There's nothing better than eating a pile of chocolate chip cookies while drinking a tall glass of ice cold milk. Whether you are a kid or an adult, this time- tested recipe should bring a smile to your face and perhaps make you emit a contented sigh. Oh yes, we all know how to eat those little pieces of heaven, but how exactly do you make them?
Here are some tips to help you:
1) Use the freshest ingredients – This will definitely help you make sure that your cookies are of the premium grade. Remember that old computer principle "Garbage in, Garbage Out"? Well, that works with cookies, too. Despite how well you bake an item, if it's made of crappy ingredients, it won’t turn out well.
2) Experiment – Although you might think that your grandma's recipe is the best, you should definitely try to create your own variation of the cookie recipe. The most basic thing you can do is to change the amount of chocolate you put in. Remember that this affects not only the taste, but the texture of the cookie as well. Nestlé's research once showed that people felt that the ideal cookie had to have sic to ten chocolate chips. Only a few people actually wanted more.
Another thing you can do is play around with different types of chocolate. Sure, it would be most convenient for you to use those pre-packaged chocolate chips, but in order to come up with the perfect cookie recipe, you have to live a little and do some hard work. Try chopping up a chocolate bar into chunks. You could also try to use candy-covered chocolate like M&M's to top your cookies.
You should also experiment with other ingredients. Changing around the quantity of shortening, the butter and the shortening can affect the texture of the cookie. You should know that people have different tastes when it comes to the cookie's texture. There are those who like it moist and soft while other like it dry and hard, providing great contrast with the milk and chocolate.
3) Storage - Chocolate has an unbelievably long shelf life. Milk chocolate can actually be stored for about six months, while dark chocolate can be stored for as long as a year. If you intend to store chocolate for your baking needs, you need to make sure that you follow the right procedure.
Store them in sealed containers so as to prevent moisture from seeping through and develop the whitish film called "bloom" on the surface. Although this film is harmless, it can be quite unattractive. You also shouldn’t expose your chocolate to hot temperatures. Although freezing is okay if you plan to bake with it, you shouldn’t expose it to temperatures above 78 degrees as this may cause it to melt.
You might think that there's vary little difference between melted and solid chocolate if used for baking especially since you can just freeze it and it will turn solid again. However, you should realize that melting actually causes the cocoa butter to separate and your chocolate will lose some of its creaminess.
4) To nut or not to nut – Nuts can be quite controversial in baking a cookie. There are people who swear that nuts make all the difference in their baking while there are those who just hate it. Actually, most Americans prefer their cookies without nuts. This is primarily because of the texture.
If you want the nutty flavor without the texture, you should try grinding some nuts into the mixture instead of adding whole or chopped ones.
5) Burn, baby, burn – A burnt cookie is an inedible cookie. Although the best way to avoid burning your cookies is to maintain constant vigilance, there are a few other steps you should try out. First you should make use of a shiny baking pan. This will help prevent burning. You should also know that when you make use of thin pans, the cookies are likely to burn.
Another thing you should do is make use of only the top and middle racks of the oven. This will help you make sure that the chocolate chip cookies burn evenly and that none are exposed to too high temperatures.
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