Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was my plain excuse of "fighting" with the lazy bug for not baking lately. The fact is ever since I started watching my first Hong Kong drama show online, I have been so addicted.  In a period of less than a month, I have completed three drama series plus the fourth one with the last four episodes to finish. It was then I thought to myself that I have to pause because this is so horrible and unacceptable of me. Although I'm as eager to finish the remaining episodes of my fourth drama show, I've decided I should (at least) bake one recipe this week. To regain my momentum, I thought I would try out something easy which doesn't take quite as much time and so I've settled with the so-claimed Famous Amos® Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe which my brother had tasked me sometime ago. And what I thought was "easy" turned out to be a disaster (at least it didn't work out for me)! @_@ I'm not sure if there was a typo in the recipe since it was posted in 2011 but I am quite certain that the amount of butter stated in the recipe might not have been accurate from the result of the cookies I'd made (regret my impulsiveness of deleting the pictures because the cookies were just too ugly to look at, otherwise I could have shared here). Although I ended up spending two days instead of one as planned in my cookies baking, I was satisfied with the results of my chocolate chip cookies after my own trials and errors. With that, I have completed my "mission"! ^_^

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Dream Baker's Creation

Ingredients Required

1 1/2 cup cold margarine, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large whole egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bakeware Used

Two baking sheets with dimensions 15.25"x10.25"x0.75" lined with parchment paper (optional)

Preparation Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set dry mixture aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat margarine and both sugars together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and continue beating until well combined. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
  5. With the electric mixer on low speed, spoon in dry mixture and mix until well combined.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.
  7. Wrap cookie dough in cling wrap and refrigerate overnight (optional).
  8. Pinch cookie dough into small pieces (with at least 3 - 4 chocolate chips per piece) and place on baking sheet about 1 1/2-inch apart.
  9. Bake at preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are slightly brown. Cookies may be soft when hot but will eventually harden when cooled. Therefore, do not over-bake.
  10. Once baked, remove baking sheet from oven and let cookies sit on baking sheet for one minute. Gently shake the baking sheet to release cookies from parchment paper and let cookies cool over wire rack. Let the baking sheets cool slightly (to a temperature which allows handling with bare hands when touch) before placing the next batch of cookie dough for baking. Repeat steps 8 to 10 until all cookie dough is finished.
  11. Store cookies in air tight containers once completely cooled.

The Dream Baker's Experiment
  1. I used margarine (which contained 80% vegetable oil) simply because my husband doesn't take butter. According to many of the baking references, margarine and unsalted butter may be used interchangeably in most recipes. I specified cold margarine because I did not leave them at room temperature prior to use. However, I first cut the margarine into cubes (immediately after taken out from the fridge) before I proceeded to measure the rest of the ingredients.
  2. I used egg at room temperature which measured approximately 59 grams (with shell on).
  3. I divided the cookie dough into two portions and kept one in the fridge overnight before baking the next day, while baking the other portion immediately after combining all ingredients. Although the cookies made from the dough without refrigeration were still as tasty, the inside of the cookies were a little soft (slightly chewy alike), and I find that the cookies made from the cookie dough which was refrigerated overnight were totally crunchy - both baked at the same oven temperature and baking time. 
  4. I (preferred and) baked one baking sheet at a time in the middle rack of the oven. Two baking sheets can also be baked at the same time by placing each on the top and the bottom rack of the oven. However, the baking sheets (on the top rack and bottom rack) have to be switched (down and up) respectively halfway through the baking time so that the cookies will bake evenly. Baking one tray at a time also allowed the baking sheet to cool before next use. The cooling of the baking sheet is necessary because the (bottom of the) cookie dough begin to "cook" when placed on hot baking sheet, resulting in the bottom of the cookies slightly burnt by the end of the baking time required to achieve the desired crunch of the cookies.
  5. The baking time varies across different ovens. It is advisable to check the cookies every minute after the end of the 10th minute into the baking duration to prevent the cookies from over-baking. Reduced baking time will yield a slightly chewy inside of the cookie while over-baking will result in a bitter (burnt) taste (although the cookies will still be crunchy).
  6. This recipes makes at least 150 pieces based on the size of the cookie dough as shown.
The parchment paper is optional if using a non-stick baking sheet and the cookies can still be released from the baking sheet easily when baked without parchment paper. Use parchment paper if you are lazy with the washing like me (I used only two pieces (by re-using the parchment paper) for my entire baking). Depending on the size of the cookie dough, I could place up to 18 pieces with the size of the baking sheet used (without overcrowding the cookies).

I just love these bite-size cookies! Just pop the whole piece into your mouth without worrying about having to clean up the crumbs dropped from biting up the cookies. Oh yes, they are just so crunchy! Although I can't say that these are the same as Famous Amos® version, but they are definitely a close match. A satisfying homemade version of Famous Amos® Chocolate Chips Cookies indeed. *_*

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker

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