Drop cookies come in two forms: rustic and perfectly shaped. Rustic means you drop the dough by tablespoons onto the cookies sheet. The dough plops, the shape is sort of round, you mess with the shape with your fingers, and the cookies bake in that nice but not perfect format. The benefit here is you get to lick your fingers.
Or there is the perfectly shaped cookie, the ones you buy at the market, the ones that are too perfectly round. The dough slopes down to the edge of the exact circle that the dough was stamped out. It’s automated and that takes perfection to an artificial level,
How about round, naturally perfect and, on top of it all, delicious chocolate chip cookies?
In Tribeca, a couple of blocks from me, there was a lighting store. The easy place to go for bulbs and switches and all the little things you need when your building was built in 1860. It’s tough to find some of those missing parts. The lighting store closed a couple of years ago and I regretted seeing it depart. I asked them in their last week what was going into that space. “Maybe some kind of bakery,” they said.
I hid my delight. I held my hopes. I was rewarded. The light bulbs may be gone, but the cupcakes are here, and the cookies. And the frosting shooters, although I have told Suzen that I have never, ever eaten one of those.
Tribeca Treats is at 94 Reade Street, just west of Church and before West Broadway. It’s the best bakery in Tribeca. And the owner, Rachel Thebault, is about to publish her new book: Sweet Chic. Here’s her very good chocolate chip recipe that lets you form perfect circles. How? Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, chill for an hour. The chilled dough works wonderfully, nicely rolling into balls that gracefully warm and flatten in the oven. Using mini chocolate chips and no nuts means that dough can uniformly flow into those pretty bites you crave. The proportions of ingredients here give you a crisp cookie. Ones you can dunk in milk or just snap away at.
Sweet Chic will be published on October 26, 2010. I know the quality of Tribeca Treats and I’m sure you will love every recipe in the book. I just may have my first official frosting shooter.
Sweet Chick Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulate sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Sift the flour, baking soda and slat into a mixing bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter on the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at high speed until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the sugars, crumbling the brown sugar with your hands as you add it to get rid of any lumps. Mix on medium =-high speed until smooch, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula halfway through mixing to ensure that the butter and sugar well mixed.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined Again, scrape down the sides and bottom of the blow to make sure that the ingredients are incorporated.
Add approximately half the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining flour and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that the flour is fully incorporated.
Stir in the chocolate chips and mix just until combined, about 10 seconds. Remove the dough from the blow, press it into a flat mound and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it chill fin the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and scoop or roil it into balls about 1 tablespoon in size. At this point, the cookie dough can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month (separate layers of dough balls with waxed paper).
Place the balls of dough about 1 inch apart on the prepared pans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway through, until the edges of the cookies are golden born. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool slight, then transfer them a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Or serve warm
Keep the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Source: Sweet Chic by Rachel Thebault
Sandwich cookies are a monument in the history of marketing. Some genius figured out that the two layers cemented with sweet filling would prove irresistible. And they are. Do you know how many Oreos have been made? 491 billion. That’s a big number, the size the Defense Department Budget. I’m not anti-government, but what if we tried to win over everyone by showering them with cookies instead of bullets.
Here is recipe built on the Oreo idea but with a far more fascinating combination of wafers and filling. These cookies are soft and intensely cocoa-flavored. And the filling is a rich combination of pistachios and mascarpone. One bite and eyes pop open: “This is different!” This delicious cookie will be a treat for friends and family. You could probably convert a stranger into a friend with just one, although they might hold out for a second. Indulge them.
It’s clear that the best selling sandwich concept is two chocolate cookies and a whitish filling. Those “reverse” Oreos with vanilla cookies and chocolate filling have far smaller sales. I’m taking that as a culinary challenge, and if I succeed, you’ll be the first to know.
Chocolate Cannoli Sandwich Cookies
Yield: 16 Sandwich Cookies
Ingredients for the Cookie:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces at room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Ingredients for the Filling:
- 1½ cups chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
- 1½ cups mascarpone cheese
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon salt
Make the cookies: Beat the butter and both sugars with a mixer until creamy. Beat in the milk and vanilla until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, if desired. Scoop the dough onto a sheet of wax paper and shape into a 2-inch-log. Wrap in the wax paper and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch thick rounds with a sharp knife. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine ¾-cup pistachios, the mascarpone, ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt with a mixer on low speed until just blended; do not overmix or the filling will be too thick.
To assemble, sandwich about ½-inch filling between 2 cookies. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Roll the edges in the remaining ¾-cup pistachios.
Source: Adapted from Food Network Magazine