February 6, 2013

The Maine Ingredient: Can't-miss tollhouse cookies? Can do!


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Using the proper quality ingredients – at the proper temperature – will result in a delicious cookie every time.

Photo by Elizabeth Poisson

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups brown sugar lightly packed

2 eggs

2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla, homemade or store-bought

2 cups good-quality chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Reserve 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter and melt the rest of the butter over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the butter has stopped foaming and has become a dark amber. Remove from heat and transfer to a heat-proof bowl or metal mixing bowl. Add the reserved 1/4 cup cold butter. Let cool to warm. If you put the bowl of butter into the refrigerator at this point, it doesn't take nearly as long to cool. Don't let it get cold and stiff; it just needs to not be hot. If you can touch the outside of the bowl and keep your hand there comfortably, it's the right temperature.

Meanwhile, measure the flour, baking soda and salt into a sifter and set aside. When the butter is just warm, add the brown sugar and mix well. Add both eggs and the vanilla and mix again. Finally, sift the dry ingredients into the bowl, add the chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated.

Scoop immediately onto a cookie sheet for cookies that will flatten out but still have a curled edge to them. Bake for 8 minutes.

OR: Chill for one hour for cookies that sit up a little bit. Bake for 10 minutes.

OR: Chill for one hour, scoop and then freeze for really easy cookies later on. Remove as many as you'd like to bake and place them on the baking sheet to warm up. Let warm for 10 to 15 minutes while the oven heats and then bake. Bake for 15 minutes.

Note that baking times will vary, and you should remove your cookies when they look done, not when the timer says they are done.

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of "At Home, At Sea." She can be reached at: chefannie@mainewindjammer.com


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