Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chocolate Chips -- Traditional, Chocolate Chocolate and Shortbread

So I've been thinking and talking about Chocolate Chip Cookies (CCC) since I started this blog and have been too busy to follow through on the vote that I had originally posted regarding your favorite cookies.  Of the few of you that voted, CCC came out first so now I'm going to share some CCC ideas. And please check out my newest survey on Valentine's Day -- I am curious to hear your thoughts on this holiday.

When I think of CCC I think of three kinds -- traditional, chocolate chocolate and shortbread.

I generally use the Nestle Toll House recipes for the traditional and chocolate chocolate -- seriously --  why mess with perfection?  However, what can make an ordinary CCC extraordinary is what's inside -- so I have been doing quite a bit of thinking outside the chocolate chip cookie box and with some of your help, I've come up with some fun ideas for adding the following things to either a chocolate chip or a chocolate chocolate chip...

  • white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, mini kisses -- check out Hershey's collection of chips
  • M&Ms, Smarties or candy covered chocolate sprinkles add fun colour
  • pistachio nuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts...
  • dried fruit including: craisins, dried blueberries, apricots, cherries... 
  • mini rolos
  • mini marshmallows (can give a S'MORE flavour -- but I think I need a whole blog on S'MORES perhaps in the summer;)
  • skor bites (one of my favorites in a traditional chocolate chip cookie)
  • Williams Sonoma Peppermint Snow (and they are way better than chopped up candy canes -- perfect size and consistency)
  • rice krispies -- I have not tried this but Barbara suggested that she thinks they would add a fabulous little crunch (as they do to her mandel bread) and I don't disagree
  • my newest fav to add to just about anything - coconut
  • other ideas ?  keep them coming
I think with CCCs, if you start with a good base and add yummy stuff you can't really go wrong.  Combinations are fantastic -- white chocolate chips with craisins or apricots in a chocolate chocolate chip // chocolate and blueberries // chocolate and coconut are super for example.

Head to your local Bulk Barn, experiment, have fun and report back to me -- I would love to hear about some new great CCC add ins.
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Skor Chips
One of the cookies that friends and family (particularly my nephews) ask for time and time again is my Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

1 3/4 c  pastry flour
1 c mini chocolate chips (the cookies are not really big so the mini chips work best)

3/4 c unsalted butter
1/2 c icing sugar
2 tsp cold water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 squares semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate (for dipping)
Preheat oven to 325. Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat pad.  The recipe makes 30 cookies and I fit them all on one baking sheet but you may wish to use two depending on the size of your cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, stir flour with chocolate chips.  Stirring the chips into the flour ensures the chips will be evenly distributed through the cookie batter.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Beat in water, vanilla and salt.

Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour mixture.

Shape into 1" balls and place on baking sheets.
Bake 1 sheet a time, until edges are light golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool completely on rack.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate for dipping in microwave or over double boiler and stir until smooth.

Dip half of cooled cookies into melted chocolate.
Place on parchment paper.

Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

My friends the Jordan's prefer these cookies out of the freezer -- so if I bring them a fresh batch they run to put them in the freezer to eat the next day.

However you eat them or share them, just enjoy.

I'm still getting the hang of taking pictures while I'm baking -- I see other baking bloggers do such a good job with this -- I'm sure over time I will get better at this.  

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be baking for Valentine's Day -- so if you have any orders, requests or ideas let me know.

And finally, and perhaps most exciting, as for my Bakerella book give away -- CONGRATULATIONS Barbara I will be sending you your new baking book straight away. I hope you have as much fun with this book as I have had!

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous pics Shelly!! And yes, my family does love your shortbread CC right out of the freezer. I now have to hide all your delicious treats in our downstairs freezer so the kiddies and hubbie don't eat them. Worried that you're sharing your secret receipes with the world. Interested in getting some easy biscotti receipies....xoxo