Tuesday, 7 June 2011

:: In search of the Chocolate Chip Cookie ::

Chocolate Chip Cookies
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::

:: my chocolate chip cookies ::

I once had the joy of living down the road from the Arnott’s factory in Camperdown, Sydney. When there was a gentle south westerly at certain times of the day, the smell of freshly baked cookies would waft through the breeze & into our living room. This was heaven. I would often wake up from an afternoon nap on the couch dreaming of cookies & instantly call my mother, as hers were the best in town.
I then set myself to baking for my soon to be husband. I had very few cookbooks, but I was determined to master at least one recipe & it was going to be a cookie. Attempt #1, fail. Attempt #2, fail. Attempt #3, fail. The worst thing was I had no idea what I was doing wrong! At last Donna Hay’s new book was released, so I thought that I would give her chocolate chip cookies a trial run, and to my surprise, success!
These are now my most requested cookies by far. They are the perfect comfort cookie, snack cookie, mother’s group cookie, toddler cookie, get well cookie & afternoon tea cookie. I think the secret is the coconut in the mixture, making the final result a lighter, less dense cookie yet entirely fulfilling. I often make a double batch (quantities also included) as these cookies are so good that they disappear fast. So thank you Mr Arnott, Ms Donna Hay & last, but not least, my mother, for all the cookie inspiration that was needed for a young wife to be.
Over recent years I have adapted the recipe as I found the original mixture too dry & not chocolatey enough, so please enjoy my version of cookie perfection!

140 grams butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup of brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
¾ cups of desiccated coconut
230g chocolate chips (I like to use 130g dark chocolate chips, then 100g milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Line two large cookie trays with baking paper. Place the butter, sugar & vanilla paste into a bowl then beat with an electric mixer until light & creamy. Add eggs, one by one. Mix flour, baking powder, & coconut in a separate medium bowl, stir, then add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add chocolate chips & combine.
Spoon dough out with large tablespoons onto the trays, leaving gaps between each one. Bake until the edges turn brown, around 12-14 minutes. Leave to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack using a spatula.

Makes 20+ large cookies.

Kitchen Notes: Make sure that your butter is at true room temperature, otherwise you will end up with a stiff mixture. Either leave your butter on the bench top for half an hour or quickly place it in the microwave for 10 sec, or until soft. If you get to the final step & you find that your mixture is extremely stiff for a cookie dough, add a little milk & combine.
:: I use Nestle or Cadbury (whichever is on special) chocolate chip packages for my cookies. You could also use a block of chocolate, broken into chunks.

:: dark & milk chocolate chips + dough ::
:: combining the chocolate into the dough ::

Style: I don’t know how I came across this method, I think it was out of desperation when I was making ANZAC cookies to send to my husband when he was deployed in Iraq. It was the first time I made them and they were round mound masses of oatey goodness. I whipped out a glass to squish them down & voila! Perfect ANZAC cookies!

:: flattening cookies into a traditional cookie shape ::
:: When the cookies turn slightly golden yellow (a few minutes from being cooked through), take them out of the oven and use a flat bottomed glass to “flatten” the cookies to give them a true uniform cookie shape, rather than a lump. Work fast, as this can only happen when the cookies are molten hot & malleable. Also have a wet paper towel on standby to wipe the bottom of your glass as all that melted chocolate can get messy! Put your cookies back in the oven for a further 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::

:: my chocolate chip cookies ::

Recipe Doubled
280 grams butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups of brown sugar
4 large eggs
4 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1½ cups of desiccated coconut
460g chocolate chips (I like to use 1 packet of dark chocolate chips, then remainder of milk chocolate chips)

Makes 40+ large cookies.
:: Follow the above instructions to make cookies.

:: cookie dough balls of chocoalte chip ::

I would also love to see your Megann's Kitchen Creations/photos of recipes that you have made on Megann’s Kitchen Facebook!

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