Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies: Chips v. Chopped Chocolate

I wish I had a recipe to post today, but I don't.  I am in the process of testing chocolate chip cookie recipes in order to find the perfect recipe for me.  I have one that I have been making for years, which I enjoy well enough,  but it isn't quite perfect.  To me, the perfect chocolate chip cookie has a slightly crisp exterior with a soft chewy interior and lots and lots of chocolate.  My recipe doesn't quite measure up and I have yet to find one that does.

A few days ago, I decided to at least start working on the lots-and-lots-of-chocolate part. Ahem, the most important part.  For years I have heard that you get the best cookies when you don't use chips and chop up some quality chocolate instead.  To be honest, I wasn't sure if I bought it.  I was happy using good quality chocolate chips and leaving it at that.  Taking time to chop chocolate when I could buy a bag of little chocolate pieces seemed nonsensical.  But, curiosity finally got the best of me so I took my old recipe, which called for a bag of chocolate chips and then chopped ten ounces of milk chocolate and four ounces of bittersweet chocolate with almonds (I wouldn't normally use a chocolate with nuts in it for cookies, but I accidentally picked it up instead of a plain bittersweet bar).

This experience has converted me.  From now on, chocolate chips will be for emergencies only.  Not only were the cookies more chocolaty because I used more chocolate than the recipe called for, but they were also more chocolaty because, along with large chunks of chocolate, there were also tiny bits of chocolate mixed right into the dough.  Instead of having bites with chocolate and bites without, each bite of these cookies contained at least a little bit of chocolate.  Also, the chocolate itself had much more flavor than even the most expensive chips I have ever purchased.  However, in the future I would like to use more bittersweet chocolate and less milk chocolate because I think it is a nice foil to the sweet cookie dough, but that is all a matter of personal preference.

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