Friday, September 26, 2008

White & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ying and yang, Regis and Kathy Lee, some opposites were meant to be together, dark and white chocolate brought into harmony by delicious and simple cookie dough. I have never understood milk chocolate eaters, either you eat dark or you eat white. Milk chocolate, lives in a realm of ambiguity that leaves you feeling unsettled; much the same as Clay Aiken and the people that answer a question with another question. Long and short of it, if you are going to eat chocolate, eat chocolate; don’t mess about with a milk candy confection when there is good chocolate to be had.
About good chocolate, if there is a trick to good food, it is good ingredients and good tools. There is one factor in chocolate chip cookie, it is the chocolate. The reigning king is AMEDEI, PORCELANA, 70% Dark, Single Origin Chocolate Bar, but at just over $100 a pound, I dare not bake with this. High sultan of the baking kingdom is France’s Tain L'Hermitage Valhrona. At first glance you might have visions of astronomically overpriced stale chocolate from Sur La Table, instead look in your humble Trader Joe’s impulse buy candy shelves near the checkout. At under $2 a bar, how can you pass it up? Should your patriotism inspire your cooking, San Francisco has some phenomenal chocolate. Seeing that I was a young child in that great culinary epicenter, Ghirardelli will always have a place in my heart. I love their white chocolate bars that I chunk by hand, or their semisweet oversized, kiss shaped chips. This is the kind of chocolate that makes the likes of Nestle and Tollhouse, blush for shame, as they should.

Tools: Parchment Paper, get it, you need it, don’t argue… just go. You needn’t bother yourself with expensive slip mats. Slip mats are wonderful but they are for candy making, cookies and other baked confections need parchment paper. Ok, I am off my soap box. Don’t you feel sorry for my Sunday school kids? Well, don’t feel too bad, I do bake for them.

The cookie recipe itself: I must confess I have been sucked into the vacuum that is the food blogosphere, and I love many a food blog. Hi, my name is Sandy, and I am addicted to food blogging. Smitten Kitchen has wonderful recipes, out of homage to this great communiqué portico these delicious bites of heaven were made and out of my impetuousness this recipe has been slightly modified.

Now the diatribe, my great American novel, is finally complete, please try these delicious, simple, crispy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside cookies.

The very good stuff:

½ cup of sugar bowl sugar
½ cup of brown sugar
1 stick of butter softened overnight
1 egg
1 teaspoon Tahitian Vanilla
½ teaspoon bicarb
1 and ¼ cup of all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of best quality chocolate chips (no less that 65% cocoa)
4 oz bar of dark chocolate chunked (again no less that 65% cocoa)
4 oz bar of white chocolate chunked
Crank your oven to 350 F.

One at a time, in the order that it is written, throw your ingredients into your standing mixer and let her rip. I am sure that you don’t need to do them in that order; just habits are hard to break. Spoon them out on to your parchment clad baking sheets. Leave plenty of room to spread otherwise you will have a tasty blob reminiscent of B-rated sci-fi films. I heart my mini ice-cream scooper…
Bake for 7 minutes, then turn the pans 180 degrees, and bake for another 4 minutes. Rack'em up to cool.

Or don’t bake at all the cookie dough is phenomenal, a far cry from the prepackaged highly marketed cookie dough in your supermarket's refrigeration case.

As always, much love, many blessings, happy baking!

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