Classic cookie recipes need only tiny changes

Tinkering with recipes is something of a specialty for me. So who am I to discourage my husband from finding a “better” chocolate-chip cookie recipe while browsing the Internet?

But when he turns up one that calls for melting the butter, I’m compelled to speak up. “You know that melting butter, according to conventional Betty Crocker baking wisdom, results in flat cookies, right?”

Him: “Which recipe would you use?” Me: “The one on the package of Toll House Morsels; works every time.”

“Bah,” he scoffed by way of reply, certain that any recipe would be more rewarding than something so old-school. So melt the butter, he did, and I tried not to look as the dollops of cookie dough, exposed to the oven’s heat, dissolved into a single puddle that covered the baking sheet from end to end.

“They’re still pretty good,” he ventured, knowing full well that I prefer moist, chewy cookies and would just as soon skip a thin, crispy cookie. For his blasphemy against a pound of organic butter, I like to think karma made him the victim of a workplace prank involving a batch of proper chocolate-chip cookies baked by his mom. No amount of threats against his co-workers could reveal the unfortunate treats’ whereabouts until they turned up inside a container of ice cream.

I will assert that minor, almost imperceptible, adjustments to classic recipes can yield a certain je ne sais quoi. Take an already delicious cookie and infuse it with a single, distinctive ingredient, such as fine-quality salt.

The following recipe is one that I intend to try with some fine sea salt, purchased by a dear friend as a souvenir during her travels in Slovenia, where salt was used as currency centuries ago.

Tribune News Service photo

Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Sea Salt

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon small- to medium-grain coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups broken-up chocolates

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until mixture is fluffy, about for 3 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix until cookie batter is fully incorporated. Finally, add the chocolate chunks until well-distributed. Batter should be somewhat thick.

For each cookie, drop about 2 tablespoons dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes until edges are golden-brown.

Makes 3 dozen generous-size cookies.

Recipe from Stephanie Acho-Tartoni of Chocolates by Renée in Northville, Mich., courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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