Thursday, February 24, 2011

Good Cookies Gone Bad, Bad Cookies Redeemed

I'm on staycation this week and thought I'd make our favorite cookies:
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Orange
Makes 4 1/2 dozen

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
zest of one orange
2 large eggs
2 cups dark chocolate chips (60% cacao or higher)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Mix the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange zest and orange extract in a larger bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture slowly, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment-covered baking sheets.

Bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown.

I pull batch one out of the oven and they were completely flat ~ no discernible rise.  I'd realized when mixing up the batter that I accidentally put the salt and baking soda into the butter mixture and thought that was it.  On to the next batch of dough; same problem.

After double-checking my adaption of the recipe with the original, I realized I had done one thing different this time ~ weighed the flour instead of measuring it.  Per the package, 1/4c is 30g so I added 270g of flour.  That was the problem.

I was fortunate to stumble onto a blog entry on just this issue, NestlĂ© Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, at the Cooking for Engineers site. Michael Chu's analysis in this article says it all.  The key takeaway was that I needed more flour ~ about 80g more.

Additional flour added, the next batch was a significant improvement.  This really is a fantastic cookie!

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