Saturday, September 22, 2012

MK's Chocolate Chip Cookies

So for four days a week right now, I keep my grandson during the day while my daughter attends cosmetology school.  Slight change of plans from last year when she was studying nutrition, and the year before that when it was nursing, but for realz, we have nailed her career choice this time.  Really. 

And filling up a long day with activities that don't involve sitting in front of the TV in a stare down with Dora the Explorer when she asks "Does THIS one have stripes and spots?!" can be quite challenging.

(So can some of Dora's questions, but I usually get them right on the second try.)

Naturally, I turn to the kitchen to fill up our time.  And there is nothing in this world like baking with a three year old boy.  It's quite the adventure and I take every opportunity to teach him proper baking methods and important stuff like, you know, how to count to four. 

The only time we really lack in the communication department is when I try to explain that eating cookie dough with raw eggs in it is strictly prohibited for little boys, but since Lolli is not a little boy, the same rules do not apply to her.

Sorry, pookie.  That's just the way of the world.

(Oh, I kid.  I don't eat raw cookie dough in front him.  I do it when he's not looking.)

And when I want to take just one picture, JUST ONE, with him smiling and looking at the camera, you'd think he was doing a commercial shoot for baking products.

I would not, however, give up this time with him for anything in this world.  These are precious, precious memories we are making.  

Messy, precious memories.

Now, I know the world probably needs another chocolate chip cookie recipe like it needs a hole in the head, a new reality TV show, or the resurgence of the popular but oh so wrong eighties' jelly shoe, but here is the recipe I have been tinkering with.  It has two special ingredients, cornstarch and vinegar.  I borrowed the cornstarch from the Levain copycat recipe that floats all over the Internet.  The vinegar came to me by messenger angel one night in a dream.

Kidding.  Again.  

But as I was brainstorming about what I could put in the dough to keep it tender and soft, I was reminded (seriously it may HAVE been an angel whispering in my ear) that I put vinegar in my pie crusts to keep them tender, so maybe I should try that with my cookies.

I did and the result was a tender cookie on the inside with a crispy outside and two thumbs up from my loving family. 

I am not saying this is the best recipe in the whole world (because there are so many versions out there, who really knows), but I am saying that I have made four batches and the masses are begging for more.  Does the vinegar and cornstarch make that much of a difference?  I am not a scientist, so I can't say for sure, but I do know that a little tweak here and there can greatly affect results in baking.  

I have  notes:  

-I did not chill the first batch and I got some beautiful, firm, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, jumbo, bake sale-appropriate cookies.  I used a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop and baked them for about 23 minutes.

 -On the second batch, I chilled my dough for about 20 minutes and got a puffier, tender-on-the-inside, with more irregular-ragged-edges-on-top cookie, looking a tad more like the Levain Bakery cookies.  However, I actually liked the first batch (flatter) better.

The one on the right had been chilled.
The one on the right had been chilled.
-With the third and fourth batch, which I foolishly did not take pictures of, I used a smaller scoop which measured 1/4 cup, MILK chocolate chips, and I only baked them for about 13 minutes or until just barely starting to brown around the edges.  They were very tender and soft, had the beautiful wrinkles on top (as opposed to the bumpy, ragged, golden brown edges of the second batch) and were my favorite. Milk chocolate chips are the way to go in my book.

-Yes, I used salted, not unsalted butter.  There are real bakers cringing right now.  But I'm just being real.

-I love walnuts in my cookies, so next time I am adding walnuts.  Toasted before hand.

Now, my blogging buddy Lisa from Snappy Gourmet had also put a similar spin on her own version, and I recently found this post from her archives.  I thought her post was very informative, so hop on over there to see her notes and recipe.  As with all chocolate chip cookie recipes, they are similar, yet different.

Now go bake some cookies.  Any cookies.  With someone you love who may or may not put their little feet all over your counter and stack butter sticks like building blocks. 

MK's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet, milk, or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixed.  Beat in vinegar and vanilla.   

Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly add to batter and mix just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips by hand until mixed. 

Drop dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheet by 1/2 cupfuls.  (I use a large 1/2 cup measure ice cream scoop.)  Leave about 2 inches in between cookies.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until cookies are set and light golden brown around.  Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Decrease time for smaller cookies.

Psych, Lolli!

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  1. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog, which I found on FoodGawker - I was intrigued by these two unusual ingredients were! I've never made a chocolate chip cookie with vinegar and/or cornstarch, so I've bookmarked this recipe to try out. Awesome photography, by the way - love the colors and soft backgrounds! :)

  2. Those cookies look chewy and delicious! Great pictures!

  3. I am totally going to have to go back and read the recipe but I was entertained by the baking with a three year old boy because I am doing the same thing and my pictures end up very much the same! I have a picture of his face with baking products in front if it. I tell him that I have to take pictures and while my face is covered with the very small point and shoot, he starts cracking eggs on the counter! I love it! I will have to save the recipe to make and the pictures make it good enough that I want to eat it right off the screen :) (This is my first time on the blog, I found you through Mommy Hates Cooking)