Friday, October 9, 2009

Yummy Chewy Chocolate Cookies

The ideal chocolate chip cookie. Many search for years and experiment endlessly trying to perfect this simple yet oh-so-complex cookie. The chocolate chip cookie has been a favorite since 1930 when Ruth Wakefield created the delightful delicacy at the Toll House inn she and her husband ran. My mother makes absolutely divine chocolate chip cookies and after being raised on her recipe I found it difficult to create anything but. Until now. I am somewhat of a chocoholic and get my fix from Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips that I keep in my fridge. I am also a cofeeaholic. I like it strong and I like it dark.

While in my favorite thinking spot (my kitchen) I decided to combine my guilty pleasures to create my version of the ideal chocolate chip cookie. It is adapted from the recipe on the Ghirardelli bag with personal changes and additions to make it my own. The cookie is soft and moist has an almost cake-like texture. The addition of the applesauce cuts down on calories while contributing to the cakey texture. Espresso powder is my secret (not-so-secret now) ingredient and adds a bit of a kick to the cookies while mixing its bitterness beautifully with the bitterness of the dark chocolate chips. Enjoy these scrumptious treats and share them with friends and family (or you might inhale them all yourself!)

Makes 4 dozen

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar-free applesauce (cinnamon applesauce is delicious as well)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp espresso powder
2 large eggs
2 cups Ghirardelli chocolate chips (or your favorite, but this one is the best!)
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 375F
2. Combine flour with baking soda and salt, then set aside
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until smooth
4. Add vanilla, eggs and espresso powder one at a time while mixing on low until all combined
5. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture
6. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts
7. Place mixture in freezer for 5 minutes
8. Form small tablespoon-sized balls (I use a cookie scoop) onto ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper)
9. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden brown, let sit on the cookie sheet to cool
10. Dig in!!

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