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Monday, June 7, 2010

Basic Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Hey everyone.. I wanted to send a few friends some foodie sort of gift. So I made a small batch of chocolate-chip cookies.

Fig.1. Basic Chocolate-Chip Cookies

What do you make when you have to parcel a food-gift to family or friends in other cities? At such times one has to rely on courier and postal delivery services which may take anything from 2-15 days to be delivered. This means the item has to be non-perishable. It has to be really dry so it doesn't harbor fungus, mold or germs while sitting in hot weather in the back of a truck or store-rooms. It has to be tough/firm so it doesn't break inside the package. Are there other concerns I am missing here..? Oh, how about it should taste decent.. :D

Cookies are my standard backup for such times. They can be made reasonably dry, so they stand the trial of time. So far the chocolate-chips have never actually melted. And the cookies have almost never broken or crumbled if packaged even modestly well..

This recipe is from the Betty Crocker website. If you follow instructions strictly, I would say you should check out the original recipe. I had found this recipe long back and have been making it whenever in need of basic cookies. I make variations in terms of different types of chips, nuts, etc flavoring the cookies. Here I will detail my version, which is roughly half of the recipe listed on the website. I have also included the changes I make having read some suggestions in their comments sections to make them softer.

Butter - 3/4 cup, softened. I have used low-fat spreads and substitutes and they are not too bad at all.
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup (increased this and decreased sugar, makes cookies a bit softer)
Egg - 1 large
All purpose flour - 2 cups (approximately)
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tablespoon
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon (they use baking soda.. I use baking powder, it works out fine for me though strictly speaking they are not the same thing).
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Chocolate-chips and/or other assorted additions like chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, broken pieces of pretzels, raisins, bitter chocolate-chips, toffee bits, etc etc the list is endless ~ 2 cups total. 

A. If you want to make all plain chocolate chip cookies:
1) Mix softened butter (not melted), sugar, brown sugar, vanilla essence, egg, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2) Add the flour slowly, mixing well. 
3) Add chocolate-chips to this dough. Stir well. The cookie dough is now ready. 

B. I like to make plain chocolate-chip cookies from half of this batch and chocolate chocolate-chip cookies from the other half of the batch.
I like to use chocolate-chips - 1 cup and
Other assorted additions like chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, broken pieces of pretzels, raisins, bitter chocolate-chips, toffee bits, etc ~ 1 cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 3 or 4 table spoons.
1) Mix softened butter (not melted), sugar, brown sugar, vanilla essence, egg, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2) Divide the mixture above into two bowls.
3) To one half add one cup of flour and then chocolate chips to get plain chocolate-chip cookie dough.
4) To the other half add about 3-4 table spoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Add flour (~1 cup minus 3 or 4 tablespoons) to this mixture. Mix well. Add the chocolate chips and/or all other assorted chips and nuts to get chocolate chocolate-chip cookies.

Now the above mixture can be shaped into rough rounds on a cookie sheet lined with greased-foil or parchment paper and baked at 350 deg F for 12-15 minutes (recommended). I usually test at 10 or 11 minutes. Press the center and see if you can still see a finger print. Over baking makes the cookies hard.

That's that! I love to make these cookies and freeze the cookie dough as backup dessert. Lasts for months!

I am sending this post to the weekly Bake-off event at Versatile Kitchen.

Thanks for reading! Cheers and happy baking everyone!


Sushma Mallya said...

i love chocolate chip cookies,long since i baked them, thanks for sharing, will surely try your version too...

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Sushma! I have your lime cookies marked to bake sometime too.. :)

SpicyTasty said...

Yummy chocolate chip cookies. My all time fav. Perfectly baked cookie and looks soo perfect.

SS blogs here said...

Thanks for the compliment, Shriya! :)

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

SS, lovely recipe. Will surely try it out as I want to make it too from scratch. And, to answer your question, no, I am not a Rajasthani by birth, but by marriage. But, I love Rajasthani cuisine and my SIL and I keep trying these new stuff too, so good going :)

SS blogs here said...

Hey Priya, that is very nice to know! :) I noticed that you started baking recently. Baking is lots of fun! I only make simple things with minimal ingredients. But even that is really satisfying! Good luck and happy baking! :)

Sayali said...

hey what if i want to make them eggless. do you have any idea what we can do ?

SS blogs here said...

Hey Sayali.. I have not tried replacing egg in cookies. But I have made eggless cakes. As far as I understand they tend to use some source of moisture like yogurt or fruit purees to substitute the moisture from eggs and a tiny bit extra baking powder to provide softness. If you like, you can check out this site: where I have often seen lots of eggless recipes. Do let me know what works for you. Cheers!

BangaloreBaker said...

SS, thanks for the entry. Cookies look good. for the other person who asked about replacing egg, ener-g works great in cookies. If you don't have ener-g, just mix 2 TBSP of corn starch with 2 TBSP of water and use it in the place of 1 egg. Just FYI.

SS blogs here said...

Thanks for that info. I too will keep that in mind! Always nice to be able to convert a recipe to eggless!

M D said...

Love these choco chip cookies. I am a die hard that them. Nice bakes.

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Mallika! Pretty basic, but fresh, home-made, warm cookies are really unbeatable! :)

Creativecook said...

Thanks for stopping by. Nice blog as well!