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My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

 

December 20, 2017 | View PDF

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Chef Nikol Nakamura's favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

One of the best memories I have growing up during the holidays was making cookies with my mom. Now as an adult, with a child of my own, I plan on continuing this tradition with him. We both love making and eating chocolate chip cookies, and who doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie - especially a warm gooey one dipped in cold milk? There are so many good chocolate chip cookies recipes, but I find this one to be easy. It has a nice balance of chewy center and crisp edge with just enough chocolate. As an adult, I decided to become a pastry chef, so my holiday cookie baking is a little less messy and more streamlined than I was as a kid. I am sharing some of my tips to help your holiday cookie baking be more fun and easy.

Happy Baking!!

Contains dairy, gluten and optional nuts

Ingredients

Yield: depends on the desired cookie size.

1 pound 1 ounce unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

13 ounces sugar

13 ounces brown sugar

4 whole eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

.5 ounce kosher salt

1 pound 14 ounces pastry flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 pound 14 ounces chocolate chips (I like using dark chocolate chips)

OPTIONAL: 8 ounces of lightly toasted nuts of choice

Method:

•Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and line half sheet pans with parchment paper or re-usable silicon baking mats

•In a separate bowl: mix together flour, baking soda, and salt

•In a stand mixer with a paddle, cream softened butter and sugars until fluffy. Slowly add in the eggs followed by the vanilla extract

•Add flour mixture to the mixing bowl and begin to incorporate before scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula or equivalent tool. Add chocolate chips and optional nuts.

•Use an ice cream scoop to portion the dough for immediate baking. If baking off later, you can still portion out all the dough and freeze completely on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, place in a plastic freezer bag and return them to the freezer to be used at a later date.

•Depending on the size of the scoop, bake the cookies at 325 degrees for 10 minutes to 18 minutes depending on how you like your cookies. If you like your cookies darker and crisp leave them in longer, or if you really enjoy soft cookies pull them out sooner.

•Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow the sheet pan with parchment paper to cool before reusing it to bake off more cookies.

•BAKING HACKS ... which can apply to the above recipe:

•Make and portion all or some of your cookie dough a couple months in advance and freeze them. Pull the frozen cookies from the freezer and bake as many as you want or need. Is freezer space an issue? Make just the dough. Pack them into plastic freezer bags and smash them flat to stack in the freezer.

•Some recipes need room temperature eggs. If you need them right away put the eggs into warm water and let them sit for about 10 minutes before using them.

•If you're out of brown sugar you can make some by adding 2 tablespoons of molasses to every cup of granulated sugar.

•How to tell if the baking soda is still fresh? Add 1 teaspoon to ½ of a cup of hot water, and if the water doesn't bubble up the baking soda is old.

•And my favorite hack, which can also double as a holiday gift, is homemade vanilla extract. My rule of thumb for making vanilla extract is one whole vanilla bean for every 2 liquid ounces of alcohol (I use vodka). Use 6 vanilla beans for 16 ounces of vodka. Since vanilla beans are very expensive, I usually buy them in bulk on-line or at Costco for home use.

•At the bakery, we use a lot of vanilla beans in our recipes, so we utilize the scraped "used" beans and turn those into vanilla sugar (just the vanilla bean pods mixed with sugar) or to make vanilla extract. This extract needs to infuse for at least 2 weeks before using, but is best after 4-6 weeks. If you plan ahead and make a big batch, you can put them in pretty bottles for gifting.

 

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