Scharffen Berger Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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One of my life’s missions is to find the very best chocolate chip cookie recipe. I expect a lot from this cookie; it has to be soft and chewy in the middle, and yet somehow also be crispy around the edges. It has to have just the right proportion of chocolate to dough. And speaking of the dough, that has to be good in and of itself – buttery, sweet but not too sweet, with just the tiniest hint of saltiness to provide balance.

This recipe gets pretty darned close to my ideal. The dough includes a mixture of butter and shortening to provide both flavor and structure. I used Sharffen Berger 62% Cacao semisweet chocolate, which is one of my favorite chocolates for cooking and baking (I find the bittersweet a little too bitter, but that’s a matter of personal preference). Chopping some of the chocolate into large pieces and some into very fine pieces means that there are little flecks of melted chocolate running throughout the dough along with some big, melty chunks:

closeup

 This recipe has a little extra vanilla (I use a special vanilla bean extract ‘crush’ from Sonoma Syrup Company that my sister gave me; it combines Madagascar Bourbon with Tahitian Vanilla) and the result is that you really taste the vanilla notes in the cookie. A pinch of sea salt adds that wonderful, subtle salty element we love. Just watch the cookies carefully when you bake them; you want them to just barely brown around the edges. Whisk them out of the oven immediately, cool them briefly on the baking sheet and transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. If you leave them on the baking sheet too long, they’ll keep cooking and harden.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup randomly hand-chopped semisweet chocolate 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter, shortening and sugars together. On low speed, slowly add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is incorporated thoughout the mixture. Form the dough into 1 ½-inch balls and arrange on a Silpat-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 to 13 minutes, turning the pan once at the halfway point. (Note: oven temperatures vary, so watch the first batch carefully. You want the edges to be just barely, barely light brown; remove the cookies the second they reach that stage.)  Remove the tray from oven and cool the cookies for a minute on the tray, than transfer immediately to a wire rack so they don’t cook any further and harden. Store in an airtight jar for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to a month. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

I’ll probably never cease my search for the chocolate chip cookie Holy Grail (what would be the fun in that?), so if you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share please do send it in!

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Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 11:44 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] I’ve posted our favorite chocolate chip recipe  here. (Chocolately Goodness is a blog that’s currently hibernating. I started it due to my deep […]

  2. […] posted our favorite chocolate chip recipe  here. (Chocolately Goodness is a blog that’s currently hibernating. I started it due to my deep […]

  3. Thanks for posting this recipe. I was planning to make the “Jaques Pepin” recipe I found on the back of the package, (of the chocolate chunks) until I saw pictures on other websites of what they actually are. They look horrible. Chocolate cookies with giant blobs of chocolate sticking out of them. They look like fifth graders made them. And it’s not because the people making them don’t know what they’re doing, that’s what the recipe asks for. No thanks.
    Yours look a whole lot more appetizing.
    -Stacey


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