Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Holland has good bakeries, but the Dutch are not home bakers. Flour and sugar are only available in 1 kilo packages, baking powder comes in small envelopes, baking soda is not sold at all, and the rest seems to be box kits. And chocolate chips are unknown. On the plus side, you can buy ready-made  amandelspeis (somewhere between marzipan and frangipane), the almond filling used in a lot of baked goods here.

For chocolate chip cookies you need to either chop a chocolate bar in pieces (we do have good chocolate here!) or rely on visitors from across the pond. So when one of my colleagues emailed me from Vancouver that he could pick something up from the grocery store, I asked for chocolate chips.

I started with the recipe on the back of the President's Choice Milk Chocolate Chips. It calls for cooled melted butter (!?), 1.5 cups of chocolate chips, and a cookie size of 2 tablespoons to produce 24 cookies. I assume they are huge and the dough is just an excuse to hold the chocolate chips together. Because I used 1.25 cups of chocolate chips and a cookie size of 1 tablespoon to produce almost 60 perfectly sized cookies that were abundantly filled.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from President's Choice
Yield: aprox. 60 cookies.

200 grams (3/4 cup)    butter
240 grams (1 1/3 cup) light brown sugar
1                                   egg
1                                   egg yolk
300 grams (2 cups)      flour
1/2 teaspoon                baking powder
1/2 teaspoon                salt
160 grams (1 1/3 cup) chocolate chips
60 grams (1/2 cup)      toasted pecan nuts, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F/ 170 C, placing 1 rack in the top third and one rack in the bottom third of the oven. (I only have one rack, so I used a roasting pan. Next time I'll try the roasting pan in the top third, as the cookies on the top rack get done more quickly.)
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  3. Melt the butter and chill to room temperature.
  4. Beat the sugar, butter, and eggs together until they form a creamy liquid.
  5. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl, and then add to the liquid ingredients. 
  6. Mix the cookie dough until everything is thoroughly combined (I used an electric mixer).
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  8. Use a teaspoon (5ml) to measure out the dough and drop onto cookies sheets, spacing them about 5 cm/2 inches apart. I was able to get 15 on each sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Half-way through, switch the cookie sheets, moving the bottom one up and the top one down. Also reverse them, so the front is move to the back. 
  10. When lightly browned, remove to a cooling rack. The cookies will still be soft but will harden as they cool.
  11. Serve with a glass of cold milk or a cup of tea.

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