Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"C" is For (Chocolate Chip) Cookie

From the Boston Globe food section:

They're not as easy to make as they are to eat

Easy as they are to love, the dreamiest chocolate chip cookies can be an exercise in frustration. Because they are so simple, every step and every ingredient must be carefully considered. A lot can go wrong, and for anyone who has baked and failed, you know that chocolate chip cookies are a lot fussier than the yellow bag of Nestle morsels would have you believe.


Marc Haymon, a pastry instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and Jason Gingold, chair of the baking and pastry department at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt., offered some tips on fine tuning the Nestle recipe to achieve the cookie that you really want.

Gingold says that more butter and a little bit of water will make the cookies spread out, more flour will dry them up, and more eggs will make them cakier. He says that baking powder will make cookies rise but to watch out for the salty taste. Baking soda and Silpat silicon mats both cause cookies to spread, while a chill in the refrigerator will help them to hold their shape. Brown sugar draws moisture from the air and keeps cookies moist over time. Vanilla complements chocolate, and pastry flour in place of all-purpose flour makes a more tender cookie.

Good advice, all of it, I'm sure. But, the correct answer is ... Baileys Irish Cream.

Follow the Nestle's recipe (see notes below), and whip in a (very) healthy splash prior to combining the dry ingredients with the eggs, butter*, sugar**, and vanilla. Bump up the amount of flour slightly to maintain the proper consistency.

And DO NOT OVERCOOK! I prefer slightly undercooked, myself.


* As the experts agree, softened - NOT melted!

** The Nestle's recipe these days, for whatever reason, calls for 3/4 cup each of sugar and brown sugar. Don't fall for it. Stick with the old version: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar.