Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ina's Best: Chocolate Chunk Cookies or Blondies

I love the "Barefoot Contessa" Ina Garten.  Love her.  She did this recipe recently on her show and I thought, "Wow.  Cookies or blondies using the same recipe."  I love both and this one is awesome.  I did tweak one thing.  The first time I made them I followed the recipe exactly.  Well, almost.  They were amazing, but even for me, a confirmed chocoholic, there were too many chocolate chips.  I guess that was because her recipe called for chocolate chunks.  My bad.  Round II I used half as many chocolate chips and substituted toasted pecans. Dear Lord.  They are awesome.  Try em.

Note:  The original oven temp and timing are in the recipe below.  Try one or two and see how your oven works.  I had to adjust mine to 12 minutes instead of 15. I use half sheet pans with a Silpat liner.  I also rotate my sheet pans half way through and since I use two at a time, I also switch racks. Compulsive I know, but they are all even and perfectly uniform.  Try this one folks.

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate chunks

Directions for cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the butter with the mixer on low speed, mixing only until combined. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chunks.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4-inch-diameter ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

For Blondies:

Grease and flour an 8 x 12 x 2 inch baking pan.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes exactly. Don't over bake! A toothpick may not come out clean. Cool completely in the pan and cut into bars.

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