Sunday, May 3, 2015

Seven Spoon's Chocolate Chip Cookies



I'll admit, I am late to the bandwagon of Seven Spoons. Tara O'Brady's blog, however, has been leading the food blog parade for years, given that she started hers a decade ago! In 2005. Whoa. Finally, she has her very own cookbook to accompany what is a beautifully presented and a longstanding collection of musings on food and its connection to her world centered in Ontario, Canada.


Her book, published just last week, is oddly calming. Perhaps it is her dreamy photographs or maybe it's just the sense that you always be able to find something tasty to eat. I love a cookbook that includes a breakfast section, mostly because my trusted first meal is generally a smoothie of greens, almond milk, flax seeds, and some sort of fruit. While a trusty way to fill up in the mornings (especially if I am running a little late, which--let's face it--is almost every day), these smoothies are a let down on a Sunday morning when one has time to linger. Watch out Blackberry Buttermilk Whole Grain Scones. You will be mine once the summer blackberries are bursting.


Further, she has lovely lunches that can easily be beefed up for dinner (or supper or whatever your particular regionalism calls that final meal of the day) and suppers that can be pared down for lunches. And most delightfully, she rounds out the book with a couple of libations, including Rhubarb Rose Gimlet and Lime Ginger Ale. This cookbook assures me that I am in good hands.


Thus, I turned to that most comforting and guaranteed of cookies, the chocolate chip, to give the cookbook a real whirl. If you can make a good chocolate chip cookie, you can make all true and right with the world.

Turns out that the secret to making the world stand at a moral attention is salt.


(Sorry for that "stand at a moral attention" line. I have been reading The Great Gatsby.)


I did make a few adjustments. O'Brady calls for 12 ounces of chopped chocolate--she states that she prefers the spread that chopped chocolate can bring rather than the tight mounds of chocolate found in chips (due to stabilizers in the chips). I had a bag of 10 ounce chopped chocolate chunks, and I found that was more than enough, and, people, I like my chocolate.


I also added a pinch of salt again after the cookies came out of the oven, and that has made all the difference.

(And sorry there for that little Robert Frost nod. Clearly, we're at the end of the school year.)

Finally, a little secret: O'Brady suggests making only part of the batch and saving the remainder in the freezer. Whenever you need a cookie (or a dozen), take the dough out and bake at 330 degrees until golden brown (which might be a little longer than the normal 10-12 minutes). 

Now that's a cookie I can embrace.



I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Seven Spoon's Basic, Great Chocolate Chip Cookies


Yield:
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients: 
1 cup butter (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped
3 1/2 cups (415 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (320 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, ensuring that you do not bring it to a boil (so that you lose as little moisture as possible). 

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4.  Pour the melted butter into a large bowl.  Whisk in the brown sugar and the white sugar. (O'Brady cautions that the mixture may look like it will seize; just keep stirring, for it will relax.)

5.  Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking briskly to combine. Stir in the vanilla.

6.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients until they are mostly blended. Then stir in the chocolate, folding until all of the dry ingredients are completely incorporated.

7.  If the dough looks glossy or is too warm to easily shape into balls, refrigerate for 5 minutes.  Scoop out approximately 3 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Arrange on the baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie. Sprinkle with sea salt.

8.  Bake until the tops are cracked and light golden, about 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Pull from the oven, leave the cookies on the sheet for 2 more minutes, then lift them gently with a spatula to a wire rack in order to cool. Continue shaping and baking the remaining cookies.

9.  Once cool, add another pinch of salt if desired and serve.  Cookies will keep in a covered container for about a week.

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