Friday, June 5, 2015

Ultra Thin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

When esteemed chocolate expert and cookbook author Alice Medrich advises, I listen.  Her cookbooks are flawless examples of thorough testing and expertise, which result in reliably superb pastries and desserts.  It’s no wonder every cookbook she releases is an instant hit and award winner.

Alice is particularly proficient at creating wonderful cookies.  It’s interesting to note that her recipe for this Ultra Thin Chocolate Chunk Cookies comes with a few very explicit dos and don’ts.  They’re not terribly complicated but they are necessary to achieve the right taste and texture: a dramatically large, ultra thin and crisp cookie loaded with caramel flavor and wonderful bites of chocolate.

First, you need to let the cookie dough rest overnight for maximum flavor.  Second, these cookies need to be baked on foil for the cookie to acquire the right level of crispness.  And since these cookies spread out to about a 5” diameter, you’ll need to place only 5 per sheet pan.  You’ll also need to flatten the cookie dough to a diameter of about 3 1/2” before baking so they’ll spread out properly.  Lastly, the cookies need to bake for 20 – 25 minutes to achieve the right caramelization and super crisp texture.  If you don’t bake them until they take on some good color, they won’t crisp up after they cool.

So, if you don’t mind playing by the rules, give this recipe a try.  You’ll wind up with quite a good snappy cookie, a worthy departure from the usual chocolate chip variety.  

Bench notes:
- Do follow Alice’s advice on all these steps and you’ll get a full-flavored cookie that really snaps.
- Make sure the dough is cool after adding the melted butter before you add the chocolate chunks so they won’t melt while mixing.
- If you need to bake these cookies the same day, let the dough rest for a few hours at room temperature.
- Slide the cookies and foil onto wire racks and proceed to the third batch.  Let the cookies cool on the foil.
- A small offset spatula is very handy for removing the cookies after they’ve cooled.
- The cookies will keep in an airtight container for about 3 days.  Good luck with that.

Ultra Thin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes fifteen 5” cookies

5 oz (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter                           
1 1/3 cups (170 grams) flour                   
1/2 teaspoon baking soda                                                                       
1/2 cup (42 grams) oatmeal                                            
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar                                      
1/4 cup (50 grams) dark brown sugar, packed                        
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (55 grams) light corn syrup
2 tablespoons whole milk                                                            
1/2 teaspoon salt                                                                           
7 ounces (200 grams) bittersweet (72%) chocolate, coarsely chopped into small chunks
Melt the butter and set aside to cool.

Whisk together the flour and baking soda and set aside.

In a separate bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, stir together the melted butter, oats, both sugars, corn syrup, milk, and salt.  Add the flour mixture and combine thoroughly.  Stir in the chocolate chunks.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Position your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces, each one a scant 1/4 cup (or 50 grams each if you have a scale).

Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil.  Place 5 pieces of dough (4 in a square pattern and 1 in the center) on each sheet of foil. Use your fingers to flatten each piece to about 3 1/2” in diameter. 

Bake until the cookies are thin and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.  Slide the foil with the cookies onto racks and leave them on the foil to cool completely.


SallyBR said...

I think I would be happy just following your cookie=baking adventures, it seems to me every cookie you blog about brings a smile to my face

I've wanted to make those thin almond crisps for the longest time, but now I think these are even more appealing

(I loved the "good luck with that" remark... )

pastry studio said...

You know, it's funny. I never really baked cookies until I went to pastry school. We didn't eat much pastry at all growing up. But wow, do I see why people love cookies so much. They're a blast!!