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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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 Ever since making the Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookies, I've been on a mission to try a few other chocolate chip cookie recipes. I realize that the ideal chocolate chip cookie is a very personal issue. Whether you like them crispy, chewy, buttery, salty, with chips, with chunks, or something completely different, your best friend or neighbor or spouse probably likes them differently. At the same time, I'm willing to bet that no matter what their preference, they won't turn down a chocolate chip cookie either. While I liked the Cook's Illustrated recipe, it wasn't MY favorite, and so here I am, back to the drawing board.
Texture-wise, these were pretty darn close to my ideal. The cookies had slightly crisp edges but a chewy center. The salt added to the cookie was apparent enough to give a sweet and salty vibe, but not so much that it was overwhelming. My co-workers ate these up (literally AND figuratively, heh). My only disappointment was the lack of buttery flavor, since these use shortening for fat. The shortening is what gives keeps them thick and chewy, but I'm wondering if butter flavored shortening or even a mix of butter and shortening might add that touch of flavor I'm going for. Is my search for my personal favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe over? No, but only because I need an excuse to keep making them! Try these, YOUR search just might be over!
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Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
from The Pastry Affair

-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
-1 cup vegetable shortening
-2 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tbsp molasses
-1 tsp baking soda
-3/4 tsp salt
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Add the sugars to the bowl of a large mixing bowl. Cream with the shortening until light and fluffy. Add the eggs on at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract and molasses.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the baking soda, salt, and flour. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Drop tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Allow cookies to sit for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.