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December 10, 2010

Bourbon Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookies

Christmas is all about traditions. I love them all and I really enjoy finding other old ones. Tradition goes in hand with classic. And what's more classic than delicious fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies? You're right! Nothing :) However, have you ever tried adding real vanilla pod into the dough? It makes wonders, believe me! Vanilla makes everything better and although you can use extract or vanilin instead, you never get the very same result as with real vanilla pods (or seeds). Christmas baking season has started, so let's make some cookies to fill the air with wonderful aromas :)


Chocolate Chip Cookies are very well-known all over the world, but they vere developed in the USA by Ruth Wakefield in 1930. This lady owned the Toll House Inn. This was a very popular restaurant in Massachusetts and her recipes were published in 1936 in her cookbook called Toll House Tried and True Recipes. The book included a recipe for Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies. When making these cookies, she run out of baker's chocolate and was forced to use Nestlé chocolate broken pieces which didn't melt during baking and chocolate chip cookies were born :) The original recipe can be found on the back of each pack of Nestlé Chocolate Chips.


My recipe doesn't differ too much from this one (I only changed the method and added vanilla seeds), because it's really good and as I said above I love traditions during Christmas :) However, sometimes it's good to try something new and I think my changes aren't that strong to ruin their tradition yet they deliver a new rich vanilla taste and wonderful crispy outer crust and chewy inside with oh-so-gooey chocolate.

Ingredients:
225g softened butter
150g caster sugar
165g light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
290g all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 vanilla pod
1 tsp salt
340g chocolate chips

Directions:
Beat butter, caster and brown sugar and vanilla seeds from vanilla pod until light, fluffy and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda and gently stir in into the butter-sugar mixture. Finally carefully add chocolate chips (stir them in, do not beat any more). Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours (ideally overnight - the cookies won't be flat). Line two or three cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using rounded tablespoon, create thick discs onto the sheets. The space between them should be about  5cm. Refrigerate again for about 30 minutes. Bake in well-preheated oven (at least for 10 minutes) to 180C for about 7 - 9 minutes or until golden around edges.

  • The type of the chocolate chips is up to you. I prefer bitter-sweet to milk chocolate, because it's too sweet for me. However, I used milk chocolate chips for these cookies and they were fine, not too sweet at all. So feel free to use bitter, bitter-sweet or milk choc chips :)
  • These cookies are chewy and soft. If you prefer crispy and crunchy ones, leave out one egg and bake them for a bit longer.
  • If you cannot find chocolate chips use chopped chocolate instead. For example in my country it's pretty hard to find them and the only shop I saw them in is Marks&Spencer.
  • You can add any other stuff you like in your cookies - e.g. nuts, coconut, dried fruit etc., but classic is classic :)
  • I highly recommend using the real Bourbon Vanilla pods from Madagascar, grade A (15cm and longer). The pod should be dark brown (almost black) in color and moist. And if you can get them oraganic - you've got the best vanilla pod in the world :)

Verdict:
I know you all know them, so I don't have to tell you how incredibly tasty they are. C'mon guys, chocolate chip cookies! I know you love them! I enjoy them most right after they're removed from oven - hot, silky, chewy and the melted chocolate equal to pure no-fake heaven :) And the vanilla addition is just the final touch leading to the absolute perfectness! Oh, yeah, and be careful during the preparation - the dough is a bliss and you may have a hard time because of forcing yourself to not eat it before the cookies are made :)

10 comments:

  1. Oh yeah! Vanilla makes everthing better! I love the flecks of vanilla through your cookies! And the photo's are brilliant!

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  2. How yummy! Wish I had a batch of these!

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  3. They look so good, I bet your house smelled delicious!
    mickey

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  4. Marcellina: Thank you :) I just love the tiny black seeds, too :)

    Jerri: Thank you :)

    Mickey: Thank you. Yeah, I'm baking lotta Christmas cookies now, so our house is "oversmelled" :D right now.

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  5. Oh i loveeee Madagascar beans too , the grade a ones are the best!
    And i lovee my stock of South Indian beans too , almost 21cms and oh so plump and moist!
    Vanilla in a cookie is fantastic and i lovee those tiny specs to adorn my cookies too!
    Happy hols with love and Merry Christmas too!

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  6. ♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥: I totally agree with you :) (I love your post about vanilla and your vanilla Christmas cakes.) Happy New Year :)

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  7. Lovely looking cookies & beautiful images. Happy New Year!

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  8. Hey, I was wondering how you did that copyright on your photos. I was thinking of putting a watermark on my photos but I found most devalue the picture. So I was wondering what site you use?

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  9. Brendina: My friend has Photoshop so I use this to make the copyright - it's a rectangle shape which I make visible for only 40% so it looks almost transparent (I wasn't very happy with the watermark either). Hope this helps :)

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