Last month while visiting the local book store I was attracted by a sign advertising a sale on food-related books. I always check out the book store knowing that I will most likely walk out of there without buying anything because I still feel like my level of knowledge of Swedish is too low to read a novel. This time, though, as I was checking out recipe books, I decided that that could be a good starting point, so I chose one and took it home. The book was United States of Cakes by Roy Fares.
The first recipe I decided to try from this book is chocolate chip cookies. I have never made chocolate chip cookies, so I thought that this book could be a good starting point. So here is the recipe, taken from the book.
Chocolate chip cookies (from United States of Cakes)
- 230 g butter (room temperature)
- 170 g sugar
- 120 g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 330 g flour
- 7 g soda
- 3 g vanilla sugar
- 3 g salt
- 130 g hazelnuts
- 300 g dark chocolate
As a first thing I roughly chopped the chocolate with a knife, and coarsely crushed the hazelnuts in the food processor. I used roasted hazelnuts, the book recommends to toast them yourself if using nuts that had not been previously roasted. Once the chocolate and the hazelnuts are crushed, I proceeded making the cookie dough.
Next, combine butter and sugars and cream them using a hand mixer. In another bowl, mix flour, soda, vanilla sugar and salt. Crack an egg over the creamed butter mixture, add flour mix and work it all in with your hands until the flour is incorporated. Add the chocolate pieces and the hazelnuts and work those in. Do not overmix in order to not melt the chocolate with your body heat.
As per the book, this amount of dough should yield 30 cookies, so in order to have nice cookies identical in size I weighed the dough and divided that number by 30. The result was 46, so I divided my dough into 30 45-gram balls, evenly divided onto two oven trays lined with baking paper. Before putting the cookies in the oven I gently flattened each ball with the bottom of a mug. Cookies need to be baked at 190°C for about 10-15 minutes (until they get slightly brown) and require complete cooling down afterwards. They will harden and become crunchy after some air drying. I know that there are people who love them a little soft, but to me nothing beats crunchiness in cookies so I liked them better on the second day, after leaving them out for many hours to properly dry.I think that the best thing about these cookies were the hazelnuts. I used top quality hazelnuts from Piedmont that my mom recently mailed to me, and when you get to cook with high quality ingredients you can really tell the difference. I took these biscuits with me to a friend’s place when Italy played its first match against Belgium and I met up with fellow Italians to watch the game on TV. These cookies proved an excellent Euro Cup treat, everybody loved them! And Italy won, so that night was a double win.