Sunday, March 28, 2010

dn’s Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies (and Variations)

Easter is only a week away and for many that means finding a mouth watering chocolate treat! Today, I thought I would share one of my favourite cookie recipes and some variations to tempt all the chocolate lovers! I recently created a Black Forrest version of these and received rave reviews from those who tasted them!

The original recipe for these is from “The Search For The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie” by Gwen Steege. It can be found on page 6 and is called “The Orchards’ Chocolate – Chocolate Chip Cookie”. I pretty much followed the original except for two things. I use a combination of all purpose and whole wheat flour and of course added more chocolate chips! Over the years, I have also come up with a few variations on this recipe.

This recipe makes a huge amount of cookies and requires a good quality stand mixer such as Kitchen Aid to mix the dough thoroughly. If you do not have a stand mixer, I highly recommend that you use the half batch quantities that are listed at the bottom. Depending on your hand mixer, you may need to stop and rest the mixer motor if it starts to overheat.

dn’s Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies (and Variations)

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups block margarine, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ¾ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
5 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups chocolate chips

Combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In a stand mixer bowl, beat the margarine till light and creamy. Gradually add the sugars and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time – beating well after each one. Add the vanilla and mix in. Gradually add the dry ingredients and combine. Do not overmix! Stir in the chocolate chips. Transfer the dough to a bowl that you can cover with saran and put in the fridge. Chill the dough for 2 hours or up to one day.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into small balls about 1 inch round and place about 1 ½ inches apart. Flatten slightly. Bake in preheated 350F oven for about 7 ½ to 8 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE! Let cookies sit on the pan on the cooling rack for a minute or so after removing from oven, then carefully slide the parchment paper and cookies off of the pan onto the cooling rack to finish cooling.
The full recipe makes about 13 ½ - 15 dozen depending on the size.

Once the cookies are completely cooled, they can be placed in freezer bags and frozen.


dn’s Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies (Half Batch)

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
½ cup + 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup block margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chocolate chips

Follow directions as above. If using any of the variations, use the amounts in brackets. The half recipe makes about 6 ½ 7 ½ dozen depending on the size.



dn’s Chocolate Chip Combo: Try combining two or more different types of chocolate chips such as bittersweet, dark, semi sweet, milk, white or mint. Also try different size combos such as mini, regular and chunks. As long as the total quantity is 3 cups (1 ½ cup for half version), you can use whatever amounts of each you want.

dn’s Peanut Butter Chocolate – Chocolate Chip Cookies: Reduce the margarine to 2 cups (1 cup) and add 1 cup (½ cup) crunchy peanut butter. Also add 1 cup (½ cup) chopped blanched peanuts with 2 ¼ (1 cup + 2 Tablespoons) cups chocolate chips.

dn’s Nutty Chocolate – Chocolate Chip Cookies: Reduce chocolate chips to 2 ¼ cups (1 cup +2 Tablespoons) and add 1 ¼ cups (½ cup + 2 Tablespoons) finely chopped almonds, pecans or macadamia nuts. For added flavour, toast* the nuts beforehand and allow to cool completely before adding to the dough.

dn’s Black Forest Cookies: 2 cups (1 cup) mini dark chocolate chips, 1 cup (½ cup) toasted chopped almonds and 1 cup (½ cup) dried cherries**. The method listed below for the cherries, may seem tedious, but doing it this way, will ensure a more flavourful cookie with bits of cherry in every cookie.

* To toast nuts: Spread the nuts out on a shallow microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for about 5 minutes – stirring every minute or so. Your nose will tell you when they are done. I personally like them quite toasted – just to the hint of a burnt smell for the almonds in particular.

** Dried cherries: Place the cherries in a single layer in a shallow dish. Cover with hot tap water. Soak the cherries for about 20 minutes then drain and rinse. Cut each cherry in half or thirds depending on size. Spread cut cherries out on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel then pat dry. I start the cherries soaking before I even measure anything else as they take the longest to prepare.



No comments: