Ok so I've been baking too much.
On high rotation over the past few months has been this Donna Hay Chewy Choc Chip Cookie recipe. Usually I would just post the link to the original and be done with it- but DH cheekily ripped my favourite lemon meringue pie recipe off her site the other week and RUINED MY LIFE/FATHER'S DAY.
So, as my good friend @digella reminded me: you must repost recipes you love! No one can be trusted! Even the goddess Donna Hay! (sorry Donna. Send me that recipe, would ya? Or tell me the book it's going to be featured in so I can buy it? It's just that the similar one up there with 9 egg yolks yields too much filling and the meringue was a bit funny and I just cannot cope, okay?!?!)
Batch 1 - the best I've made.
So I've made these cookies four times and so I have some insider tips for you guys, okay?
One. Chocolate usage is personal. These have a huge amount of chocolate in them if you use eating chocolate chopped into shards and chunks. If you use chocolate chips, it's a more traditional ratio, although still heavy on the chocolate.
I have used many combinations of chocolate, all dependent on 'what was in stock' in my pantry. I've done all choc chips (half dark, half milk) and found them too sweet (for me). I've done all 70% lindt eating chocolate (the thin 100g blocks) and found them too chocolatey although delicious. I have a bad habit of messing with more than one variable at a time so I will note that the all 70% batch were half the size recommended, as well. Unsure if this made them feel heavier on the the dark chocolate than they would have had they been the standard size.
My favourite chocolate combination so far was 200g of Cadbury Dark Choc Chips plus 100g of 70% Lindt eating chocolate. The chips give those nostalgic, neat chocolate moments and then for those who like a little extra oomph, the eating chocolate gives richness, odd-shaped chunks of chocolate plus those melt-in-your-mouth-and-in-to-the-dough shards that you get when you take a large sharp knife to a slab of your favourite. Long sentence. Sorry, English teachers.
The second variable is dough temperature. This recipe starts with cold chopped butter (excellent, as you can make them on a whim) but it soon gets blended into oblivion with the sugars. The dough ends up quite wet by the end, and although Donna is happy to ice-cream scoop hers straight on to the trays and into the oven, I've enjoyed them more once the dough has been refrigerated or frozen. Dough that has been refrigerated for a day or frozen also have better flavour. It's like marinating your cookies.
Also, when accidentally researching cookie science (it's a thing) I learnt about the role of different sugars. Brown for the chewiness, white for the crunchiness. Raising agents also affect this. 'Crispy with a soft center: Use 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.' Donna must have visited this site too as that is the exact ratio of baking powder and baking soda she uses in this recipe. Coincidence? I think not!!
As I was writing this I realised there was, in fact, a third variable. Sugar ratios. Donna specifies 175g of brown sugar and 165g of caster sugar. The first time I made these cookies, I didn't have enough brown sugar so used say, 40g of brown sugar, the rest of the grams (??) in white sugar bar 10g and added GOLDEN MOTHERFUCKING SYRUP.
And you know what? I have yet to make a better batch. Go figure. Just remembered that. It's obviously not only the chocolate and dough temp.
So with all of that said, here's the original recipe to do with what you will!
200G COLD UNSALTED BUTTER, CHOPPED
1 CUP (175G) BROWN SUGAR
¾ CUP (165G) WHITE (GRANULATED) SUGAR
1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXTRACT
2 TABLESPOONS MILK
2 CUPS (300G) PLAIN (ALL-PURPOSE) FLOUR
¼ TEASPOON BAKING POWDER
¼ TEASPOON BICARBONATE OF (BAKING) SODA
¼ TEASPOON TABLE SALT
300G DARK CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Place the butter and both the sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed until just combined. (Brisbane Foodie Tip: ADD GOLDEN SYRUP! DROP THE BROWN SUGAR CONTENT! UP THE WHITE!)
Increase the speed to medium and beat for 8 minutes or until pale and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add the vanilla, milk and egg and beat for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and beat until combined.
Add the chocolate and stir to combine.
Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on lightly greased baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper+. Bake for 12–14 minutes or until golden brown++.
Allow to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring onto wire racks to cool. Makes 22
+ Leave 2–3cm between each ball of cookie dough to allow for spreading in the oven.
++ Cookies should be golden around the edges with even colouring on the base when they’re ready.
TIP If you’re baking more than one tray of cookies at a time, swap their shelf positions in the oven halfway through cooking time to ensure even colouring.