Saturday, 26 January 2013

Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

I've made a lot of cookies in my lifetime, not all that have been featured on the blog yet. But most of the chocolate chips I've made are the same in one element - they dough is always a basic white dough, not a chocolate dough.

The textures of my cookies are different - thick and chewy, thin and crispy, crispy on the outside chewy on the inside etc. They usually have dark or milk chocolate chips, an occasionally a nut of some sort. And every time I've made one of these cookies, Mustafa looks at them with some sort of annoyance, nibbles on one and says 'ummm.. yeah, they're nice'. Those cookies have gotten no love from Mustafa, because the cookie that has his heart is the chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips.

And so, after many cookies not gaining his approval, I set out to make him a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips. The recipe I used is one that I have had bookmarked for a while, and forgotten about it. The technique is different from other cookies I've made, as they're not as dough-y as other cookies, as there's no egg added to the recipe, so the dough is very crumbly, to the extent that when I made these cookies, I didn't think they were going to be a success. I was sure I had done something wrong. It took me a while to clump the crumbly dough into a ball then into two logs, and once out of the fridge they were harder than other doughs. Then I baked them for 12 minutes and took them out of the oven, but they were so soft that I was a little scared to touch them let alone move them them.

But once I waited and let them cool down, they were a hit. The cookie hardens up and is different texturally then other cookies, its crumbly and hard and soft at the same time. Sort of like a bought cookie, but not as hard and crunchy and way way way better. They're chocolate-y, but not overpoweringly so, and they white chocolate chips sweetness don't take over the cookie either. These cookies, served with a little milk, were the perfect wintery evening snack.


Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

(Makes around 36 cookies)

155 grams plain flour
40 grams cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
155 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
130 grams light brown sugar
60 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
140 grams white chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together and keep close at hand. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the butter is soft and creamy (alternatively, you can do this and all subsequent steps by hand, working with a sturdy rubber spatula). Add both sugars, the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or two. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated — the dough will look crumbly, and that’s just right. For the best texture, you want to work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added. Toss in the white chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a smooth, lightly floured work surface and squeeze it so that it sticks together in large clumps. Gather the dough into a ball, divide it in half, and working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) in diameter. (Cookie-dough logs have a way of ending up with hollow centers, so as you’re shaping each log, flatten it once or twice and roll it up from one long side to the other, just to make certain you haven’t got an air channel.) Wrap the logs in cling film and chill them for at least 1 hour. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for a month.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 165°C (325°F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Working with a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick. Don’t worry if the rounds break (and they probably will), just squeeze the broken-off bit back onto the cookie. Place the cookies on the parchment-lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) spread space between them.

Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time, and bake each sheet for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies stand until they are only just warm or until they reach room temperature — it’s up to you. Repeat until you've baked all the cookies you need (want).

Note: The dough can be made ahead and chilled or frozen. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs and bake the cookies 1 minute longer. Packed airtight, baked cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 1 month.

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