Friday, July 13, 2012

Small-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the challenges with reducing baked goods, especially cookie recipes, is that there's only so far you can reduce them before you're dealing with the ridiculousness that is parts of an egg.  There are ways to address this, and I've used them all.  One-and-one-half Tablespoons of beaten egg will often work for half an egg.  Some recipes choose to use just the yolk.  There's always the use of egg substitute (Egg Beaters being the most recognizable brand name).  And I've got a few recipes that call for a quail's egg instead of a chicken egg, as they're much smaller.  All of these options have their drawbacks.  Using part of a beaten egg means either throwing away the rest or whipping up a partial-serving scrambled egg snack, because it won't last long safely in the fridge (2 days max).  Using just the yolk often makes the final dish taste too eggy and means quickly (within 2 days) finding a use for the white or, again, throwing it away.  Egg substitute is another thing to purchase and have on hand (must be used within 7 days of opening the carton), and to be honest I'm not entirely happy about the product.  They are 99% egg white, with beta carotene for colour and vitamins and minerals added back in, but the manufacturers choose not to disclose how that's done.  And as for quail's eggs, yes, they happen to be available in my town, but they certainly aren't available everywhere, they're more expensive, and the shells are more gelatinous, which not only makes them more difficult to crack but can change the consistency of the white. 

The thing is, we love cookie dough and we even occasionally like to bake chocolate chip cookies.  But if I make an entire batch, or even a half batch, of cookie dough, it'll be gone within 2 days.  We don't even notice we're dipping into it until we're looking at an empty bowl.  And more than 2 dozen cookies is far too many for the two of us.  So I wrote this recipe to solve the problem.
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C + 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips
1.  In a medium bowl, cream together butter, vanilla sugar, and brown sugar until combined.  Stir in vanilla and mayonnaise until blended.
2.  Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt, add to butter mixture and stir until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.
3.  Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.
4.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Drop dough onto baking sheet in rounded spoonfuls.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are beginning to brown at the edges.  Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet.  Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 8 medium sized cookies (3-inch diameter) or 1 dozen small cookies (2-inch diameter)

Robyn's notes: I'm calling for vanilla sugar instead of regular granulated in order to counteract the slight tang of the mayonnaise.  It is not strictly necessary, I have made the recipe several times with regular sugar.  I did test baked directly on the baking sheet, with parchment paper, and with aluminum foil.  The aluminum foil made for a flatter cookie that I found too crunchy for my taste.  If you like a really crunchy cookie that may be the way to go.  The other two options had no discernible difference, so I'm saving the parchment paper and saying to use just a regular baking sheet.  It was a bit difficult to get all the chocolate chips mixed in, as the dough is not very sticky, so I just forced the stragglers into each ball of dough when I loaded up the baking sheet.  Based on the relative humidity on a given day, the dough may be dry and crumbly (happens about 40% of the time to me), in which case I simply add a very small amount of milk (about 1 tsp is enough) before adding chocolate chips, and mix well.  I find that these cookies have a crispy exterior and soft inside.  There is no trace of mayonnaise flavour, either in the baked cookies or in the dough.  As hard as it is, the cookies are best after 8 hours of resting in a sealed ziploc bag.  I have also made these successfully at high altitude with no changes.   

This recipe has been demonstrated on my YouTube channel!

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently

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