Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thick & Chewy Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies

Like many bakers, I'm constantly in search for The Perfect chocolate chip cookie.  I make batch after batch of cookie dough, varying the ingredients by degrees each time in the hopes of one day biting into a fresh cookie and knowing - this is The One.  I'm starting to think that day may never come.  I'm also starting to think that might not be a bad thing.  It just means I'll never stop making chocolate chip cookies.
The most familiar chocolate cookie recipe for most people is the classic Toll House recipe.  And for good reason - it's a reliable recipe that always yields a crispy-soft-chewy cookie.  But there's one big problem I've always had with the Toll House recipe - it always gives me flat cookies.  

For some people, this is probably a plus - opinions about what makes a perfect chocolate chip cookie vary as much as the cookies themselves.  And there's no hard rule that says thin cookies are a bad thing.  But I'm a thick cookie person.  

These Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies are probably the closest I've gotten to my ideal chocolate chip cookies.  Crispy edges with a thick and chewy center that lasts.  The only drawback:  this is one of the few cookies I've ever come across that are actually better when they're cool.  Sure, you can still eat them warm out of the oven and they'll be tasty, but these cookies are at their peak of chewiness if you wait that extra half-hour for them to cool completely.  And they might be even better the next day.

Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups whole wheat or AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and molasses and mix with a fork until well-combined.  Add the butter and cream together until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until well-combined (don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally to get any wayward sugar).

Add the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Add chocolate chips and mix in.  Roll dough into tablespoon-size balls and place on parchment or wax-paper lined cookie sheets or plates.  Freeze for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Place as many cookies as you want on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.  If you don't bake them all, you can place the rest of the dough balls in a plastic freezer bag and save them to bake whenever you want fresh cookies.

Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool completely before eating.  Worth the wait.

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