Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Soft & Chewy Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

aka The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies ever!



I told you they were coming. Let's kick off May recipes with a bang! A little chew. Lots of chocolate. And just the tiniest, tastiest smattering of salt. These cookies will rock your world!

I'm not kidding. These are famous at the hubby's work. In fact, when their Spring project started at his office, people who'd been there before and had these cookies requested them. People had heard about them. This tickles me to no end!


And this batch pictured here? This batch was mailed to Oregon for my brother's birthday. Two thumbs up from the little bro!

I've been playing with my chocolate chip recipe for a long time. At least 2 years. And last summer, while doing my annual bingeing of all the "Friends" episodes, I decided I wanted to make the world's best chocolate chip cookies. And while Monica wanted to be the mom that makes the best chocolate chip cookies, I'll settle for being the aunt that makes the best chocolate chip cookies. While that's quite the tall order, if not impossible, I'm throwing my hat in the ring with these cookies.



I don't know what your preference is regarding chocolate chip cookies. So many people like them different ways. There's cake-y cookies, and then there's thin and crispy. Some are made with cream cheese and taste like a bakery made them. There's your standard Nestle Tollhouse recipe. These cookies are different from the Nestle Tollhouse version in the following ways:

1. These cookies have a mandatory chill time. Yes, cookie dough you have to chill takes longer, but trust me, it's worth it.

2. Nestle's recipe is made with softened butter while mine are made with melted butter.

3. I used 3 different types of chocolate while Nestle's only has 1. 

The end result is a cookie that is a little crispy on the outside, is soft and deliciously chewy on the inside, and is exploding with delicious chocolate flavors. Intrigued? Let's get into making them:


This recipe utilizes a couple of extra egg yolks to add moisture and bind the cookies. Lately, I've been saving my eggshells to put in the garden. Being an organic gardener, I don't like to use any pesticides in the garden. But I still have pesky slugs, just like everyone else. I like to rinse the shells, dry them, and then crush them. I sprinkle a line of egg shells on either sides of most of the greens I'm growing, like lettuce, kale, and spinach. Slugs will not cross this line of jagged shells to munch on the greens. Plus, the eggshells are good for the garden.

Eggshells lined up by kale.
This recipe also utilizes a good amount of grated chocolate. It helps gives the cookies that speckled with chocolate look. 


You could grate the chocolate by hand, but I needed a lot of grated chocolate because I was making a double batch. It would have taken forever and quite a bit of elbow grease. I went the lazy way and got out my food processor attachment that grates. So much easier.


Chocolate! The bowl in the far back is dark chocolate chunks, the bowl in the middle is the grated chocolate (which was an unsweetened baking bar),  and the bowl in front is semi-sweet chocolate chips.


Thanks to the melted butter, this is an easy cookie recipe to mix by hand. The dough is pretty darn soft. Which is why it requires 2 hours of chilling time in the fridge. 



Just look at that odd shaped dough ball. I know they look funky, but this is the best way to form the dough to get round cookies when you are working with a melted butter dough. The melted butter causes the cookies to fall and spread. If you make them look like a little tower, the middle falls right down and the cookie spreads into that cookie shape we all know and love. The hubby gives these dough balls the strangest look every time he sees them, but-



The end result speaks for itself :-)


There you go friends, another chocolate chip cookie recipe to put under your hat. Good ol' chocolate chip cookies are my favorite cookie. Out of all the cookies. Some foodie I am! My point is, if you are the chocolate chip-lover I am, you don't mind trying millions of different recipes in search of perfection. I certainly will never complain about the amount of recipe variations out there.




Now I'm wanting some. Rats. My afternoon may have just been decided.


My afternoon may be decided but my morning was glorious. We are having a run of rainy, cloudy days here. We hadn't had rain in quite awhile, so this is good for the garden. However, it wasn't raining this morning. I took the opportunity to plant a couple more garden items. I started my cucumber, zucchini, and pumpkin in little cups. I also started a couple of sunflowers that I have no idea where I'm going to put. I just found the seed packet and thought "Why not?" We'll find a spot for them somewhere, I'm sure. I planted more lettuce, radishes, and marigolds. I must have been out in the garden for about 45 minutes. All the while, honey bees are everywhere.  Flying around me, my head, my hands. One of them landed on my shoulder! This is going to take some adjustment. I did pretty well, only startling a couple of times. And to be sure, none of them were truly interested in me. It's just... they're... everywhere. I think this will be good for me, but like I said, adjustment period needed. 

I considered this morning a victory as no honey bees nor people were injured in the gardening activities :-)

Have a great rest of the day everyone!


Recipe adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients (makes ~27 cookies):

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened chocolate, grated
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt

Directions:

1. Prepare the dough- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine, set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine melted butter and sugars. Whisk until smooth. Combination will be very gritty. Mix in the eggs until well combined. Mix in vanilla. Add dry ingredients to butter combination, and mix until well combined. Dough will be very soft. Using a spatula, add all the chocolate and fold into the dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
2. Remove dough from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350º and grease 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray.
3. Using a 1 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop out the dough. Roll the dough into little logs and stand logs straight up on the cookie sheet, securing the bottom of the cookie to the cookie sheet. Place about 9 cookies per cookie sheet, these cookies spread a lot. Sprinkle sea salt over the cookies. Bake in preheated oven for exactly 11 minutes. Cookies will look undone, remove them anyway. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove cookies to a cooling rack. Cool cookies completely before storage. 




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Linked to: Weekend Potluck

10 comments:

  1. Jessica, you share the best recipes! All that chocolatey goodness...yum!

    Thanks for the reminder about the eggshells. I have 2 containers of crushed eggshells that I saved over the Winter and I need to get them in around the strawberry plants that are just starting to blossom and put on fruit. ;)

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    1. Thanks Debbie! There's definitely plenty of chocolate in these :-)

      I'm so jealous you already have blossoms! Our spring was kind of cold, so mine plants are pretty small. As soon as it gets nice, I hope they have a growth spurt!

      Have a great weekend!

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  2. I am definitely trying these! I put egg shells in my garden too, but never in a line like that as a slug deterrent. I definitely have to do that too!

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    1. I find the eggshells work amazingly against slugs. The only problem is they tend to blow away in the wind. That's ok, we eat a lot of eggs. I just go line them up again :-) But otherwise, they work pretty perfectly.

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  3. Boy do those look delicious! Gosh - I put egg shells and coffee grinds i n my front beds but that's to keep the neighborhood cats out of them. I'll have to try the egg shells for slugs.

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    1. That's an interesting method to keep cats away, I hadn't heard that before. Egg shells and coffee grounds to keep cats away, I'll have to remember that one. We don't have too much of a cat problem out here, thank goodness.

      Hopefully the eggshells work for you Kelli! :-)

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  4. I saw this post the other day, but I was so intrigued I had to save it for when I could read it with a cup of coffee. Now, I wish I wouldn't have waited because I didn't get all these delicious ingredients at home to make a batch of cookies! Definitely trying this asap :)

    So, glad you had a successful outdoor experience co-existing with your honey bees. I bet that would definitely take some getting used to, but so worth it in the end, I'm sure :) Have a great weekend!!

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    1. Argh! I hate when that happens! :-) Hopefully you get to try these soon, but just a warning, get rid of them as soon as you can! Way too addictive, ha ha.

      It's crazy how fast I've gotten used to the bees. They fly all around me in the garden now, and I'm used to it. This is crazy! I used to run from honey bees when I was a kid. Progress! :-)

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  5. Visiting from Rainey and just printed your delicious recipe. Honey bees are dodging snow flakes around here but there's enough blooming to give them food.

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    1. Ugh, snow! I'm glad we didn't get any Friday even though it was forecasted. Our bees were out in full-force yesterday, sucking down an entire jar of sugar water. Greedy bees 😂🐝

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