Monday, February 12, 2018

It's the Chocolate

As a kid my favorite kind of cookie was Toll House chocolate chip cookies. I like 'em with nuts and without nuts, with pecans, with walnuts, with macadamia nuts...but they have to have chocolate and lots of it.

Today I made a version of the Toll House chocolate chip cookie. Knowing my you are already waiting for the changes I made to the recipe, and you're right, I made changes.

First, I used some safflower oil in place of some of the butter. I also adjusted the sugar. Usually you use equal amount of white sugar and brown sugar, with the total being one and a half cups sugar. I went with 1/2 cup white sugar and a full cup packed brown sugar because I wanted some chewiness...and it worked. I also added a tablespoon of white vinegar. It reacts with the baking soda to lighten the dough a bit, which is important when you realize how much chocolate there is in proportion to the dough.

For the flour I decided to use a mixture, so I used a combination of all-purpose flour, Irish wholemeal wheat flour, barley flour, and ground flaxseed. It's not healthy (and cookies aren't health food anyway, right?), but you get a nice hit of fiber and good for you things from the wholemeal and flaxseed. The barley flour is milled very fine, which is great when you are also using fiber-rich flours. The all-purpose is a workhorse flour and evens things out nicely. You get a little crispy effect at the edges, but a nice, soft chewy center.

I combined regular semi-sweet chocolate chips with Scharfenberger chocolate semisweet chocolate chunks. For nuts I used chopped pecans. There is a lot more chocolate than nuts, but you could add more nuts if you really want them to show up.

All in all this is a great cookie recipe. Do let the batter sit for an hour. Do leave some space between mounds of dough because the cookies spread a bit. If you make these, eat one for me, OK?

I treated Sweetie to a nice plate of cookies. They were still warm from the oven, with melty chocolate. Yum! Tomorrow I'm taking some gift bags with a few cookies in each to the gym for the trainers. Early Valentine's Day gifts.

Classic Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
King Arthur Flour website Makes about 33 cookies

¼ cup (1/2 stick, 2 oz.) unsalted butter (or, in my case, non-dairy margarine)
½ cup vegetable oil
Note: I used a full stick of soft margarine and ¼ cup safflower oil instead
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3//4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼  cup whole barley flour (If no barley flour available, substitute unbleached all-purpose flour) ¼  ground flaxseed flour
½ cup whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat flour (I used Irish wholemeal flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup (8 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz. semisweet chunks (or use 2 cups chocolate chips total)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line with parchment or a silicon baking mat) two baking sheets.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil, sugars, vanilla, and salt until smooth.

Beat in the egg to combine. Beat in white vinegar. In a large bowl combine the baking soda and baking powder, the barley flour and whole wheat flour, and the all-purpose flour and the ground flaxseed flour. Combine thoroughly, then add to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add the chocolate chips. It looks like too many chips, but don’t worry. Add the chopped nuts. Beat just to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least an hour and up to four hours. If room temperature is above about 68 degrees F, put dough in the fridge for the standing time.

Drop the dough, by tablespoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving room for cookies to spread a bit. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the cookies are an even golden brown, with just a hint of softness in the center. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

If you manage to nudge a side of a cookie with the pot holder while turning the pan in the oven about halfway through (optional, but a great idea) like I did...that cookie is for you!


  1. We just did something like this, where we zested oranges and added oatmeal, cardamon, and much less chocolate to a regular Toll House style recipe - and we froze them. It's nice to have just a few on hand for when you want them, and to know you've always got them. Toll House was THE THING when I was a kid - and we didn't make sugary treats at home, so I always encountered them at the homes of friends, and envied them - so it's funny to me that I don't love them so much anymore, and mostly consider them a fairly boring cookie without all the snazzy spices!

  2. Tanita, I agree that the charm these had when we were young just isn't there, but these have an amazing amount of dark chocolate, which really helps, truth be told. I like the additions you have made for an orange spice cookie with some chocolate, but I was trying to cheer up Sweetie and he does love the chocolate!