My first dessert post! Sooner or later I knew I’d have to share one of my favorite sweet treats and why not start with chocolate chips? I don’t know many kids or adults that would pass up a chocolate chip cookie. The tantalizing aroma of vanilla and chocolate swirling in the air when the cookies are being baked can easily take one’s breath away.
If you’ve never made home-made chocolate chips, you may be wondering what ingredients are in these cookies other than chocolate chips. I believe the traditional recipe combines flour, baking powder, eggs, fat (butter, oil or margarine), brown sugar, white sugar with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Nowadays, the variation of recipes include different types of chocolate (chips, bars, white chocolate, or cocoa powder), flour (whole wheat, almond flour), and additional ingredients such as nuts, dried fruit, and/or oatmeal.
chocolate. Just about any kind of baking chocolate can be used whether it be chocolate chips or chocolate bars. Some of my favorite brands are Valrhona Manjari (French), Scharffen Berger (made in San Francisco), Callebaut, and Ghirardelli (made in San Francisco). I use Ghirardelli the most because it’s the least expensive out of the bunch. For special occasions like birthdays, I like to kick it up a notch by using the high-end chocolates.
sugar. I like to use a combination of granulated sugar (white sugar) and palm sugar or coconut palm sugar. Palm sugar is a coarse brown sugar tapped from date palms and palmyra palms. It’s less sweet than granulated sugar and a rich caramel taste with butterscotch undertones.
Palm sugar is sold at Asian or Indian markets, natural food markets, or online. Just make sure it is “pure” palm or coconut sugar and not blended with other sugars. It’s often sold in solid blocks or liquid. It may be light-colored or dark, soft and gooey, or hard. As a product of the cottage industry, these characteristics vary greatly from batch to batch, but it should easily crumble when squeezed.
storage. Cookie dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months if properly stored in an airtight container or plastic bag. In the freezer, the dough should be good for up to a year. I prefer to bake cookies after the dough has ample time to rest in the refrigerator (about 24-48 hours). I find that the flavors become richer and the sugars more caramel and nutty. Another advantage of leaving dough in the frig, it becomes easier to handle and less sticky.
Fresh baked cookies are like meat, they need a little time to rest properly before you devour them 🙂