5.15.2013

It has come to my attention...

...that today is also National Chocolate Chip day.  And with a preliminary note about the importance of buying fair trade chocolate, I offer you the following without further ado:

Melissa Bastian's Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 tsp ground flaxseed
4 Tbsp warm water
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
Optional: 1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/3 cups margarine (yes, almost three sticks... it's a lot of cookies!)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
4 tsp vanilla extract
8 to 12 ounces {vegan, fair trade} chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Set out your margarine to soften. Line at least two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. (You don't have to use parchment paper for these, but it just makes cleanup so darned easy! If you're not using it, use nonstick sheets or better yet a combo of a nonstick sheet with a very light coating of baking spray or oil. Very light!)

The first thing you're going to do is make your flax "eggs". If you haven't done this before, it's awesome. Apparently you can just mix the ground flaxseed with warm water and let it sit, so if you don't have a vegetable chopper no worries. But if you do have one, well that's my preferred method. Combine the water and ground flaxseed in the chopper, and pulse/blend for a few minutes until the mixture basically reaches the consistency of egg whites. It really will! It's kind of creepy, but very good for your cookies. Set aside.

Combine your dry ingredients minus sugars (flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon if you're using it).

In a separate, large bowl (and if you're making the full recipe, I mean LARGE), cream the sugars and softened (not melted!) margarine together until they reach a nice creamy even consistency. I find that sometimes this is a two spatula job - as in hold one spatula (or spoon) in each hand and work the mixture into itself by pushing the implements together. Just do it and you'll see what I mean. Then mix in your flax eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until completely homogeneous.

Now begin adding your drys. Sift some and mix, sift some and mix. The more you add the more difficult it will become to stir (duh), so I hope you have a strong shoulder. Mix until consistent - if you find any brown sugar lumps crumble them with your fingers. If they're too hard for that, probably better to just toss them out. (And if there are many that are too hard, you probably need new brown sugar!)

Now for your favorite part - chocolate chips! Fold those suckers in. Remember that if you OD on chips, your cookies may not hold together - you want to have a good cookie-to-chip ratio. This looks like a crazy amount of chips, but considering how much dough is under there it's just about right. Don't cheap out on your chips. Good chocolate chips is one of the secrets to good chocolate chip cookies. Like, duh. And when buying chocolate, consider your sources - there's some wicked stuff going on in the chocolate market (and I mean that literally).

This dough refrigerates well. So if you're like me, and you do something silly and short-sighted like start making cookie dough at eleven o'clock at night, and then need to go to bed, s'ok. Just cover it up, stick it in the fridge, and put off the fun part until tomorrow. If you pre-heated your oven thinking you were gonna power through, you probably wanna turn that off. It's a little pricey and not terribly safe as a heater.

Moon... stars... sunrise... TIME TO BAKE!

I have to say, baking cookies is an awesome way to start the day. Don't know if I could do it every day, but it sure put a smile on my face this weekend.

Alright. So what you want to do here is roll your dough into (to steal a PPK-ism) "walnut" sized balls and place them at least two inches apart on your baking sheets. These suckers spread like whoa. When placing them on the sheet, I also squish them down just a little bit with my palm. You can spoon them out instead of rolling, but they come out in nicer rounder shapes if you roll. Rolling, of course, is far easier if the dough has gone into the fridge for a while.  And I do use a spoon to help me get the right amount of dough for the balls.

Bake for 12 minutes in your pre-heated oven. Let them cool for at least five minutes before you eat them - they come out VERY soft. Actually, they come out downright puffy, and you'll think something has gone terribly wrong. But within a couple of minutes they sort of collapse, which unlike when your souffle does it is a good thing, and become just like you want them to be. DELICIOUS.

1 comment:

  1. I believe you sent me a large container of these in the mail a few years ago and they were -hands down- the greatest thing the post office has ever managed to deliver. I can't wait to make these, thanks for sharing!!

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