'Ooks of Comfort


This post isn't about story or editing. It's about comfort and the search for the best chocolate chip cookie.


Chocolate chip 'ooks (as I called them as a kid) are about as traditional a treat as there is. There are as many different recipes--and preparations--as there are people who bake them. So here is mine.


I think they're perfect.


These 'ooks are completely comforting. With a cup of tea or coffee, they offer a small space of warmth in the world. We all need more of that right now.


Makes approximately 3 dozen.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup oat flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon grey sea salt

  • 10 ounces (1 bag) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • an amount of nuts to your liking (I prefer about 5 ounces of pecans)

  • 4 ounces cocoa nibs (optional)

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) room temp unsalted butter

  • 4 ounces room temp shortening

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar, preferably molasses sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions:


(I used my Kitchenaid to mix this up because I'm lazy. You can do it with an electric beater or by hand)

  1. Position the oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

  2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and shortening on low speed until fairly smooth. Add both sugars, and beat until the mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary.

  5. Add vanilla.

  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.

  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Stir in the chocolate, nuts and cocoa nibs (if using), ensuring the chocolate, etc, is evenly incorporated.

  8. Refrigerate dough for at least a half an hour.

  9. Shape dough into golf ball sized nuggets. Arrange six to eight cookies on each pan, leaving about two inches between them, because the dough will spread somewhat.

  10. Bake for twelve minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden, switching the position and rotating pans halfway through baking.

  11. Cool cookies completely on the parchment or Silpats on racks before eating ... if you can.

These cookies improve with time. If you have any from the day before, you'll notice that their texture has improved, and the flavors melded into a wonderful harmony.

The dough can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to five days or frozen for up to two weeks. Defrost frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking.


I only cook a dozen at a time and leave the rest of the dough, well-wrapped, in the fridge. Otherwise, I'll eat them all. For realz.


A couple of notes on ingredients:

  • People are passionate about their chocolate. Dark, semi-sweet, a mix. Use what you love.

  • I like the chocolate distribution I get with mini-morsels rather than chunks or standard chocolate chips.

  • Cocoa nibs add a spike of chocolate liqueur flavor and zing. If you don't have any, or don't like them, don't use them.

  • The oat flour is essential to the perfection of this recipe. Replace it with all-purpose if you are okay with just normally good 'ooks.

  • I've tried both normal C&H brown sugar, and higher end brown sugar. There's a slight difference in flavor, but I like both.

Let me know if you make these, and what you think! Happy baking!





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All books referenced here or on my blog can be found at bookshop.org, an independent book service