Friday, September 4, 2015

Chewy Chocolate Caramel Chip Cookies

Every now and then you need a chewy cookie.  There’s no doubt that crumbly shortbread and crispy butter cookies are the stuff of dreams.  There’s something about a crunchy texture that does the trick.  But sometimes a chewy cookie also clocks in quite well on the cookie meter.

This is a chocolate version of a chewy cookie that is made with cocoa for an earthy chocolate richness and brown sugar for flavor and soft texture.  There’s also a good bit of cinnamon and some caramel chocolate chips to ramp it all up just perfectly.

The cookie dough is mixed in the conventional way by first creaming the butter and sugar and then adding an egg and the dry ingredients.  I recommend chilling the cookie dough overnight if you can to make sure everything has a chance to co-mingle properly.  Bake them for just 12 minutes and then give them a try.  I suggest a nice cup of coffee or cold glass of milk as your partner. 

Bench notes:
- I like to let cookie dough chill overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
- Once you add the flour, do your best not to overmix.  I usually take cookie dough and cake batter off my mixer just right before they’re completely and fully blended and then finish the mixing by hand. 
- For even baking and browning, I bake one cookie sheet at a time in the center rack, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.
- It’s hard to tell when a chocolate cookie is done because you often can’t really see the browning.  For this cookie, it’s better to be slightly underdone or you risk having a dry cookie. I bake these for 12 minutes.  If you’re unsure of your oven, you can try a couple testers before you bake the whole batch.
- Full disclosure:  I did some recipe consulting in May 2014 with Nestle’s development team on their new Toll House chocolate chip flavors.  However, I have not been compensated in any way for the use of their caramel chocolate chips in this recipe.  I really do like this product and would never recommend any ingredient I did not feel to be worth trying no matter the nature of my association with product representatives.

Chewy Chocolate Caramel Chip Cookies
Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 oz) flour
1/4 cup (3/4 oz) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 oz (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter @ room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (2 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (2 3/4 oz) dark brown sugar, packed
1 egg @ room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (3 oz) chocolate chips [I used Nestle Chocolate Caramel Chips]

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 – 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.  Add the egg and mix thoroughly until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl.  Add the vanilla and mix.  Add in the flour mixture and blend until there are no dry streaks.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

For optimal flavor, place the cookie dough in an airtight container and chill overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare two baking sheets with parchment or silpats.  

Shape the cookie dough into 1 1/2” balls and place 12 on each baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes, one baking sheet at a time.  Place the pans on a wire rack to cool. 

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