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Minirecipe: Take 1. The Chocolate Chip Cookie.

July 30, 2009

This recipe series is for my Dad. A few months ago, my Mom made a chocolate sheet cake (I’ll make one sometime and post about it so you can have the recipe) for a family get-together. Mom and Dad love the occasional dessert, but they definitely don’t have near the sweet tooth that I’ve somehow developed.

Gratuitous cookie shot.

Gratuitous cookie shot.

As a result of their somewhat moderated love of sweet things, my folks have always had a hard time with full-sized desserts. They never can finish a whole pie, a whole cake, or a whole batch of cookies between the two of them. Once I got over the hysterical laughter associated with the phrase “a whole chocolate cake is just too much!” I started thinking about how many of my friends live alone, or with a roommate (or husband/wife) and don’t have the energy or calories to spare on huge desserts. So, to fulfill my father’s wish for single-serving desserts (or couple-servings, as the case may be), I am initiating the Minirecipe series for my blog. These recipes are tested by me for flavor, and will make enough for 2 people to have either in one sitting or in two.

First up? My dad’s favorite: the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Tiny portions

Tiny portions

Now. At this point, I should make a quick comment: this recipe came from the back of the 6 oz. bag of Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips. I’m not sure why, but when Nestle scaled up the recipe, they changed the proportions slightly. The recipe I work with is the following:

1 c. plus 2 T flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/3 c. white sugar

1 stick butter

1 egg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

En route to deliciousness

En route to deliciousness

To scale this recipe down, I cut the values in half, and then in half again. This made for some pretty freaky looking measurements:

1/4 c. + 1/2 T flour

1/8 c. brown sugar

1/12 c. sugar

1/4 stick butter

1/4 egg

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. vanilla

1.5 oz. chocolate chips

For the practical users of this blog, you know there’s not many 1/12 cups laying around. So how did I measure? Weeeell…let me tell you. It was pretty scientific. I basically took a 1/3 cup, filled it with sugar, scooped out half with a spoon, then scooped out half again. I know, it sounds ridiculous. But hey – when you’re making an entire batch of cookies from scratch for 1 person…things get a little hairy.

The bottom line? Turns out it doesn’t matter how exact you are – these beauties turn out well.

Side view

Side view

Method: cream the butter and sugars together. In a separate bowl (or in my house, on a paper towel in a nice pile so you can fold the edges up and make a funnel), stick your flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Once your butter/sugar mixture is creamed well, add the egg. For the smaller recipe, I took an egg, put it in a bowl, beat it together really well, and then scooped out 1/4 of the liquid. I imagine this would work just as well with EggBeaters (or similar) by only pouring 1/4 of the liquid required for one “full” egg.

Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl (if you’re making a full batch do this slowly, as you’ll end up with a room full of flour dust otherwise), mix until just incorporated, then add the vanilla. Mix well (I like to run the beater really really fast at this point, mostly because of the fun noise it makes) and then add the chocolate chips. Give the beaters a good couple of seconds to beat the chips in, but don’t overmix or you’ll end up with weirdly shaved pieces of chocolate chips.

Finishing up

Finishing up

Scoop out your cookies using whatever method you like best – I use a common teaspoon, as the “drop” cookie intended, but my grandma likes using an ice cream scoop for consistency (though I should note it’s shaped like this one, not like that). I use parchment paper on my cookie sheet, so you don’t have cookie mess everywhere, and I bake them at 375 for 9 minutes.* Take them out before they get brown all the way through – a little whitish yellow in the center is OK (see above picture for what they look like as you take them out of the oven).

This recipe yielded 5 normal sized cookies, plus enough leftover dough to make 3 more tomorrow for an afternoon snack. My one complaint was that I put in too many chocolate chips (and my recipe reflects this – I put closer to 3 oz. of chips in, and it really did mess with the texture and flavor – keep it small, and simple).

So: Minirecipe #1: Success! Suggestions/requests for the next minirecipe?

Couldn't resist.

Couldn't resist. And yes. I drink wine with my chocolate chip cookies.

* Normally, they take like 10-11 minutes to get done, but in this recipe, the high number of chips meant that there was less dough to bake, so they literally were done at 9 minutes.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    July 30, 2009 8:54 am

    For simplification purposes, 1/12 c. is equal to 1-1/3 tablespoons or 4 teaspoons (16 tbsp. is equal to 1 c.). But the hard way is a little more fun.

    I’ve never reduced a recipe this far before. The fact that you tried it and succeeded opens up a whole new world

    • lisam permalink
      July 30, 2009 9:36 am

      THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!! I’m horrible with conversions, so I may go back and update the post to reflect this…

      And yes, it was daunting at first, but honestly, it’s so much easier to scale a recipe down than up, as we’ve discussed. And hey – everybody likes a challenge!

      I’m excited about deciding my next mini-project. Weeee shallll seeee…(but if you have any requests, let me know)

  2. Robert permalink
    July 30, 2009 9:27 am

    Thank you Rob! I knew there would be others interested in “mini” recipes. And for the record I did have a sweet tooth at Lisa’s age, in fact while in college my Mom would send a gallon of chocolate chip cookies per week to me so I could have my cookies and milk before bed.

    • lisam permalink
      July 30, 2009 9:33 am

      I should ALSO comment here that my father was a giant rugby player who burned off 100% of his calories by smashing into other young men on the polo fields of A&M when he was at college, so a gallon of chocolate chip cookies per week was no great feat.

      And also I should comment that his mother is one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to cooking (along with my mom and my maternal grandma, from both of whom I have stolen some of the best recipes I have). All of these matriarchs have fed a variety of picky palates successfully over their lifetimes and my hope is to one day live up to 1/4 of what they’ve done for their families. πŸ™‚

  3. Alejandra permalink
    July 30, 2009 10:42 pm

    I LOVE you for doing this!!!! Now that I live alone and don’t even have roomies or fellow bushies who can be coaxed into eating my food, this is one of my great frustrations. I will be trying your recipes πŸ˜€

    • lisam permalink
      July 31, 2009 9:26 am

      Haha, thanks for the comment, Alejandra! I’ll be sure to keep them going then. πŸ™‚

  4. Geoff permalink
    July 31, 2009 5:28 pm

    Rob, that was my first impulse too, but I had no idea what the conversion rate would be, kudos.

    Lisa, this idea is so smart because when I was living alone I had the same problem (but not with desserts, I share your penchant). I was remiss to cook sometimes because I can’t eat leftovers for a week. Can’t or won’t, not sure which.

  5. Geoff permalink
    July 31, 2009 5:30 pm

    I was also going to say that my first glance at the title was a bit askew. I thought it said “Minirecipe: Step 1. Take The Chocolate Chip Cookie.” or some such. This would indeed have been a very short recipe.

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