April 20, 2013
I follow several food blogs. Often I just skim through the posts, looking at the pictures, searching for inspiration and appealing recipes. I certainly found a recipe worth trying when I saw the recent post on Patty's Food for a very thin, crispy, dark brown, oatmeal cookie with large chunks of chocolate. (It's based on a recipe in the book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich.) I save many more recipes than I have time to try but I couldn't wait to try this one. We had polished off the peanut butter sandwich cookies and I had some extra time this weekend, so I spent some of my Saturday afternoon baking.
I made a few changes, more than I realized, to the recipe that Patty posted.
- I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips; these chips are larger than the familiar chips from Nestlé and easier to find in the store than chocolate chunks. I could have made chunks from a chocolate bar but chose convenience and uniformity.
- I used 1% milk rather than whole milk because that is what we had. There are only 2 tablespoons of milk so the reduction in fat is tiny compared to what is provided by the butter.
- I used parchment paper rather than aluminum foil to line the baking sheets and there was no noticeable effect on browning. (Though to be fair I should have compared cookies cooked on foil with those cooked on parchment, an experiment I didn't perform.)
- In Patty's recipe the dough is divided into 15 equal size portions. I wasn't confident I could do this well. I considered dividing it into 16 portions, which would have been easier, but in the end I decided to use a disher. Think of it as a calibrated ice cream scoop. I have a few of these of different sizes and the #24 worked pretty well, producing 21 cookies. A #20 disher would get you closer to the size of the cookies Patty made, but we thought these were plenty big enough.
- I tried using a 3" flat-bottomed mug to flatten the dough, but without success. The dough would just stick to the bottom of the glass mug even if I sprayed it first with Pam. So, I used the the heel of my hand to flatten the dough, keeping the dough cold so it would be less sticky.
- I refrigerated the dough for about 2½ hours rather than 30 minutes. I found another version of this recipe that recommends overnight. The length of time the dough rests will affect the flavor and texture of the cookies so I wonder what the recipe in the book calls for.
- I used table salt rather than sea salt. Sea salt makes a difference when used as a garnish on food, but when used for baking I don't think it is distinguishable from table salt. The amount of salt is small so I didn't bother to convert the volume of the sea salt in the recipe to the equivalent for table salt.
- I bought a 10 ounce bag of chocolate chips and but used only 7 ounces in the cookies. What a shame! I snacked on the leftover chips, but then maybe Patty did, too.