Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe


Is there a cookie more American than the chocolate chip cookie? I can't think of one. It was invented in Massachusetts after all. There certainly can't be a more popular cookie. I recently read that 80% of all cookies baked in American homes are of the chocolate chip variety.

Like so many before me, I've been on the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I think the sheer variety of recipes signifies one of the many reasons chocolate chip cookies are so appealing to Americans. They are really all about individuality and an expression of personal cookie preferences. After trying many recipes, I decided to develop my own. I used a bit of oatmeal for texture, a bit of molasses for chewiness, walnuts for crunch and some chocolate bars broken into chunks instead of chips. No matter how good your chips are, it's tough to beat chunks of a high-quality chocolate bar. You end up with a cookie flavored with whatever flavor the chocolate bar was, my batch today was mocha chip.

Breaking up a chocolate bar into chunks is good fun. I've been watching Nigella Lawson's latest cooking show on TV and it seems in every episode she finds a reason to bash something with a rolling pin. She makes it look so satisfying and you know what? It is! So is the smell of these cookies fresh out of the oven. Yum.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
makes about 20 large cookies

Ingredients

1/4 Cup oatmeal
1 1/4 Cup flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
4 ounces chocolate bar (broken into chunks with a rolling pin)
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the food processor whirl the oatmeal for 10 seconds. Add the flour, soda, baking powder and salt and whirl to combine. Move dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar in the food processor. When light and fluffy, add the molasses, vanilla and egg. Blend for a few seconds. Dump the dry ingredients back in the bowl and pulse to combine. Put the dough into the mixing bowl and fold in the chocolate and walnuts.

Divide dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each ball as the cookies will spread while baking.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden but still soft. Cookies will firm as they cool. Cool for about 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!