January: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I guess it makes sense that the recipe I try out to kick off my 2012 cooking challenge is a classic. I also wanted a recipe that would require me to use my brand spankin’ new KitchenAid mixer (more on that soon), as I was desperate to finally use it. And how could anyone go wrong with chocolate chip cookies, right?

The recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen cookbook and is her tried & tested chocolate chip cookie recipe. The recipe was pretty straightforward enough and I followed it to the T, and ended up with these:

I didn’t know what I did wrong, because I used a one-fourth cup scoop to measure out the dough for the cookies as directed. Nigella used an even deeper, dome-shaped ice cream scooper and plopped the dough straight to the cookie sheet without flattening them before putting them in the oven, and her cookies turned out normal. Mine turned out thick and dense and were even mistaken for scones (haha!). The resulting cookies were therefore very cakey and dense. But they tasted good (and they filled up the house with an awesome, buttery, chocolatey smell while baking), they were just not the right texture and density.

So, alas, my first attempt at my cooking challenge was not a raging success. I had fun, though, since I got to use my mixer for the first time. I just know that for next time, I’ll have to flatten out the cookies before I put them in the oven. Or maybe I should try Phoebe Buffay’s grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.

PS: Does anyone have an idea on what I did wrong? I was having trouble keeping the temperature of my oven up to the required 325°F, could that be it? I am also still just getting a hang of my mixer’s speeds, could it be that I overworked the dough? Nigella’s recipe requires you to melt the butter before mixing with the sugars, which I’ve never seen in a chocolate chip cookie recipe before, could that have made the difference? I’ll appreciate any help, as I don’t want to end up with (albeit yummy) quasi-scones again. Thanks!

4 thoughts on “January: Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. When my mom was still alive, she used to bake and her Kitchen Aid mixer was her partner in crime. 🙂 What I noticed during the countless hours of watching and helping I did when she was baking was that she usually started the mixer on a slow speed and very gradually sped it up little by little.

    I don’t bake though – I simply like to eat. 🙂 But I grew up with a mom who baked lots of goodies. 🙂 Your stories about your baking and mixer love reminded me about her. I miss her.

    • May. That part about your mom. *sigh* I’m sending you a big hug from Manila to Hong Kong. 🙂

      Yes, I started the mixer slowly, too. But I think I could have gotten carried away with my new partner in crime and possibly let the batter mix too long. I re-checked the recipe and it said something like “mix until just combined” and I might have been too mesmerized with my KitchenAid that I probably kept it on longer than necessary. Heehee.

  2. What I remember is that my mom uses the same principle of “mix until just combined” and she would finish with a little elbow grease. I asked why she doesn’t let the mixer do all the work (’cause that’s what it’s supposed to do!) and she said that doing it by hand lets the batter breathe, settle a bit and then she adds her own magic to it. 🙂 I guess that’s why her goodies were so good and so well loved by people.

  3. Pingback: Brookies, pancake cookies and, well, cookies « Don't ask me to smile…

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