Hye Thyme Cafe: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies : Hye Thyme Cafe

Because I haven't made them in so long, I've had Chocolate Chip Cookies on the brain lately. I have been putting off making them because I didn't want to eat them all! I finally broke down. I figured I would make one tray and freeze the rest for another time. Then I started thinking about how there are different camps when it comes to Chocolate Chip Cookies. Some like them thin and crispy, others like them thick and chewy, and still others like them big and soft. Personally, I have always used the Nestle Toll House recipe, which leans more toward the thin and crispy.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies : Hye Thyme Cafe
See the difference ??
I decided to switch things up this time and go for a chewier batch, which is said to be achieved by using butter that has been melted rather than room temp butter being creamed together with the sugar. Thinking about how when I make Congo Bars, the sugars are stirred into the hot melted butter and allowed to cool together, that's what I did here. I just looked up Alton Brown's recipe and see that he melts and cools the butter then beats it with the sugars.

Another thing I kept in mind from having recently reviewed Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever is that she commented about how it's the fat that carries the flavor, so rather than creaming together the butter and sugars, then adding the eggs and vanilla, I added the vanilla to the butter right away.

2/3 c (10T) butter, melted
1 c light brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
2 t vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
Mix-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, candies...)

Heat the butter until it just begins to bubble, then turn off the heat and stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla. Set aside to cool for 10-15".

In the meantime, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

When the butter/sugar mixture has cooled enough to not cook the eggs, go ahead and add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until well incorporated.

Next, stir in the flour mixture, in three batches, until evenly distributed.

Finish by stirring in your mix-ins. I usually prefer milk chocolate chips over semi-sweet. If I have them in the house, I'll use some milk and some white chocolate. Better still, if I have any Heath Bar chocolate-covered toffee bits, I'll throw some of those in as well. I never measure the mix-ins. I just add until it looks like a good ratio. Sometimes I like more, sometimes less. I almost never add nuts to my cookies, but when I do, I prefer pecans to walnuts.

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment.  

To be honest, I never measure my cookies either. I just use a spoon to scoop out a blob and drop it onto my prepared pan. Whether they're big or small, I just make sure they're roughly the same size per tray so they bake evenly. I think that might go back to my failed attempts at using a cookie scoop. After breaking a few over the years - two unintentionally then one by throwing it  - I was using one at my sister's house one day, and it finally hit me ... I'm a lefty!! The scoops are made for right-handed folks. I could squeeze the handle, then scoop the dough, then release, but even having realized that, I still can't be bothered.

Bake 15-18" until golden, then allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to racks.

Stir sugars and vanilla into melted butter
Stir flour into sugar/butter mixture, then add mix-ins

Drop onto parchment-lined sheets and bake at 350 until golden

Cool 2-3" on tray before transferring to racks.

The verdict?  I did enjoy them fresh out of the oven, and they were chewy, but the next day, I found them to be almost hard on the outside (not the same as crispy). Also, with the melting and cooling of the butter and finding that they take longer to bake, I'd rather skip the extra time and stick with the regular Nestle Toll House version. As for the vanilla, I really didn't notice a difference, having added it to the butter. I will try that in other things though, because it does sound logical to me.

Fortunately, I did not bake the whole batch. I made one tray of cookies and froze the rest, which brings me to another issue ... why do people scoop cookies, freeze them separately on trays, then throw them together in a zip-top bag or container to keep in the freezer?? To me, that takes up too much time AND space. Personally, I roll the dough into a log, wrap it in waxed paper (rounding it out as you roll) and, if it's a lot, foil. If it's just a small batch, I'll wrap it in waxed paper and then stick it in a zip-top bag. I then slip it right in the freezer, and when I want cookies, I just unroll it and slice off as many as I want to bake.

Place extra in center of a sheet of waxed paper.
Shape into a log on the waxed paper.

Roll into a tube in waxed paper.
Wrap in foil and freeze.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies : Hye Thyme Cafe

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