them this cookie. Sad to say, my family thought my cookies had "lau hong" (become stale) because they were chewy. Sigh....

Delicious Cookie Dough

Oh well, their loss, my gain. I absolutely love the taste of this cookie dough. The cookie dough is so delicious that I almost love it more than the chocolate chips. Sacrilege I know. But this last time I made it, I used Scharffen Berger chocolate chunks and they really took this cookie to another level. Both together created the best of both worlds cookie!

I also love nuts in my chocolate chip cookies. I normally use walnuts (and always end up adding more than the recipe calls for) but I have also tried it with other nuts like macadamia nuts and pecans.

I have also added Heath bar chunks to it before. I got this idea from a friend who sent me chocolate chip cookies last Christmas. But when I tried it, I got overzealous in chopping up the bar and they ended up being too small to really get a nice crunch to the cookie. So, if you do add Heath bar chunks, better make sure they remain in pretty large chunks.

Texture and Time

Now, because this recipe is in cup measure, your flour might be too little or too much. It does make a difference because it will be the difference between really nice shaped cookies that look very inviting or flat cookies that are more crispy and not as chewy.

How I tell is the texture of the cookie dough. If it's too sticky, you will need to add a bit more flour. I don't really know how to describe the perfect feel of the cookie dough but if you practice enough, you will understand after a few batches (and c'mon, choc chip cookies are something you should make at least once a month if not more often so you should be able to easily get enough practice!).

As for baking, let me just tell you that you should pretty much stick to the time suggested. When I first baked this cookie (remember in Malaysia we only did crispy, crunchy, crumbly cookies), after the timer buzzed, I took it out and it was so soft that I thought, "it's not done!" and stuck it in again for five more minutes. Took it out, and it was still soft, so I stuck it in again.

Yeah, when I finally took it out and let it cool, I could've put someone's eye out with it. So, a word from the real novice, it should be golden brown around the edges and still soft when you take it out. But you guys knew that right? I'm the only idiot without a clue! But just in case there's another idiot out there like me...

Alright, on to the recipe!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter (but I've used salted butter with no problems)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar (by the way, I always cut the sugars by 1/4-1/3, it's just me so it's up to you on that one)
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 oz chocolate chips/chunks
1/2 cup chopped nuts (or more if you're like me)
1 bar Heath toffee, cut into large chunks (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place parchment paper over cookie sheets.
2. Cream brown sugar and white sugar with butter. Don't overmix to the point of becoming fluffy.

Butter, brown sugar and white sugar

3. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.
4. Stir in dry ingredients. At this point, the dough will get pretty stiff. I just use the lowest speed setting on the Kitchen Aid to help me but it does help to mix by hand at the end.
5. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts and Heath bar chunks.


Adding Walnuts to chocolate chip cookie dough

6. Pinch off golf ball sized chunk of dough and place on cookie sheet. They don't have to be rolled up neatly. Just getting a rough round shape is good enough (I like the funky odd dents and mounds in choc chip cookies, don't you?). Make sure to space the cookies about an inch apart.


chunky ball of chocolate chip cookie dough

7. Bake in preheated oven for about 9-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Chocolate Chip Cookies

By the way, notice how the cookies on the left are taller than the ones on the right. Why the difference? The one on the left was baked on a pan covered by a Silpat silicone baking mat, while the one on the right was baked on a pan covered by just non-stick aluminum foil. The foil heated up faster and caused the dough to spread out faster before setting. Better to use parchment paper, but it's still not too bad.


Cheers, Annie

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Hungry for more baked goods? Click Below:

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Homemade Pineapple Tarts, Part 2

Red Velvet Cupcakes

The Best Cream Scones Recipe Ever

Third Aunt's Butter Cake


Anonymous said...

Here in the Philippines, we love our cookies crispy and crumbly, too! Perhaps, that is the Asian taste :)

Christelle said...

Metric is ISO is adopted International system... And the units makes complete sense...
And like you said, it's very easy to google it if need be..

Anyway, i like these cokies, they look great, I might try them tomorrow night!

Kana said...

People always give a hard time with the metric and imperial measurements :)
WHO does not like chocolate chip cookies!

Anonymous said...

I am so loving this. You gave out so many explanation - unlike cookie recipes we read in books.

I totally agree with you on the metric scaling. The cups and spoons are good, but sometimes they are not that accurate. For baking, accuracy for ingredients is crucial.

Thanks for this

Wandering Coyote said...

The cookies look great!

I'm with you on the kitchen scale. I have lots of recipes that are done in weights, both metric and imperial, and I have a digital scale that does both and will even convert with the press of a button. I think every serious baker needs one!

Anonymous said...

now that is what i need! a scale and a kitchenaid! wahahaha! the cookies are lovely! i just might try my hand on home-made choc chip cookies this time!:)

Marlow said...

I want a digital scale SO BAD!!

tigerfish said...

I am used to Metric previously, then I got used to pounds and stuff and now, I have to get familiar with metrics again! Woot!

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I stumbled on the fact that I can control whether the cookies will be chewy or crunchy by what I do with them after baking. If I leave the cookies to cool in open air, they will become crunchy. If I place them in airtight containers while still hot, they will stay moist. This technique worked with the Toll House recipe. I don't know if it'll work with yours.

Actually, as I type this, it sounds like common sense that cookies kept in an air tight container will stay moist.

Anyways, great site.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@All - thanks for your comments!

@Christelle - thanks! Let us know how you do.

@Jun - thank you! That's why this site isn't just another recipe site. We give you little extra knowledge ;-)

@Tigerfish - the good thing about a digital scale is you can easily switch between measuring grams or ounces.

@Anonymous - thanks for that tip. And thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

Flat and crispy or chewy and soft, there really cannot be a bad chocolate chip cookie. Even the ones that end up slightly burned will not be turned away! Thanks for your recipe. The toffee chips sound super yummy!

Julie said...

your cookies look wonderful, no matter how they are measured :)

Hayley said...

Your pictures always make me so hungry, and these are no different. They look incredible. And who cares if some people don't like your measurements, do what you feel comfortable with. I mean the whole world uses the metric system, besides us, so they must be on to something.

Anonymous said...

Yum! (Yum, yum, yum!)

a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@duodishes - I did overbake one batch. Didn't hear any complaints about it!

@Julie - thanks!

@Hayley - exactly!

@Jessie - LOL

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand how imperial measurements even came to be. Just makes no sense. Metric is the way to go if you ask me!

Salt N Turmeric said...

I so know what you mean! Metric is so much better and easier. I have 2 measurement cups that have diff things on them like cup, oz, ml, pint and quart. Its so ridiculous!

And those ppl who keeps asking whts this in this and so on. Dont they know how to google it themselves? :P

Kymba said...

Guess what I'm making for a thank-goodness-a-day-like-this-is-almost-over treat? Mmm...thank you SO MUCH! :)

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Kymba - you're welcome! How'd they come out? Hope the cookies brightened your day.

Kate said...

Hi Annie,

I am a new subscriber to your wonderful recipes. I am a Malaysian now living in NYC. I have tried making cookies numerous times, but have been very unsuccessful. They all turned out 'cakey' and not chewy. What could have gone wrong? I have just a hand mixer.

Thank you so much for sharing.