Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
The holidays are coming and throughout my little social network, cookies seem to come up at least once a day. Usually by me, but everyones chiming in on how they have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe or they're going on and on about mine, hoping to get a piece of this years cookie giveaway.
Baking holiday cookies and wrapping them up all pretty has been a family tradition since my sister and I were old enough to say "spatula". We'd spend a whole week baking every night until the kitchen table was covered with tray loads of multi colored spritz cookies, pinwheel cookies, thumbprint cookies and of course chocolate chip cookies. My mothers Betty Crocker Cookie Book as sticky and crusted and warped and shriveled as it became over the years had been commandeered by my sister ages ago so she could continue the tradition with her kids. She made a chocolate chip cookie bar last week from that book that I have to admit was pretty damn good.
I have been left to my own devices over years of cookie baking and I'm auditioning new recipes to replace The Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie that I've been making for 15 years now. I still have the original Good Housekeeping Holiday Issue from 1995.
The plan is to put the UPBCCC to a Little Kitchen taste test this Thanksgiving by giving select family, friends and co-workers the opportunity to determine if it remains on the Little Kitchen Christmas Cookie Tray . Last night I baked up a new recipe I found at Amateur Gourmet. It's from Eric Wolitzky, one of this seasons contestants on Top Chef Just Desserts. It's one of those fat, moist and chewies that I'm sorta diggin' now since I purchased my new size 24 cookie scoop a few weeks back. This cookie is pretty awesome.
The cookies pictured above are the from the Americas Test Kitchen website from Season 6 of the TV show. They call it the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie.  It's their improvement on the Toll House bag recipe. These cookies are pretty damn good too...everything tastes better with browned butter. I had printed out the recipe several weeks ago and when I went back to the website, after I'd baked the cookies, I noticed an ironic point. In the episode where this cookie appeared ATK also did a chocolate chip taste test and it was determined that the actual Toll House chip was not recommended. In fact tasters pretty much trashed it as tasting like "cheap Halloween candy". Top ratings went to Ghirardelli and some other hifalutin' designer chocolate I can't remember now.
Now I'm curious about the difference. Both new recipes were made with an old bag of Toll House semi-sweet chips I had left over from last years Smart and Final economy bag. I ran out in the middle of the Eric Wolitzky recipe and had to chop up several bars from my freezer to fill up the 21 ounces (first use of my new $30 digital kitchen scale). That was A LOT of chocolate..not that there's anything wrong with that...well other than I've been using an inferior chip all these years. Meh...I'll just foist those ones off on my co-workers.

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