In which I try to improve my baking – chocolate chip cookies

I am a pretty good cook, but I’ve never felt that confident at baking, it’s like some sort of magic, you put a load of goo into the oven and then it comes out and it’s transformed into something yummy. So I’ve been trying to bake more recently, and make up my own recipes, and generally try to understand how it works a bit better.

Last week someone posted a recipe on LSG for the most awesome chocolate chip cookies in the world, and I decided I had to make them. The problem was, the recipe was all in American, so it needed some amending. Firstly I had to work out a suitable substitute for ‘cake flour’, as that doesn’t exist in the UK, then I had to convert the cups to weight measurements, then I had to reduce the amount of butter as I refuse to use more than one pack of butter in any recipe. Then I had to make up for the fact I appear to not have any bicarb, I probably used it all for cleaning, or left it somewhere else in the house. Oh, and I added way less chocolate than asked for, mostly because I didn’t have enough, but also because holy fuck 1 1/3lbs of chocolate is a lot.

So here is my adapted recipe, which turned out reaaaaaaaaally well, and although it was an obscenely large amount of dough which turned into 25 huuuuge cookies, they still all got eaten in record time.

275g 00 grade flour
275g strong white flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
250g butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
260g granulated sugar
250g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
300g chocolatey bits (I used a bag of chocolate chips and a bag of chocolate buttons).

It is probably better that you use the recipe linked above if you want a detailed description of what to do, along with photos. This is just a short summary of what I did when I made these cookies.

1) Sift flours, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside
2) Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until fully blended, then add one egg at a time while mixing. Add the vanilla and the oil. Slowly add in dry ingredients while mixing. Marvel at the vast quantity of dough produced. Realise that the mixer may well break if you abuse it any further. Wish you were rich enough to own a Kitchenaid mixer. Pour chocolate chips into bowl and work them into the dough with your hands to save the poor old mixer.
3) Cover with clingfilm (so the film actually touches the dough, no air space) and put in the fridge for 24 hours or so. If, like me, you feel that 25 monster cookies is just TOO MANY COOKIES, you can make them into circular lumps now and put them in a tray in the freezer, then when they are frozen transfer them to a bag, then you can have instant cookies whenever you want them! I actually defrosted them before baking, but there is one left lurking in the freezer for me to attempt to cook from frozen and see how it turns out.
4) Take bowl of dough out of the fridge about an hour before you want to bake, because it will be solid and need time to soften up again. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Make balls of dough about 2 tablespoons in volume and squish them into circular lumps about 1.5cm thick (they will flatten and widen more during cooking) and put them on foil on a baking tray. Bake for 11 minutes, or until cookies are starting to brown. After a few minutes cooling in the tray, transfer them to a wire cooling rack and try and resist eating them for as long as possible.


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