Friday, July 13, 2012

Puffy Vanilla Cookies with Chocolate Chips

A couple of weeks ago my husband went to get his hair cut. It was a Saturday afternoon so he figured that he might have to wait a bit. I got to wander around and visit my favorite consignment shop, which was very nice. What I didn’t realize was that the first place he went didn’t work out, and despite waiting there for a bit, he had to get his hair cut elsewhere. Not all was a loss, because these cookies came about because of him having to wait. 

While he was waiting, he came across information in a magazine about the Sonoma Syrup Company. The magazine described the vanilla that they sell that is a combination of Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla. He figured I could use it in baking (isn’t he sweet) and ordered some. It was a great surprise when the order came (and I’m looking forward to using the Sea Salt Caramel and Bittersweet Chocolate Syrup that he also bought).

To test out the flavor of this syrup, I wanted to make a fairly basic cookie and make one batch with regular (Madagascar) vanilla and one with the new, fancy vanilla. I made these cookies as they contained a lot of vanilla, but was otherwise a simple chocolate chip cookie. The difference is subtle, but you can certainly tell the difference. It’s a bit hard to describe, but the new vanilla is much more complex. Kind of like wine that has different complexities, but is a little hard to describe. I’m looking forward to using this new vanilla in different recipes.

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup chocolate (or other) chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening, sugars, egg, water, and vanilla, until batter is creamy. Add the salt, baking soda, flour and mix until just combined. Stir in the chips by hand. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will look under baked and will just be beginning to brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Averie Cooks

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