Sunday, May 4, 2014

#1 Rule in Baking, Broken.

Who taught you to bake/cook? 
In my case it was Mrs. Pederson and Mrs. Selland, my 4-H leaders. 
I hope they won't be too disappointed to learn I broke one of the rules they tried so hard to teach me: Read the entire recipe before you begin.
When King Arthur (my baking bible) announced they had finally found the best chocolate chip cookie recipe on Joy Wilson's, aka Joy the Bakerfood blog I knew I had to make them. 
We've discussed my obsession with browned butter.
I quickly scanned the ingredient list and determined I indeed had all the items listed.
Who doesn't have butter, brown sugar and chocolate chips on hand?
Between loads of laundry and checking Facebook I began with the first entry in the directions without reading the whole recipe. And that's when it was decided that I would be making a double recipe of these cookies, thank goodness they are "the best"!
As you will soon read, the amount of butter called for is divided and mixed into the batter using totally different techniques. Mistake #1 fixed.
Not to be deterred by my stupidity I paid closer attention to the next few sets of instructions and finished mixing the dough properly. 
I located the correct sized cookies scoop, (I own 6 different sizes & I am aware I have a problem) portioned out the dough and put the pan in the oven while checking to see the bake time suggested.   
I then noticed the recipe states to chill the dough for 30 minutes before baking. 
Drat, mistake #2. 
So I put the rest of the dough in the fridge, I had plenty *see mistake #1.
But I persevered and convinced myself that it would at least make a good blog post since I could post a photo of cookies baked before and after chilling the dough. 
Exhibit 1 below:
See the difference?

Exhibit 2:
How about now?

No? Me either. So apparently not all directions are that important.
Why am I even making chocolate chip cookies when I have umpteen orders of sugar cookies to fill for the May DOTMC?
But they are very good chocolate chip cookies. 
The best? I say yes, as does my son and all his fellow soldiers. This recipe is the most requested care package cookie. 
But you decide.

Joy's Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans
1 c butter
1 c br sugar
2 t vanilla
1 t molasses 
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 c flour
1 t salt 
1 t baking soda
1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped pecans
sea salt
1) Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2) Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It'll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan at intervals. The butter will become fragrant, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.
3) Beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.
4) Beat in the vanilla and molasses.
5) Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.
6) Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for another minute.
7) Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.
8) Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
9) Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before you're ready to begin baking, preheat your oven to 350°F, with the racks in the center/upper third.
10) Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Each will weigh about 1 ounce (28g). Leave about 2" between the cookies; they'll spread as they bake.
11) Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste — as much or as little as you like.
12) Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.

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