Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This recipe and I go way back. When I first got into baking about 3 years ago, I had just started out on weight watchers. I was getting into cooking my own meals to be healthier, and then I discovered my love for baking. Pretty soon I wanted to bake perfect recipes, and I started with the chocolate chip cookie. For months I had tried different recipes, wanting a professional looking, thick and chewy cookie with plenty of chips and lots of flavor. I tried so many recipes: Nestlés, Mrs. Fields, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Taste of Home…the works. After much tail and error, I finally found my favorite blog the brown eyed baker, and I it was there that I saw her recipe for the most gorgeous, perfect-looking chocolate chip cookies!

20130506-195118.jpg I soon discovered that they were as good as they looked. I was ecstatic when the cookies came out of my oven, perfect looking, and even happier when I tasted them. Chock full of chocolate chips, caramely,
buttery. Thick, soft and chewy with a crackly outer layer. Perfection, if you ask me. The melted butter, egg yolk, and higher ratio of brown sugar to white all contribute to the soft, thick and chewy texture. Leaving them on the cookie sheet after taking them out a bit undercooked lets them continue to bake on the hot sheet, which further insures chewiness. Stacking the dough makes them thicker still. This recipe is very quick: no mixer or chilling required. You may also brown the butter if you wish, but maybe that’s just me:)

20130506-200430.jpg This was also the first recipe that I made from cooks illustrated, and I never turned back! This is my favorite quick chocolate chip cookie recipe; the search is over!

Notes:
You can make these huge (1/4 cup) or regular (2 tbsp) sized. Tearing the dough apart and leaving the rough edges facing up makes a craggily bakery appearance.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup (7 oz) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Heat oven to 325F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.

In medium bowl, combine butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Stir in chips.

Roll scant 1/4 cup or 2 tbsp of dough into a ball. Pull dough ball apart into two halves; join bases so the jagged surface is facing outwards. Place on prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

Bake on 2 middle racks of oven until cookies edges are brown but centers are puffy (it is important cookies are not all the way done), 15 to 18 minutes (12-15 for smaller cookies), rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on sheets (they will continue to bake on baking sheets).

Yield: 18 large or 24 medium cookies

Whole Wheat Pancakes

20130418-102028.jpg I love pancakes! I forgot to add that in my about page, but there’s a fundamental fact about me;) But as much as I love them, they don’t love me. When I have them for breakfast they always leave me with this empty feeling in my stomach and let’s face it: they’re not the most nutritional thing on the planet. So I started craving more substantial pancakes; something that would really fill me up. I was craving whole wheat pancakes. So my mom (lovingly) made me the best pancakes I ever had! It’s from my fav buttermilk pancake recipe (from Darigold; I already tried cooks illustrated and these are better:) where the all purpose flour is replaced with whole wheat pastry flour and oats are added for extra heartiness.

20130418-102822.jpg The result is thick, moist pancakes that have a wonderful flavor. She also added vanilla, which is a must! Buttermilk and the oats are what make these pancakes moist, and the whole wheat pastry flour doesn’t weigh it down a bit. I must warn you though: the result wouldn’t be the same if you were to use plain whole wheat flour, as I’m thinking it would make them heavy. Best of all, these fill you up! In truth, these are the best pancakes I have ever had. In my life. And I’ve tried a bazillion recipes! Make these and you won’t be disappointed!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Adapted from Darigold

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/8-1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter

Directions:

Preheat griddle to 350F or skillet on medium-low heat. Combine first four ingredients. In separate bowl combine remaining ingredients; add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Mixture will be thick, but if too thick (not spoonable), add more buttermilk. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto well greased griddle or skillet and spread with spoon if needed. Cook until tops are bubbly and edges are dry. Flip and cook until golden brown.

Yield: About 15 Pancakes