Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tara’s great chocolate chip cookies

Tara's great choc chip cookies / Os deliciosos cookies com gotas de chocolate da Tara

As much as I like making different things in the kitchen, there are certain recipes – the classics, if you will – that I keep coming back to: a good crème caramel, a chocolate mousse for when people come over for dinner, brownies to cheer friends up, and chocolate chip cookies, the ones I saw on American movies as a teenager.

I wasn’t so thrilled with the last batches of chocolate chip cookies I made, and because of that I did not even shared the recipes with you: some of them lacked flavor, some spread like crazy on the baking sheets and turned out as flat as a sheet of paper… Disappointments. But the ones I bring to you today are the complete opposite: they taste delicious, look beautiful and the dough is super easy to make – you don’t even have to wait for the butter to soften. These cookies are exactly what I wanted when I set out to make them – sheer perfection. I shared them with my family and some friends and all I heard was compliments – now I feel like sharing the recipe with you, for it is such a huge success. I have Tara O’Brady to thank for – not only has she a published a beautiful cookbook but has also restored my faith in chocolate chip cookie recipes. :)

Tara’s great chocolate chip cookies
barely adapted from Tara O'Brady, via Apt. 2B

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, chopped
3 ¼ cups (455g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon table salt
1 ½ cups (262g) light brown sugar, packed
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
300g (10oz) semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa
flaky salt, to finish – I used Maldon

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over the lowest heat possible, stirring occasionally. Take care that the butter does not sizzle or bubble which means it's losing moisture. Cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt. Set aside. Pour the melted butter into a large bowl and whisk in the sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until just combined. Stir in the vanilla. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir in the dry ingredients until barely blended. When things are still looking a bit floury, stir in the chocolate until all of the ingredients are just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into balls using 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie and arrange them on the prepared pans, leaving 5cm (2in) between each cookie. While baking each batch, keep the remaining dough in the fridge. If you don’t want to bake all the cookies at once, refrigerate the dough balls loosely covered, overnight.)

To bake, sprinkle each cookie with a bit of sea salt and bake until the tops are cracked and cookies are golden, especially around the edges, 15-18 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then slide the paper off the sheet onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 38

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