Monday, September 27, 2010

Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chip and Almond Cookies

When they won't let us eat cake.


Mama*’s got a fabulous toy – and it’s brand stamping new!


*For those sadly uninitiated with Tyra-speak (a.k.a. the language formerly known as 'ghetto slang'), mama refers to me and not, literally, my mama who, much to the deprivation of my childhood, has little interest in stamping, baking, or cookies requiring more effort than a queue for half-offs at closing time.


Which is why when I bake cookies, I have a tendency to fall back on my Ol’ Faithful of a recipe. It’s not glamorous, but it’s very reminiscent of the chewy soft cookies I grew up chomping – Mrs Fields’!

Warning: This recipe is very easy, but makes for an insanely huge quantity of cookie dough. I usually (a) give away plenty; (b) consume enough to power small countries; and (c) freeze the leftover dough in tubes, for continuing cookie comas in the weeks (oh alright, days) to come.


Wouldn’t it be more economical, you say so cleverly, and healthier too (insert grimace), to simply halve the recipe?

Clearly, my friend, you are not in possession of a beautiful mind. As long as you have an electric mixer to hand, and I personally wouldn’t attempt this recipe (again) without, the effort of mixing a half-portion of dough is the same as mixing a full amount. So for an equal measure of energy, I produce twice the output. It’s a simple mathematical equation.

Yes, I drew this.

But that makes no sense, you say, you still have to consume considerable effort and money purchasing twice the ingredients and then to locate large vessels in which to do your mixing (I recommend a huge bowl or a basin even) and post-baking you’ll have the added problem of making space in your freezer already entirely too full due to your inability to reduce the portions of anything else you cook. At this point I interrupt you and say you’ve gotten extremely droll will you please leave me in peace to bake my cookies otherwise you shan’t have any and then you retreat into the corner and the world can move on.


You can view the original recipe at the link above, but as it's American, I’ve converted the recipe (with my modifications) to metric. I also like doing this because it means I get to take my digital weighing machine out to play; it just tare-s me apart how good-looking and intelligent this baby is, and it can crunch my numbers anytime.

Ingredients:

560g all-purpose flour (or 4.5 USA cups)
2 teaspoons baking soda
455g butter (or 2 USA cups)
330g packed brown sugar (or 1.5 USA...well you get the idea)
100g white sugar (or ½ USA cup)
2x 3.4 ounce packets instant vanilla pudding mix (I used Cottee’s Instant Vanilla Pudding, 100g each)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
670g semisweet chocolate chips (or 4 USA cups...but I chuck in as much as the dough can take – in this particular exercise, this amounted to three bags of Nestlé Choc Bits: 375g+250g+250g)
244g chopped walnuts (or 2 USA cups, and you can substitute for any nuts you like – I used almonds this time)

Directions:

1. Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.

2. In a (very!) large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

3. NOT in the original recipe but which I think is imperative: CHILL THE DOUGH BEFORE USING. Otherwise your cookies will just spread everywhere. And that is just as unattractive in cookies as it is in people. I usually just leave mine in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight.


4. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

5. Drop the cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. (As the dough typically becomes quite solid from the cold, I usually put on plastic gloves and scrape out balled chunks. If you have children around, they are partial to such activities and make for excellent sources of labour. I would never say free labour because as everyone knows, that would (a) make them slaves, which is a crime; and (b) children don’t come cheap. I expect you expected a joke about politics, but both parties are doing a fantastic job of that all on their own.)


6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown. Note: Even when cooked, cookies will still be as soft as ever - just leave them to cool and they'll be perfect!

***If using a cookie stamper, you should use golf-ball sized chunks of dough, flatten them slightly and then give it all you’ve got. Unfortunately, this appears to be the wrong sort of cookie to be using a stamper on:

Before.

After.

Oh well – I suppose that’s the way the cookies crumbles! (You knew I’d get that in there somewhere, didn’t you?) And you can’t be disappointed at all with a jar (and freezer) full of cookies, can you?


I know I'm not!


In case you were wondering what makes these cookies so darn, tootin’ awesome - the proof of the pudding is in the eating (i.e. keeps the cookies soft and chewy)!

Santa never had a chance.

23 comments:

  1. Great that your's turned out... I had a crappy 2 nights attempting to make macarons.. FAIL! :(

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  2. I absolutely adore chewy cookies - and I always make a double batch, except I don't give any away :)

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  3. Omgoodness! That cookie stamper is fabulous! Where did you get it? :) People are always surprised when I tell them mine are homemade so I think I need that to prove it! ;)

    Your cookies sound delicious as well, mmm, chewy goodness!

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  4. cookie stamper! I want one please... CUTENESS

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  5. I just like this post very much.

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  6. msihua: We're like two peas! Macarons is next on my list of 'Brave Attempts' sure to end up on my unfortunately almost equally long list of 'Kitchen Failures'. What went wrong??

    Chanel11: You're a woman after my own heart - but if I didn't give away at least some of these, I might get sick of them, and that would be a far, far worse consequence...

    Ashley: Isn't it fabulous though! *beams proudly* I'm sure it's a credit to you that people are surprised your cookies are homemade - unfortunately you may have to live with the suspicion a little bit longer, as my stamper was a gift from Paris! I've been told that a similar version's been spotted in Sydney though, and I'll keep you posted on the Melbourne front...

    Penny: It is the EPITOME of cuteness. I'm clearly a very proud mama.

    Yunny: Well, sweetheart, I like you very much so that works out well doesn't it

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  7. mmmm you've got me hungry late at night! I've never seen cookie stampers before. Shame they didn't stay as clear.

    Great pics and drawing though!
    x

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  8. Thank you for the small packet of these cookies, delivered to our doorstep this morning. Nice touch, that!
    They are so incredibly delicious. We love them with coffee.

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  9. My Restaurants melbourne: As do I ;)

    Iron Chef Shellie: I ALWAYS get hungry late at night, or at least, now I say I am so I can have a cookie...Thanks for your very kind words, I was most proud of both!

    DJ: I'm glad you enjoyed them - let me know if you'd like more; there is much cookie dough still in the freezer...

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  10. Thank you. We finished the cookies yesterday, with coffee (but not dipping them into the coffee, like les francais dipping their bread into their cafe au lait - quite weird practice!!!).
    Some more will be nice!

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  11. Oh hello! Cookie stamper- love it. Any leftovers?

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  12. You go girlfriend. Work it. That's fierce. Tyra says fierce right?

    Love the stamp, that's so cool. They look delicious as well.

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  13. Hi Vee, this might be wrong, but I think I love the stamper more than the biscuits!

    Great to meet you yesterday and excellent work on cooking the leg of lamb and getting it to the picnic, still warm! legendary effort!

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  14. I just got the same cookie stamper Vee! Cookies look delicious.
    Heidi xo

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  15. Was nice to meet you at the Mad Hatter picnic. These cookies look excellent and i LOVE that stamp!!

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  16. HI Vee! Loved how the stamp made these cookies look unique.

    also, glad to have met you at the picnic last week.

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  17. how cool is your cookie stamper!! I love it!

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  18. Looks awesome. I'd love to chow down on a big plate of those whilst I'm at work!

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  19. Looks absolutely delicious! Any chance of sending a batch up to the Sunshine Coast? Lol!

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  20. OMG i have to have that cookie stamper!
    Just found one online at urban baby! http://www.urbanbaby.com.au/epages/ecomm5000.sf/en_AU/?ObjectPath=/Shops/UrbanBaby/Products/SUCS

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  21. oh man how good do those cookies look(never mind the stamp didnt work) id gobble these up without hesitation :D

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