We’ve got another post curated by our resident Tonight’s Better Together Chef, Joe Choi. He’s got a two part recipe offering the best dang plain bondies or chocolate chip blondies that can be adapted into chocolate chip cookies for your consuming pleasure. Read on to see how he takes a simple recipe to the next level just in time for date night.
It just so happened that my lovely friends, Eric and Stacey, managed to stop by my little hometown of Spokane on their move back west. We decided to make the best of it and collaborated on a recipe together, in person for once. It was a hot and muggy afternoon so we figured what better way to enjoy a summer day than with fresh baked desserts and some ice cream. I was told they had already posted a phenomenal chocolate chip cookie recipe but I implored them to try my personal chocolate chip cookie recipe that could easily be converted into a blondie recipe. To top it off, a little non-dairy, peanut butter banana ice cream (you’ll have to wait for the ice cream recipe, coming soon! It’s worth it, trust me).
I think it’s safe to say that everyone has a chocolate chip cookie recipe whether it’s your grandmother’s recipe or a recipe you found online. All of them end up with different results, flavors, textures, shapes, and colors. A lot of the variation in the results come from little tweaks in the ratio of the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is not the end-all be-all golden ratio of the chocolate chip cookie. I think that recipe is long forgotten. What my recipe is, is one I feel gives a great chewy texture, nice crispiness on the outside, good chip to cookie ratio, and a nice shelf life. I typically will make a huge batch of cookie dough at once so that I can freeze the dough and have ready-to-bake cookies whenever I need to quell my sweet tooth. Below I will explain the recipe like we are making blondies, since that’s what we ended up photographing, but at the very end I will put my cookie recipe which uses the exact same technique and instruction.
Chocolate Chip Blondies
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups chocolate chips (sometimes I like to mix ½ cup dark, ½ cup white, and ½ cup semi sweet)
I like to separate the ingredients into four bowls to help organize or “Mise en Place” everything. Put in the butter and sugar in your main mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Side note: sifting your dry ingredients helps disperse all the microscopic granules and creates tiny air pockets that help with making a homogenous dough which in turn will improve the crumb structure and the texture of the final product. Lastly, measure out the chocolate chips, though, typically a regular bag of chips from the store is just about the right amount so I sometimes just open the bag and pour them in. You can add as many chips as your sweet tooth desires. With all the ingredients measured and grouped into stages, you are ready to put everything together.
First, you want to cream the sugar(s) and the butter together. The point of “creaming” is to make the two ingredients homogenized and smooth. I remember being instructed in school to cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is very light in color and almost white, which means leaving your stand mixer on for 10 to 15 minutes with the paddle attachment on medium to medium-high. If you don’t have a stand mixer, I suggest making sure the butter is soft and to use a rubber spatula to get the mixture as smooth as possible. Next, you want to add the rest of the wet ingredients which are the eggs and the vanilla extract. Add this mixture slowly while you have the mixer on medium speed and mix until it turns into a smooth consistency.
“This is not the end-all be-all golden ratio of the chocolate chip cookies. I think that recipe is long forgotten. What my recipe is, is one I feel gives a great chewy texture, nice crispiness on the outside, good chip to cookie ratio, and a nice shelf life.
Once you have all the wet ingredients together, turn the mixer onto the slowest speed because you are now going to add the dry ingredients and if you ever watched any comedy segments on baking, you will have seen a video of someone pouring flour into a mixture on high and then turning themselves into a ghost with flour covering themselves and their kitchen. Take this slow, unless you want to antique your entire kitchen. Anyway, you want to add the dry ingredients in parts. I typically add a half a cup at a time until the mixture is smooth. Finally, add the chips and fold them in on the slowest setting.
At this point, if I was making cookies, I would refrigerate the dough for 20 to 30 minutes. This will make them easier to handle and shape into logs or balls or blocks for storage.
These next steps are specific to blondies.
You’ll want to get a baking pan, preferably a 13”x9”x2”, and grease it with butter or your favorite cooking spray. Next, scrape the cookie dough into the pan and evenly spread the dough to all four corners. I like to grease up my hands for this so that I can handle the cookie dough without it sticking all over my hands. Once the mixture is evenly spread, refrigerate the dough in the pan. I know, it’s strange and you want to bake that pan of deliciousness right away and go to town, but, good things come to those who wait about 20-30 minutes. Cooling the mixture will give the dough a longer time to come to temperature which in turn will help ensure the inside is completely baked before the outside is burnt to a crisp. This will also help with over baking. I’m not saying cooling your dough before you bake it will not burn it; I’m just saying you will get a larger grace period if you forget that you had cookies in the oven. All in all, set a timer on your phone. You want to bake your blondies at 350F for 20-28 minutes. Check it at 20 minutes by sticking a toothpick or a butter knife in the center and see if it comes out dry, if not, check again in 4 minute intervals. Like my baking instructor said numerous times, the baking is done when it’s done.
For cookies, bake at 325F for 10-15 minutes. This time may change with different ovens and elevation. I would just set a timer for 10 minutes, once the oven is pre-heated, and check your cookies every couple minutes by gently lifting one of the cookies to see if it is golden brown on the bottom.
Chocolate chip Cookie recipe
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons A.P. Flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ sticks Unsalted Butter
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips