Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chewy White-Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

I make these bad boys just a couple times a year, and always include them in my Christmas cookie gift bags. I consider them my signature cookie: They are delicious and too hearty to ignore. You won't walk away from one of these feeling unfulfilled! Recipie from Cook's Illustrated.

2/18 cups (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) unsifted, bleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup grandulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 cups chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions.

2. Mix flour, salt and baking soda together in medium bowl, set aside.

3. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips and cranberries, to taste.

4. Form scant 1/4-cup dough into ball. holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees, being careful not to smooth dough's uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchement paper-lined 20-by-14 inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time, and baking time may need to be adjusted. Dough can be refrigerated up to two days, or frozen up to one month, shaped or not.

5. Bake, reversing cookie sheets' positions halfway through, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden, yet centers are still soft and puffy (15 to 18 minutes, but start checking at 13 minutes). Frozen dough rquires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time. Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight containers.

My notes:
  • The secret to these cookies is the melted butter, which creates the chewy factor; and the extra egg yolk, which acts as a tenderizer.
  • The recipie suggests "1-2 cups of chocolate chips." I only use one cup, as I find that two cups (shockingly!) is too many. Upsets the balance of the cookie. But it's a matter of personal preference.
  • Obviously, if you don't dig white chocolate and cranberry, you can switch 'em out. Butterscotch chips, regular chocolate, coconut ... go nuts. Oooh, nuts!
  • I don't know what kind of oven Cook's Illustrated uses, but the 15 to 18 minutes thing has never worked out for me. Last night I made the cookies on a new, gas stove, and the cookies took about 20 minutes. So after the first 15 minutes, keep an eye on them. Make sure both layers start to brown before taking them out, or you'll end up with half-cooked centers. Good for cookie dough-lovers, bad for salmonella-fearers.
  • If you're as unsure what "rotating cookie dough 90 degrees" refers to as I was, here's a picture. You're making little cookie mountains.

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1 comment:

  1. Yahoo! I finally get the recipe!! LOVE these cookies!!