Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chocolate chip cookies, grown up...

What is a more classic treat than chocolate chip cookies? For the Weekly Wednesday Treat day, we thought it would be fun to bring some in, though these have a few intriguing additions to keep them anything but ordinary.

For these All Grown-Up Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, a rich all-butter cookie dough is made with several common ingredients including all-purpose flour, brown sugar and granulated. These cookies have "chewy" in their title - so what makes these cookies this way? The first special ingredient - Lyle's Golden Syrup. This is a unique caramel-tasting syrup (perfect to drizzle on pancakes by the way!) - you could substitute corn syrup to mimic the texture it gives, but you would be missing out on the captivating subtle flavor this thick mixture brings. With an unmistakable bouquet, a full tablespoon of vanilla into the dough accentuates the sweet notes, but doesn't make you feel like you're eating vanilla cookies.

These cookies have that "hmm... I can't pick out this flavor, but it is so good" quality to them - this comes from the addition of chocolate malted milk powder (I use Carnation). There is not enough for a malted flavor, but it just adds to the complex nature of these cookies. Espresso powder is another one of those ingredient that doesn't really add flavor, but its bitter quality is there to perk up the final addition to the dough. These wouldn't be chocolate chip cookies without the chips of course - a full pound of fat bittersweet chips are stirred in by hand before heaping tablespoons of the dough are placed on the baking sheets. Being an all-butter dough, I tested out about 4 cookies before baking them all - this way I could check for spreading and baking time. Happily, they spread out just enough without needing to be refrigerated, so I didn't need to wait around for it to chill down.

Bake these until the edges achieve a rich golden brown with the centers retaining a light blond color - a little underdone. These cookies are left on the baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes once removed from the oven - this will finish cooking them through and allow them to stay very bend-y and chewy. I wouldn't normally use a pound of chocolate for cookies (12 ounces or less is usually good), but I'll make an exception for these any time as the "grown-up" flavors in these can withstand the intensity. While not paper thin, yet not too thick either, I loved eating through the crispy ring on the perimeter giving free access to the chocolate-laden, quite chewy centers - my favorite combined texture in a cookie!

Foreseeing the sweet "quality-control" time after dinner, I thought we should keep our meal tonight on the light side. This dish, Apricot Chicken and Quinoa, defies the usual mess I make during dinner as it is all contained in one pot. The chicken is actually cooked nestled in the quinoa, but we first seasoned and seared it in a touch of olive oil to ensure a well developed flavor.

Once the onions, garlic and quinoa had been added, broth, slivered apricots, grainy mustard and fresh lemon zest are stirred in. The seared chicken breasts are then embedded into the quinoa to finish cooking it through - a few minutes before the dish is ready, chopped broccoli florets are tossed on top allowing them to steam until they were crisp-tender without the need to dirty another dish. Tangy mustard and the sweet apricots combined with the nutty quinoa made for a delicious lemon-scented bed to set off the moist chicken breasts. Fit for two, this well-rounded dish could easily be expanded to fill more stomachs if needed.


  1. Ah, I so look forward to treat day, as I'm sure your colleagues do too. Always great to get another choc. chip cookie recipe - this sounds yummy with the unique additions!

  2. These cookies sound absolutely delicious! I've had so much good luck with other recipes from your website, so thanks! However, I've never heard of Lyle's Golden Syrup. Can you find it at any supermarket, like in the baking aisle? Their website wasn't much help to me... Thanks for any help you can give!

  3. I love all dessert with the malted milk powder, it really gives an edge to otherwise ordinary baked goods. I like how you made these perfectly flat looking and uniform as well.

  4. I've never tried baking with matled milk powder & now I'm eager to try! Tasha, I had the same question regarding Lyle's and they do sell it on Amazon if not in your local stores.

  5. You're doing so good on those Wednesday Treats. With good coffee who can complain. The addition of malted milk powder is really interesting. I never saw Lyle's Golden Syrup in Canada.

  6. Lori - I know... one can never have enough Chocolate chip cookie recipes!

    Tasha - I can find it in our grocery stores. In the baking isle - sometimes it is in a glass bottle, a can or the squeeze bottle.

    Noble - Thanks!

    Sharon - You really need to try! It's a fun ingredient to play around with.

    Helene - Thanks!