Friday, November 14, 2008
For today's feast, I had a helper in the kitchen! He was a little troublesome at times, but overall a joy in the kitchen (if you don't mind a helper that tries/licks everything that passes through his grubby little paws. This recipe was a happy accident and an inspired (by a friend/better cook) addition. I used to make the Toll House cookie recipe, but added more vanilla to it to make it tastier and then one day I forgot an egg, at first I was mystified as to why my dough was so thick, but then applauded when I found that the texture of the finished cookie was (in my opinion) vastly improved. Lastly, a friend turned me on to the fact the great mint chocolate cookies didn't come from actual mint chocolate, but from the sly addition of Extract of Peppermint. They are ridiculously easy to make (if you have a mixer- even a good hand-held will be able to stand up to how firm the dough is)-- even a hardened, break'n'bake Toll House whore will admit they are worth the nominal extra effort. Enjoy!
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
In a large bowl with a kitchen-aid mixer or handheld mixer:
Cream at medium to high speed:
1 c unsalted butter (two sticks, softened but still cool)
Add, then beat until creamed:
3/4 c golden brown sugar
3/4 c sugar
Beat in one at a time, beating until incorporated:
1 egg, large or jumbo
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp. peppermint extract
Whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl:
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour (I use King Arthur)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 scant teaspoon table salt
On low speed beat dry ingredients into the butter mixture about a 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated. The dough will be very thick.
2 cups or full bag of Ghiardelli, Guittard or other semi-sweet chocolate chips
Use a scoop to make uniform size cookies. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Read below for more tips.
1. To reiterate... the butter still needs to be on the cold-ish side. If it is melted it will not create the same dough. I get sticks to the perfect spot by microwaving for 6 seconds, flip to a new side, 6 seconds, repeat until right.
2. Whip the butter to here.
3. Add the sugars. No picture, but then add the egg and then vanilla and peppermint extract -- and if you don't like mint, just don't add it!
4. Whisking the flour mixture.5. Add the flour in about 1/3 cup additions, waiting until incorporated before adding more. Stu, here, uses a little medicine measuring cup to help out so he doesn't spill flour in every direction.7. The dough before adding chips.8. I love these chips so much!9. The dough is so thick it is hard for the mixer to actually mix the chips into it so use a wooden spoon to make sure they are spread evenly in the dough. Warning: I snapped a spatula in half trying to mix the chips into the dough one time.... learned my lesson.10. Alright, you don't have to be as OCD as I am about using the scoop to get cookies all the same size. But it does make a lovely, uniform batch and you know they are all done at the same time so none get overcooked. Plus, the kids love helping turn out the scoops.
Note: For perfect chocolate chip cookies you have to take them out of the oven at exactly the right moment! You want them to be done enough to not fall apart after they cool, but still slightly undercooked in the middle to be extra moist and chewy. Take them out when the middles look slightly undercooked and the edges look perfectly done. Leave on the trays for one minute before removing to cooling racks.
Extra note: For those of you with convection ovens, be prepared to get addicted to these cookies, which are done from start to finish in less than half hour! Just adjust cookie size so you can get the whole batch divided between three cookie trays and cook all at once, checking at four minutes to make sure they are cooking evenly. If they look uneven, switch and rotate all trays. Check again at eight minutes. They should never take longer than nine to be done.