Monday, January 18, 2016

Freeze-and- Ready-Anytime Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My 2010 attempt of the "best" CCC recipe from New York Times did not leave me with a CCC recipe to rave about but instead an overwhelming amount of cookies that were way too sweet. The sweetness was unbearable. Although I said I would give it another try, I rather try out different recipes that are much less time consuming.

Since that disaster, I always make sure to start with half batch for any first time cookie recipes. I can always bake another full batch if they are that good, but I certainly don't want to be throwing cookies away.

If you ask me for a CCC recipe before this weekend, I would direct you to this NM CCC. I make them occasionally, but they don't quite match up to the classic CCC I dream and crave- golden brown with a crisp exterior and chewy center.

It's 2016, and I am happy to say my blog (and my life) finally has a winning chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Bonus pros besides the perfectly thick, crisp and chewy cookies:
- no softening/creaming butter
- freeze up to 3 months/ ready to eat anytime
- flavors intensify overtime!

Freeze-and- Ready-Anytime Chocolate Chunk Cookies
recipe halved from Humming Bird High
makes 15 big cookies
1/2 cup (4 oz // 1 stick) unsalted butter, chopped into 1-inch squares
1 5/8 cup (8.13 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 + 1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 + 1/4 tsp kosher salt*
3/4 cup (5.63 oz) dark brown sugar, tightly packed*
1/4 cup (1.75 oz) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 oz bittersweet chocolate feves, coarsely chopped*
flaky sea salt*
optional: 1 tsp instant espresso/coffee powder
*subbed with fine sea salt, golden brown sugar, semi sweet chocolate chunks

Whisk melted butter with sugars.
Add egg.
Whisk to combine.
Mix in dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chunks.
Stir till no longer dusty.
I used a scale and measured out 85g dough balls.
1. In a medium saucepan over lowest heat possible, melt butter without boiling. Stir regularly, until butter is almost completely melted.
2. In a bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Set aside.
3. Once butter is melted, pour into large bowl and whisk in dark brown sugar and granulated sugar. The mixture may look like it will seize, but it will relax with a few seconds of stirring. Add egg, whisking briefly to combine. Stir in vanilla extract.
4. Once vanilla extract is incorporated into mixture, switch from a whisk to a rubber spatula. Sprinkle dry ingredients (from 2nd step) over mixture, and use rubber spatula to mix in dry ingredients. Once mostly blended, stir in chocolate feves. Be sure to bring any stray ingredients up from bottom of bowl, and continue mixing until the dough no longer looks dusty. If the dough seems warm or overly glossy, refrigerate for 5 minutes.
5. Use a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop to measure out 3 Tbsp of dough for each cookie, using your hands to roll together to create a bigger ball of dough to make one cookie.**
**I used a scale and evenly divided the dough into 9 balls; each ball weighted about 85g.

If enjoying now:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet.
2. Arrange dough balls on baking sheet, leaving 3 inches between each cookie.
3. Sprinkle the top of each dough ball with flaky sea salt.
4. Bake until tops are cracked and lightly golden, around 10 to 12 minutes
5. Transfer to wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes, before enjoying.
Space dough balls 3" apart.
Bake till tops are cracked and lightly golden.
If enjoying later:
Freeze up to 3 months!
1. Line a square or rectangular cake pan with wax paper.
2. Take measured out dough balls and line them in the pan. Edges of dough ball may touch each other and the sides of the pan.
3. Sprinkle the tops of each dough ball with flaky sea salt.
4. Cover the top of the cake pan with another sheet of wax paper, using a rubber band to create a sealed top over the cake pan.
-If using an 8x8-inch square pan, slip a gallon Ziploc-bag over pan and seal it close, squeezing out any excess air.
-If using a 9x13-inch pan, cover the wax paper-topped pan with another layer of plastic wrap.
5.Transfer to freezer and freeze until ready to use for up to 3 months.
6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet .
7. Remove frozen cookie dough from the freezer and use a serrated knife to slice however many cookie dough balls you want from the frozen clump.
8. Arrange dough balls on baking sheet, leaving 3 inches between each cookie.
9. Use the back of your hand to slightly flatten the top of each dough ball.***
10. Bake until tops are cracked and lightly golden, around 18 to 20 minutes.
11. Transfer to wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes, before enjoying.
***I wasn't able to flatten my dough balls since they were frozen hard. They baked up nice and thick, and took around 20-23 minutes.

The cookies are filled with chocolate chunks in every bite! Do the 6oz if that's your preference. For me, I would add 3 oz chocolate and 3 oz chopped walnuts next time. I also subbed fine sea salt for flaky which is a no-no since there was only the faintest hint of salt.

Taste: 5 out of 5
Buttery, rich and sweet
Note: this recipe has 33% less sugar than the NYT's recipe
Texture: 5 out of 5
Thick with a crisp exterior and moist chewy interior


*inaccurate - 2/9/2017

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