Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies Gifted Three Ways—12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies

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It’s Week 4 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.  You might be thinking that seeing just another chocolate chip cookie is boring, been there, done that.  Well, here’s the thing—Chocolate Chip Cookies really are probably my favorite cookie to make and give away.  They are easy (I know this particular recipe by heart) and they are chocolate and taste great!  What’s not to love? 

So I believe that some kind of chocolate chip cookie should always adorn a Christmas cookie tray.  But here’s what I like to do even more sometimes, especially with this particular recipe, which has been my go-to chocolate chip cookie for a couple years now.  I was even asked to figure out a way to ship frozen cookie dough once we left Kansas and start a business selling just these cookies.  The person who made that suggestion wasn’t kidding, they would really miss my cookies, but I have yet to figure out a way to make that work and be profitable.  Whenever I make these cookies, I am always asked for the recipe and told these are the best chocolate chip cookies they’ve had.  Brag, brag, blah, blah, blah.  I have adapted this recipe enough that I do call it mine, but the true credit for it goes to Jacques Torres.  I believe that his use of cake flour and bread flour instead of regular all purpose flour and thinner (than chips) good quality dark chocolate disks are what set this recipe apart from other chocolate chip cookies.  So I make these often.  The family loves them.  And I often have cookie dough balls frozen and ready to go for all kinds of occasions or if I just need to give someone a few as a gift or thank you. 

DSCF7658These cookies are BIG (but I make them all different sizes).  A nice stack of big cookies are a great idea for kid’s teacher gifts, neighbors, friends, etc. 

Sometimes during the holidays, people often feel like they just couldn’t eat another cookie, candy, etc.  So another thing I’ve done in the past is give people a tub of frozen cookie dough balls and a note letting them know how to bake them and that they can save them for a time when they NEED a treat. 

Baker's Dozen Frozen Cookies  

Stack another layer on top with waxed paper in between (the cookie dough is already frozen).  I like to put another five on top of the eight and give a baker’s dozen.

DSCF7645 Just like I love having cookie dough frozen and ready to bake, I’m sure anyone you give some to for the holidays will love it, too. 

Finally, if you really don’t feel like scooping cookie dough balls out onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and freezing them for gifts, I’ve also done it by just forming the dough into a log and freezing it.  You can give the gift also with a note letting someone know they can thaw, scoop and bake whenever they’d like.  I like to give the cookie dough log on a cute, festive tray.

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After reminding myself that I’ve done this in the past, I will for sure be doing this for some of the holiday gifts I plan to give this year.  You can certainly make any other kind of cookie frozen ahead as well.  As much as I love all the holiday goodies, I would love having the options to save some for later.

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies ;), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Jacques Torres

8 ½ ounces cake flour (2 cups minus 2 tablespoons) (lightly spooned into the measuring cup and swept level with a knife)

8 ½ ounces bread flour (1 and 2/3 cups) (lightly spooned and swept)

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature

10 ounces (1 ¼ cups) light brown sugar

8 ounces (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ¼ pounds chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips are what I always use, which is what makes these cookies so good)

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until very light, about five minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips with rubber spatula. Optional--Put dough in a plastic container and refrigerate for at least a couple hours, but ideally 24 to 36 hours! (You think it won’t make a difference, but it’s really good! Although, I often only chill for a couple hours and these are still excellent cookies. Though it is not necessary to chill the dough at all—make, bake and eat!)

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop dough into balls on sheet. Bake 9-15 minutes depending on size. ½ ounce cookies (small) baked 9 minutes. Regular sized cookies are about 1 ½ ounces and baked 11-13 minutes. (Made 9 ½ dozen ½ ounce cookies!)  2-3 oz. cookies are huge and delicious and more like NYT.

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19 comments:

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

These really look wonderful and so pretty all wrapped up for Christmas - gets me in the mood!
Mary x

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

There's always room for another chocolate chip cookie recipe in my recipe box! Definitely going to give these a try soon.

Barbara Bakes said...

Love the idea of giving frozen cookie dough. Great idea! Who doesn't love a hot CC cookie.

BreAna {Sugar and Spice and All Things Iced} said...

I love this gift idea!! Especially giving frozen dough. Thanks for sharing!!

Mari @ Mari's Cakes said...

Great ideas! I love the frozen balls one...ready to bake! Thanks.

jillbert said...

Great idea to give frozen dough as a gift. I'm always overwhelmed with goodies around the holidays!

Kristen said...

I don't know which I like best. They are all such great ideas. Who wouldn't like to get dough to bake After all of the other treats of the holidays are long gone?!

Pamela said...

Reading your post just reminded me that I need more of those chocolate disks. :). Guess I better place an order. I have been getting them from KAF, do you use another source? Or do you have a favorite? And I agree, chocolate chip needs to be on the holiday cookie tray. It's a favorite here, too!

kita said...

This is brilliant! I love the idea of giving frozen cookie dough. My goodness that would take some pressure for so many prebaked treats off and I would love a gift where I could pop it in the oven when I want!

Shelby said...

Your cookies look yummy Katrina! I can't believe its almost Christmas cookie time ;)

The Poet Herself said...

Yay! A use for that cake flour that's just sitting in the cabinet. I love your idea of giving the frozen cookie dough away. Let them choose when to have their cookies. Brilliant!

Cindy said...

Katrina do you use these amounts in Utah? Or do you alter anything for our altitude? I can make oatmeal chocolate chips cookies but have trouble with plain chocolate chip cookies. I'll try this recipe. Thanks.

Trisha said...

Katrina, the cookies look delicious, one can just never have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes :)

I love the idea of using frozen cookie dough for gifting!

Lisa said...

I agree, I always include chocolate chip cookies in my Christmas gift baskets.

Heather Davis said...

What a great idea to give frozen cookie dough as presents! Never thought of that. Especially in already formed spoonfuls. Thanks for sharing that!

scrambledhenfruit said...

I've never tried that recipe for chocolate chips, but it has gotten so many good reviews I really want to. Your cookies look so yummy, and I love the idea of freezing them. That way you're just a few minutes away from fresh warm chocolate chip cookies at any time. :)

scrambledhenfruit said...

I've never tried that recipe for chocolate chips, but it has gotten so many good reviews I really want to. Your cookies look so yummy, and I love the idea of freezing them. That way you're just a few minutes away from fresh warm chocolate chip cookies at any time. :)

Quirky Jessi said...

I make a lot of baked goods around this time, but hadn't thought about giving cookie dough. That'd be perfect for several on my list!

Suzanne said...

I have had the honor of actually tasting my own dozen or so of these cookies. Note: I would say "eating", but my husband would hardly let me get a bite in sideways. There is not a better CCC in the world than these! Making them for Christmas gifts for in-laws and outlaws. (More out than in, just sayin'.) I know I will have to perform a repeat next year. Thanks so much for the recipe, my dear friend!