Monday, April 03, 2006

chocolate chip favor


Earlier in my blogging days, I posted a picture of Justin's French toast. Justin is still living in Beijing, but between the day of his Great French Toast Event and today, Justin did visit home and, while here, did me a huge favor. In thanks, I sent him a care package of chocolate chip cookies. (I figure he can't fill his whole food pyramid with just French toast and bacon).

They don't eat many cookies in China. Despite being over four times our population in size, the Chinese probably eat a tenth of all the cookies we eat here in the U.S. (note - this is not for work, so I am definitely making these numbers the best of my knowledge). In fact, as far as I know, few Chinese desserts are baked. They are traditionally steamed, fried, or cooked as delicious sweet soups, served hot and cold.

Further investigation has led me to discover that "cookie" is a concept entirely "Made in USA".

"Cookie" is not actually a translation of anything - it represents a baked American invention, an icon of Yankee ingenuity, most notable in its glorious form bursting with chocolate chips. It has since become a word that we lazily apply to all other small pastries and sweets of the world... (apologies, on behalf of American English, to those who bake in other countries). So now it suddenly makes sense why there are French madeleines, German spritz, Italian biscotti and Florentines, Scottish shortbread...etc.

Anyhow, enough with the words. I was excited to have the opportunity to try Marilyn's chocolate chip cookie recipe from her blog cauponilla. She, in turn, found this recipe on page 776 of The Best Recipe. I have made more than my share of chocolate chip cookies in my time but could not resist giving this one a try, seeing as it has stood up to the rigorous scrutiny of America's Test Kitchen. I am re-posting the recipe below.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts/pecans (which I omitted, per request)

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips and nuts to taste.
4. Drop heaping tablespoons onto the baking sheet 2 1/2 inches apart.
5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, the outer edges start to harden, and the centers are still soft and puffy, 15-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a wide metal spatula.

Not a bad cookie at all. I am happy to be using recipes posted by fellow bloggers, and am wishing that there were some smart central site that compiled all of these recipes into a friendly, searchable database...with a pretty interface.

A brief note about the practicality of sending cookies to China...the cost of shipping equals something around the value of 150 spicy roasted lamb skewers plus two beers in Beijing...and twice that in a city like Xi'an.



spicehut said...

Hi. Came here through your comment on my blog.

Love the chocolate chip cookies ! Adding you to my buddy list on frapper.


Luv2cook said...


India is the same way when it comes to baked goods. Almost all desserts in India are made on stovetop. Nothing is baked.

But I do love my baked goods and couldn't live without them :))

fooDcrazEE said...

can i have some ? chuckle

Luv2cook said...


I am tagging you for a meme. Do check my meme at

for more details.

Have fun!

Santhi said...

followed u thru LUv2cook..
what a neat blog u have here!!!!!!!!!!

Genevieve said...

Hi Luv2Cook! I am looking forward to checking out this MeMe. Unfortunately don't have time tonight but will tomorrow! :)

daintee said...

the cookies look divine. i can't resist any cookie with the word "chewy" in the title ... mmm. i will try them soon.

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