Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chocolate chip cookies

I first heard about The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook through my good friend Kim at Just Baked. This cookbook is written by a lovely married couple out of Savannah, Georgia, and the book is filled with traditional Southern-style desserts.

I added this cookbook to my holiday wish list and was thrilled that my sister-in-law bought it for me. The travel during the holidays (and a lingering cold/sinus virus) left me a bit groggy, so I opted to bake something simple once I returned home. I thought that chocolate chip cookies would do the trick.

While I am still on the hunt for my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, this one comes pretty close. Other varieties that I've baked tasted good the day-of but got hard or stale the next day. Some started out puffy and deflated like a balloon during cooling. But these did not. The outsides of the cookies were slightly crispy and the insides were chewy and soft. The addition of sea salt flakes on the tops gave a nice contrast to the sweet cookie interiors.

Thanks, Kim, for introducing me to this cookbook, and thank you Andrea for this gift. I can't wait to try the authors' additional recipes.

Chocolate chip cookies
  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/4 tsp fine sea salt (I used Maldon sea salt flakes)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
  • Fleur de sel for sprinkling (I used Maldon sea salt flakes)
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (I used my imitation Silpat).

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer), cream the butter, white and brown sugars and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add both eggs and mix for no longer than a minute - the eggs will not be fully incorporated. Turn the mixer speed down to low and add the dry ingredients in three increments. Mix until just combined.  Add the chocolate chunks in while the mixer on low. Mix until chocolate chunks are just incorporated.

Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, drop the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets and be sure to leave at least 2 inches between each scoop (they will spread). Lightly sprinkle sea salt on the top of each cookie ball and gently press down to make sure the salt doesn't fall off.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for about 15-18 minutes (mine baked for 15). Make sure to rotate the pans halfway through baking (I was lazy and skipped this step). The cookies will be golden brown around the edges. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them rest on a wire rack. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. They can also be frozen as well!

Yield: The cookbook says this yields 2 dozen cookies, but I used a medium cookie scoop and got 3 dozen.

Source: The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day, page 172
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