Saturday, March 2, 2013

No More Flat Cookies

*Follow-up on this recipe is at the end of this post.

When we lived back in Arizona, baking was much different than when we moved here to the Springs at almost 7,000 feet altitude. I always used my normal Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie recipe and they turned out great. When we moved here, I used the same recipe and my cookies always turned out flat. They still tasted fine, but looked pretty awful. I have been searching for a good recipe to replace my old one and I finally found one that is a keeper. The recipe calls for a simple surprising ingredient... cornstarch. Who would have guessed? This dough is much stiffer than your normal chocolate chip cookie dough, but the end result is absolutely wonderful. For added flavor, try sprinkling just a little sea salt on top before baking, and please, please, do not over-bake your cookies. 

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
Opt: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Opt: sea salt for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. (Use paddle attachment with a stand mixer.) Blend in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt, just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Using a standard sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet. If desired, lightly sprinkle sea salt on top of each. Bake for 8-10 min. or until barely brown around the edges. (The tops will not brown, but DO NOT bake longer than 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove and let completely cool on wire rack.

Tips from Cathy:

1.  I always bake my cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
2.  The trick is to not over-bake your cookies-even if they look like they are not quite done; let them finish baking on the cookie sheet after you remove them from the oven. So many people bake their cookies too long and then you end up with a hard dry cookie.
3.  I don't always sprinkle the sea salt on top of the cookies because sometimes I forget, but I think it adds a really nice flavor. Just don't go too heavy on the salt-just enough to bring out the other flavors.
4.  I think Ghirardelli makes the best chocolate chips. The dark chocolate/bittersweet ones are the best. Be careful not to eat too many right out of the bag. :)
5.  This dough is stiffer than your normal chocolate chip cookie dough, but makes a cookie that does not go flat, especially in high altitudes.
6.  I usually make a double recipe, bake a couple dozen, and then roll the leftover dough into a roll and put it in the refrigerator. If your dough is cold when you bake it, add an extra minute (no more) to the baking time.

Surprise ingredient ... cornstarch
 Roll up extra dough and store in refrigerator.
 Let cookies finish baking on parchment lined baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
 Finished product ... yum, yum!

*For one reason or another, I still can't get these cookies to always turn out when I make them at our altitude. For example, I actually made 50 dozen (yes, that's 600 cookies) for my granddaughters' PTA Christmas event, and they all turned out flat...tasted good, but just didn't look very pretty. What a disappointment. So, I have been hunting for a new high altitude chocolate chip cookie recipe ever since. I think I finally found one. Click here for the new recipe.

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