Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Corollary

cor·ol·lary: something that naturally follows or results from another thing

Hmmm. What naturally follows Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Find Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe here.

Here's how to change it to Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Decrease flour to 3 C (12.8 oz.); add 1 C unsweetened cocoa to the dry ingredients.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Kathy's Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest Continues!

About a year ago I posted this about Chocolate Chip Cookies. I noted the prominent place these cookies have in my family heritage. Because of my concerns about shortening, I highlighted some of my efforts to use other fats in its place, most notably coconut oil.

A few months ago, I tried using lard. Just so you know, while the texture of the cookies was good, the taste was affected negatively. Now, lest you think I was crazy to try lard, I did so because of a recipe for Chinese Almond Cookies that a friend gave me years ago that uses lard with delicious effect. But I recommend keeping it out of Chocolate Chip Cookies.

My daughter commented in the previous post that she had used 1/2 shortening and 1/2 coconut oil with good results. I finally got around to trying that today. One of the reasons it took me so long was the need to buy shortening. I hadn't had any in the house for at least a year. Chocolate Chip Cookies is the last recipe I have that uses shortening for which I have not yet found a suitable replacement.

Success! The flavor of the coconut oil was subtly discernible in the cookie dough and in the cookies. As you can see in the picture, the texture of the cookies was very nice.

Follow the asterisk (*)  in Mom's recipe for my alteration using 1/2 shortening and 1/2 coconut oil.

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1½ C white sugar
1½ C brown sugar
1½ C shortening (10.8 oz.)*
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4½ C flour (1 lb. 3.1 oz.)
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream together sugar, brown sugar, shortening, eggs, and vanilla. Sift (or just stir) together flour, salt, and baking soda; and then add to creamed mixture. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake.

*or ½ coconut oil (¾ C or 5.25 oz.) and ½ shortening (¾ C or 5.4 oz.):
Warm the coconut oil in the microwave to the point where it can be stirred and become creamy. Mix the shortening in with it. Then cream it with the sugar and brown sugar; add the eggs one at a time; add the vanilla. Beat well throughout. Continue as above.

I don't pretend that chocolate chip cookies are even slightly healthful. But this alteration makes them slightly less unhealthful, while preserving their characteristic texture and slightly enhancing their delicious flavor.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Homemade Hamburger Rolls? You're Welcome!

It took me long enough. But I finally baked hamburger rolls.

Summer cookouts, I'm ready for you.

It turned out to be surprisingly easy. I used my Dinner Roll recipe, which you can find here. But I'm going to rewrite it here, because my process has evolved a little over time.

Dinner Rolls
Based on Aunt Betty's Sweet Roll Dough

1½ C lukewarm water
1 T yeast
¼ C sugar
¼ C canola oil
¼ C instant potato flakes
½ C instant nonfat dry milk (9 T non-instant)
¾ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1½ C (6.4 oz.) soft white whole wheat flour + 3 C (12.8 oz.) hard white whole wheat flour
Note: This is my preferred flour combination. Other alternatives:
1½ C (6.4 oz.) soft white whole wheat flour + 3 C (12.8 oz.) hard red whole wheat flour
1½ C (6.4 oz.) soft white whole wheat flour + 3 C (12.8 oz.) all-purpose flour
4½ C (19.2 oz.) hard white whole wheat, hard red whole wheat, or all-purpose flour

Pour warm water in stand mixer (KitchenAid) bowl. Add sugar, yeast, and the soft white whole wheat flour. Using the paddle (not the dough hook), mix on lowest setting while adding the canola oil, potato flakes, dry milk, and salt. Stop the mixer and add a few spoonfuls of the hard white whole wheat flour, and then the eggs. Resume mixing on lowest setting; add the rest of the flour, and continue mixing for 5 minutes. Turn off mixer and cover the bowl with damp kitchen towel. Let dough sit for 30 minutes.

On a clean, dry counter, sprinkle about ½ C hard white whole wheat flour. Have some more on hand, just in case. Lower the mixing bowl and detach the paddle, disturbing the dough as little as possible. Use a wet spoon to scrape dough from the paddle into the bowl. Use the wet spoon to scrape the dough from the bowl onto the floured counter. It will come out fairly easily because of the rising.

Knead the dough 40-50 times, until it is smooth and elastic, but not dry.

Place the dough in a large bowl with a small amount of canola oil to coat the surface. Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap. Set in a cold place—probably the refrigerator—for 1½ hours.

Punch down the dough and fold it a few times. Divide it into 24 pieces. A dough scraper is great for cutting the dough. Form each piece into a ball by stretching the top and pinching the ends together at the bottom. Place the rolls about ½-1 inch apart on buttered (or parchment papered) baking sheets. 24 fit nicely on a baker's half sheet. Cover the rolls; let rise at warm room temperature for 45 minutes. If your baking sheet situation is such that you won't be able to fit all of the rolls in the oven at the same time, set the ones that will have to wait in the refrigerator, setting them out again when you put the first ones in the oven.

For Hamburger Rolls: After making the balls, flatten each ball into a 3-inch round. Place the rounds about ½ inch apart on buttered (or parchment papered) baking sheets. 12 fit nicely on a baker's half sheet.

A few minutes before the rolls are finished rising, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the rolls at 400°F for 5 minutes; reduce temperature to 350°F and continue baking another 10-12 minutes, or until the rolls are browned on top. Remove the pan from the oven and set to cool on a rack.

After the rolls are completely cool, put them in clean plastic bags. Freeze any that you will not use within a couple of days.