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

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Peppermint Pattie Brownies (GF)

20130302-190442.jpg So you guys, I dreamt about these brownies. I saw them at How Sweet It Is way back at Thanksgiving, and didn’t look at them since, until about a week ago out of the blue, I dreamt about making these exact same brownies. They must have left a big impression!! So after dreaming about them of course I had to make them. BUT, although they were really tasty, they looked like this:

20130302-191343.jpg Due to my errors, the brownies stuck to the parchment paper, they crumbled, I didn’t make the frosting thick enough so that they were completely covered, and the ganache did not help with appearances. I was NOT satisfied. So I tried again, buttering the pan, adding xanthan gum to the brownies so that they would stick together, adding cream instead of milk (oops) to the frosting, and changing the ganache into a thinner icing so as to get those beautiful chocolate streams down the sides. It worked!

20130302-192121.jpg These are incredible. Chewy brownie with chocolate chips, icing like the filling of a peppermint pattie, with shiny chocolate icing slathered on top. Oh yum. I love the icing, as it’s thick and very peppermint-y. Cool peppermint paired with dark chocolate FTW!! Note: you can make these with wheat flour by replacing the flour mix with all-purpose flour and leaving out the xanthan gum.

Peppermint Pattie Brownies (GF)

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp evaporated milk or cream
1/4 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp salt
3.5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3.5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp corn syrup
1 pinch salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9×9″ baking pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract, whisk until combined. Whisk eggs in one at a time, stirring until a smooth. Whisk flour mix, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir into butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes until set. Remove and let cool.

While brownies are cooling, combine powdered sugar, butter, evaporated milk (or cream), vegetable oil, and vanilla and peppermint extracts in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour over brownies and spread in an even layer (press with fingers into corners). Refrigerate until set, 30 minutes.

Combine butter, chocolate and corn syrup in small saucepan over low heat until melted. Cut brownies into 16 pieces. Spread icing over top of brownies.

Yield: 16 brownies

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