Chocolate Chip Cookies
A perennial favorite, American chocolate chip cookies always put a smile on everyone’s face. This recipe is a composite derived from several friends. From Bob Long, former co-owner of Napa Valley’s famous Long Vineyards, I picked up the use of Anise as a flavoring. From “Cookie Queen” Dorie Greenspan, I incorporated the use of whole wheat flour which makes a chewier cookie.
For those of you serious bakers, I highly recommend Dorie’s book, Dorie’s Cookies. In addition to providing a delicious collection of sweet and savory cookie recipes, it also gives some very helpful techniques for making perfect cookies. Some of them you’ll see below.
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter
¾ cups dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon anise extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Be sure all ingredients are at room temperature. (Dorie tip #1)
Preheat oven to 375 ⁰ F
1. Put both flours, baking soda and salt into a bowl and stir. Set aside.
2. In a standing mixer with the paddle blade-- or with a hand mixer-- beat butter with both sugars until creamy.
3. Add vanilla and anise, along with the eggs, one at a time, blending thoroughly.
4. Turn off machine and add dry ingredients all at once. Then, on a low speed, incorporate thoroughly into the dough. (Dorie tip #2). You can bring the speed back up.
5. Then, again at a low speed, carefully incorporate chocolate chips and chopped pecans. If using a hand mixer, turn it off and do manually.
6. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for two hours before using. If you can wait until the following day, even better.
7. Line two baking sheets with silicon baking mats or parchment paper.
8. Use a tablespoon to scoop out level portions of dough and set aside.
9. Wet your hands with cold water, shaking off any excess. Then roll each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball with your hand.
10. Then, press down gently between your hands to flatten it evenly into a round shape about one inch thick.
11. Put each round on the baking sheets two inches apart.
12. Bake from 9-11 minutes turning the baking sheets midway through the baking process.
13. Repeat with remaining dough making sure you cool baking sheets first before proceeding.
14. When cookies are fully cooked, transfer trays to a rack and cool for five minutes before removing them with a spatula.
Makes 50 cookies
Beverage suggestion: Iced cold milk!