Cookies
Cookies Photo by Limor Laniado Tiroche
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There’s no denying the everlasting popularity of the chocolate chip cookie. A vast array of versions, textures, and additives to the originally American cookie can be found on nearly every continent.

In its most traditional form, the cookie dough is basic and consists of white flour, white sugar, and dark brown sugar, which contains a high concentration of molasses that gives the cookie its caramel flavor. Besides chocolate chips, some people add nuts, coconut and raisins.

The original recipe was invented, apparently by accident, by an American woman named Ruth Wakefield. In 1930, she and her husband opened a roadside lodge in an old tollhouse in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts, on the highway between Boston and New Bedford.

They owed much of their reputation to the Butter Drop Do cookies they served to their guests. One morning Wakefield went into the kitchen to make the butter cookies and discovered that she was out of baker’s chocolate.

She found a bar of semi-sweet chocolate in the pantry and decided to use that instead. To her surprise, the chopped-up chocolate chunks retained their original shape instead of melting into the batter, creating the famous soft and chewy Toll House Cookie.

Wakefield went on to become a dietician.

The name of the game here is freshness and good chocolate. Quality chocolate with at least 50% cocoa will balance out the dough’s sweetness and give the cookie its character.

It’s best to take the butter out of the fridge about an hour before baking so you’ll be able to cream it properly to achieve the right consistency for the dough to produce chewy cookies.

For the cookies to be light and airy you have to sift the flour together with the other dry ingredients. Salt is very important: it cuts the sweetness and creates balance.

Refrain as much as possible from overworking the dough. Working the dough lightly will yield crispier cookies.

This dough can be made in advance, shaped into balls, and stored in the freezer, ready for you to defrost the desired amount for baking a batch of fresh hot cookies.

Chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients ‏
(30-40 cookies‏):
230 grams butter at room temperature
100 grams ‏ dark brown sugar
100 grams ‏ white sugar
2 eggs
325 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
300 grams chocolate chips, or chopped bittersweet chocolate
 

Preparation:

Cream the butter with both kinds of sugar in an electric mixer on medium for about 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Add the egg one at a time and beat. Add the mixture of dry ingredients and beat lightly. Mix the chocolate in by hand. Shape the dough into balls the size of an egg yolk, flatten a bit, and place in a baking dish lined with baking paper. Bake for 12 minutes to get soft-chew cookies and 15 minutes for crispy cookies. Allow the cookies to cool in the baking dish before moving them to a cooling rack.

White Chocolate Hazelnut Cranberry Cookies

Ingredients ‏
(35-40 cookies‏):
230 grams butter at room temperature
100 grams dark brown sugar
100 grams ‏ white sugar
2 eggs
325 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
200 grams white chocolate chips, or chopped white chocolate
200 grams sweetened cranberries in apple juice concentrate
250 grams raw hazelnuts
For chocolate decoration:
100 grams bittersweet chocolate
100 grams white chocolate

Preparation:
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for three minutes, give them a shake and continue roasting for another three minutes. Rub the nuts between your hands to their brown casing. I recommend leaving a bit of the casing. Cream the butter and both kinds of sugar in an electric mixer on medium for about 10 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat. Add the mixture of dry ingredients and beat briefly. Add the white chocolate and cranberries and mix by hand. Form the dough into balls the size of an egg yolk, flatten them a bit and stud each with four hazelnuts. Place the cookies on the bottom of a baking dish lined with paper. Bake in 180 degree Celsius oven for 12 minutes to get soft-chew cookies and 15 minutes for crispy cookies. Allow the cookies to cool in the baking dish before moving them to a cooling rack.

Melt the remaining white chocolate in a bain-marie or in the microwave. Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate in asymmetrical lines on each cookie. Do the same with the bittersweet chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Spelt Flour and Raisins

Ingredients
‏(30-40 cookies‏):
230 grams butter at room temperature
200 grams ‏ dark brown sugar
2 eggs
200 grams white spelt flour
200 grams ground oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon Amaretto
200 grams chocolate chips, or chopped bittersweet chocolate
200 grams black raisins or dried cranberries
For decoration:
100 grams chopped pecans
100 grams raisins

Preparation:
Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer on medium for about 10 minutes. Heat an oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat. Add the mixture of dry ingredients and beat slightly. Add the Amaretto, chocolate chips, and raisins, and mix by hand. Form into balls the size of an egg yolk, flatten a bit and decorate with chopped pecans and raisins. Arrange in a baking dish lined with baking paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool before moving them to a cooling rack.

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