Thursday, December 3, 2009

You can't rain on my parade

It's been raining raining raining these few weeks. Gloomy skies, rumbling thunders and the smell of wet grass seems to be an every day fixture. I even had to run in the pouring rain to get to school on the day of my Physics paper 3 exam (Nov 19 '09)! Buses were stalled as the roads were flooded. So I was drenched as I sat for the exam in the cold hall. As the exam was delayed to allow more stranded students to reach, my friend and I (she was more drenched than I was) were shivering even more! It really is the ultimate exam condition to be in I must say.

So before the daily rain started today, I decided to bake. Again. Mainly because there would be close to zero natural light you can use to take a decent photo. Besides, you can never bake too many times a week (: This time I baked Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Okay so they didn't turn out that thick but they sure are chewy and moist! It has to be my best attempt at baking cookies EVER. And I didn't burn them at all!! May there be more to come :D

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
makes 20 2.5-3" cookies

1 and 1/16 cups self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
85g melted and cooled unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 caster sugar (granulated is fine too)
1 egg yolk
1/2 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips/chunks (semi or bittersweet)*

1. Preheat oven to 165°C and line 2 baking trays with baking/parchment papers.

2. Mix flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

3. Beat butter and sugars together until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in the egg yolk, white and vanilla extract.

4. Gently mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks. Add in any other nuts or berries you want (optional) at this stage.

6. Drop the cookie dough onto the baking trays with about 3" spacing (the cookies will expand a little). Bake the cookies for 13-15 min or until the cookies are light golden brown and the edges start to harden. The cookie centers should be still soft and puffy to ensure the cookies are chewy. Do not overbake!! If dough is frozen, the cookies would require another extra 1-2 min baking time.

7. Cool the cookies on the tray. Serve as is or store in an airtight container. Cookies are best eaten after cooling or when they are still semi-warm.

These make an excellent afternoon snack :D 

If only chocolate chip cookies could grow on flowers.. 

*Yup, you guessed it. I used Ghiradelli's 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate buttons and Hershey's mini semisweet chocolate chips.

On a side note, Christmas is coming and my family has no clue what to do -whether to invite guests or keep it an immediate family affair. But one thing's for sure: I will definitely attempt to make individual Chocolate Fondants (the kinds with the gooey liquid centers) for the family! :D I can hardly wait!

PS: I used up all the self-raising flour today. Should I get all-purpose/cake/wholewheat flour and baking powder or stick to self-raising? Advise please!

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