Not-Your-Average Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yep, you read that title right, not-your-average chocolate chip cookies!  What makes them not average?  I’m glad you asked, they’re made with brown butter for added flavor, quite a bit of vanilla extract and the secret weapon: espresso powder.  These cookies are packed with lots of flavor and go perfectly with a nice cold glass of milk!

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Today, let’s talk flour!  If you’ve ever been in the baking aisle and looked at the flour selection it’s easy to get confused.  Bread flour, pastry flour, all-purpose flour, and so many others.  What exactly are the differences?  And does it really matter if you mix them up?  First off, flour is made from wheat.  There are two main types of wheat: soft and hard wheat.  Soft wheat has less protein meaning less gluten formation so it’s best used in cakes and scones.  While hard wheat has a higher gluten content and is best for breads.  (Click here for more background info on gluten).

Now that we got that cleared up, let’s explore the different types of flours out there.  The most used flour in baking is all-purpose.  As the name suggests, you can use it in almost any recipe.  All-purpose flour is made from both soft and hard wheat and has a protein level of 10-12%.  Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour with leavening agents added.  On the lower gluten side there is cake flour, made only from soft wheat.  It was a 5-8% protein level.  Cake flour is best used in (you guessed it), cakes.  It also is good for biscuits since it makes products tender and very soft.  Pastry flour is between cake flour and all-purpose flour.  It’s best used for pie crust where you want it to be tender but also have enough gluten to keep its shape.  Pastry flour has a protein level between 8-9%.  Lastly, there’s bread flour.  Bread flour has the highest protein level, 12-15% and is used best for breads.

When you’re looking at the flour selection you’ll also notice some flours are labeled as bleached and others as unbleached.  Flour is bleached for color but also to speed up the aging process.  Some of these chemicals are: benzoyl peroxide, chlorine dioxide and potassium bromate.  Chlorine dioxide is listed as a toxic substance by the FDA however is must be proven to be harmful for it to be banned.  Chlorine dioxide also reacts with flour in a not-so-good way; it creates Alloxan.  Alloxan damages pancreatic cells, which can eventually cause the pancreas to stop producing insulin resulting in type 2 Diabetes.

Unbleached flour is also technically bleached, but naturally as it ages.  Unbleached flours tend to be more expensive than bleach flours because they take more time to age, however personally I prefer to use unbleached flours!

Enough of the scary flour talk, time for the delicious part!

 

Not-Your-Average Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chunks
  1. In a medium saucepan add butter.  Brown butter, stir at first then once it starts to boil stop stirring.  Let simmer until there are brown bits on bottom of pan (be careful it will burn quickly!)                                        img_2463
  2. Line a bowl with aluminium foil and pour hot brown butter into it.  Pop in freezer for 20-30 minutes until solid. (You should have 2/3 cup of brown butter) img_2465.jpg
  3. After butter is solid, add to stand mixer with both sugars.  Cream for 5 minutes.  img_2466
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. While butter is creaming, combine both flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, add vanilla extract and espresso powder.  Mix together until espresso powder is dissolved, set aside. img_2467
  7. Add the egg to the butter and sugar, and cream another 2 minutes (it should be very light in color).
  8. Pour in the vanilla espresso mixture.
  9. Add the flour in 3 additions, then the chocolate.
  10.  Scoop cookies onto parchment lined tray and bake for 10 minutes, rotate tray and bake 5-6 more minutes or until edges are golden but middle is still soft.

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These cookies are a work of art.  They look gorgeous and their flavor profile is on another level.  Maybe these should be called “4th Dimension Chocolate Chip Cookies” instead?

 

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