Saturday, July 24, 2010

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serving Size:

About 25 big cookies

•1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
•4 large eggs, at room temperature
•1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
•1 cup canola or corn oil
•4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
•2 cups sugar
•2 cups tightly packed light brown sugar
•2 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats (not instant)
•2 teaspoons salt
•2 teaspoons baking soda
•2 1/2 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flakes (for best results, stick to this brand)
•1 (12-ounce) bag miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Before you begin

Position 1 oven rack in the top 1/3 of the oven and 1 oven rack in the bottom 1/3 of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheets with the parchment paper.

Mix the dough

Put the butter, eggs, and vanilla in 1 of the large bowls and stir with the wooden spoon until blended. Add the oil and beat well until combined. It will look like a mess, but that’s okay.

Put the flour, sugar, brown sugar, oats, salt, and baking soda in the other large bowl and whisk until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir well with the spoon. You can even use your hands to squish all the ingredients together. Sometimes your hands are the best tools.

Put the corn flakes into the resealable plastic bag, squeeze out the air, and seal the top. Squeeze the bag until the flakes are broken into tiny pieces (do not use a food processor; it grinds the flakes too small). Add the crushed flakes and the chocolate chips to the dough and stir until evenly blended.

Shape the cookies

Use the large (3 tablespoon) or small (1 tablespoon) ice-cream scoop to shape the dough into cookies. You can also shape the dough by measuring out level tablespoons — 3 for each big cookie, 1 for each smaller cookie — and then rolling the dough between your palms into balls.

If you are making large cookies, bake only 6 at a time on each baking sheet, spacing the balls about 4 inches apart. These cookies spread when they bake, and if you put too many on the pan, they will run together. If you are making the smaller cookies, you can fit 12 cookies on each pan. Space them about 2 inches apart into 4 rows with 3 cookies in each row. Press down on each ball with your palm to flatten slightly.

Bake the cookies

Place 1 baking sheet on each oven rack. Bake the large cookies for 7 minutes or the smaller cookies for 6 minutes. Using the oven mitts, switch the pans between the oven racks. Bake until light golden brown, another 7 to 8 minutes for the large cookies, or 6 to 7 minutes for the smaller cookies.

Using the oven mitts, transfer the pans to the cooling racks and let the cookies cool completely (if you can wait that long). You may need to reuse the pans to finish baking all the cookies. Let the pans cool before you put more dough on them for baking. Store the cookies in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to 1 week.

Thinking Ahead:

You can bake some of the cookies today, and freeze the rest of the dough balls for another day. Put the balls close together on a pan and freeze for 30 minutes, or until hard. Transfer the frozen balls to a resealable plastic freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, take out as many cookies as you need, and space them on parchment-lined baking sheets as directed. Let them thaw for 15 minutes, then press down on them to flatten slightly, and bake as directed.


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