I've always shied away from baking cookies. Too much work, not much success. But I was feeling a little adventurous tonight and decided to try my hand at it ... chocolate chip, of course.
I'd seen an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network channel some time back and was sooooo tempted by the unbelievable chocolate chip monstrosities made by triathletes Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald from New York's Levain bakery.
I don't usually eat cookies. I am not a lover of Choc Chip cookies and still I was salivating. These two women rock the age old cookie. Chewy, oozing with chocolate and big enough to satisfy anyone's cookie cravings for about a month, their cookies are worthy of much respect.
Don't believe me? Check them out in the photo beneath or go to their website by clicking here. Bobby Flay never stood a chance with these women.
So anyways, I wasn't trying to compete. I was happy to make a batch that tasted good. I wanted to bake a batch without them burning (don't laugh; it's happened). I wanted to make cookies that looked decent (forget about nice).
I was as nervous as the cats in my neighbourhood are of my killer dog. I'm exaggerating. Dog is good. But he does hate cats. So I read through numerous recipes and decided to make a classic choc chip cookie with some walnuts.
I bought a bag of Hershey's semi-sweet choc chips. I took out the butter from the fridge and let it soften while I watched American Idol. That Scotty McCreery is slowly but surely growing on me. I'd gladly feed him some cookies.
I measured my sugar and flour. I took out my baking trays and lined them with parchment paper. I chopped the walnuts.
I laid out the vanilla essence, baking soda and got ready a couple of eggs. Waiting for the butter to soften, I read the recipe yet again ... that's four times now. Boy, I don't think I've been this nervous about baking in a while.
Ok. The butter is nice and soft and I'm good to go.
Whaddaya know; mixing the batter was a piece of cake. Or cookie, in this case. But here's a lesson I learnt. The recipe said to scoop the batter using an ice-cream scoop. I had an ice-cream scoop and I used it, as per the instructions.
The cookies turned out super-sized. Like really, really big. Huge. No more ice-cream scoop. I used a tea spoon. You can see the difference in sizes in the picture below. Other than that, everything was smooth sailing. The cookies were nice and chocolaty, slightly chewy, slightly nutty.
I am happy.
Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies
225g butter, softened at room temp
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line three baking trays with parchment paper.
Cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar till smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat till incorporated into the butter+sugar. Add the vanilla.
Mix the soda + hot water. Add into batter. Add the salt. Now, add the flour in three parts and mix till incorporated into the batter.
Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts with a spatula.
Spoon the batter using a TEASPOON onto the tray. Drop them a distance apart as they spread. They should look like tiny balls.
Bake for 10 mins per batch or till the sides are brown and start to crisp. Remove. The centre will be soft. Don't worry, they will harden as they cool.
Eat. With a cool glass of milk. How typical? Damn straight!
These Choc Chip Cookies are a part for Sweets for Saturday, an online dessert party hosted by Lisa of Sweet as Sugar Cookies. Check her party out for more dessert ideas!