I Can’t Believe It’s Not [as] Butter[y]

You-Won’t-Miss-the-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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For real!  You won’t miss the half-stick of butter that didn’t report to roll call for these cookies.  They’re every bit as soft and decadent-tasting as Grandma Tollhouse’s classics, yet they’re a bit friendlier to your large vessels and thighs.

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Chocolate chip cookies are a universally-accepted peace-making, thank-you-expressing, love-sharing, happiness-bringing, all-purpose cookie.  Thus, having a few different options for this baking staple is as wise and safe as investing in mutual funds — things like snickerdoodles and lebkuchen are a bit more volatile.

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DISCLAIMER:  I’m a chewy cookie girl — crispy, crunchy, or sandy cookies just don’t do it for me — so take my texture rhapsodizing cum grano [coarse] salis.

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Subbing some of the butter for canola oil not only improves the “good”:”bad” sat fat ratio, but the swap yields a chewy texture that maintains its “soft-baked” mouthfeel for daaaaaaaaaaaays.  Adding an additional yolk to the dough prevents the typical foil of “light” cookies, namely an airy-cakey crumb that screams, “THERE’S NOT ENOUGH BUTTER IN HERE!”  These cookies are delightfully dense, despite their lack of lard.

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Though wonderful as is, especially when accompanied by a tall glass of milk or packed in a lunch box, these cookies are ideal for ice cream sandwich making.  My only issue with ice cream sandwiches – seriously, my only issue – is a poor choice of cookie.  You need the perfect balance of cookie-to-cream, so super thick cookies are out, and crunchy cookies make it difficult to bite through all three layers without the whole thing falling apart (plus, well, crunchy…see the above “disclaimer”).

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Perhaps, given the theme of these cookies, you may want to swap your ice cream for a low fat frozen yogurt, but, if you don’t I won’t tell — just watch a P90X video while you eat it 😉

You-Won’t-Miss-the-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

YIELD:  ~12 “bakery” cookies or ~24 “civilized” cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned & chilled in the fridge for 20 minutes
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg + 1 add’l yolk, room temp
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
+/- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (only if you’re into that whole deliciousthing)
1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (or another 1/2 cup chocolate if you’re more into that life)
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Cream together chilled brown butter, canola oil, and both sugars, on medium-high speed, until pale & fluffy, ~ 2-3 minutes.  Beat in vanilla, egg, and yolk for an additional 1-2 minutes.  In a large measuring cup, use a fork to aerate and combine flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder, if using.  With mixer on low, slowly add in dry ingredients, mixing only until JUST combined.  Use a rubber spatula to quickly fold in the chocolate +/- nuts.  Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for 24-48 hours.
Remove dough from fridge 1 hour prior to handling.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees farenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Use two spoons to scoop out and shape dough blobs:  “bakery” cookies are ~golf-ball-sized, & “civilized” cookies are ~a tablespoonful of dough.  If you have any rough-looking dough edges, use a barely-damp finger to smooth out the perimeter of each cookie.  Chill sheet of dough blobs for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle each dough blob with a hint of coarse sea salt, and bake 14 minutes (for “bakery” cookies) or 9-10 minutes (for “civilized” cookies), rotating sheet halfway through bake time – edges should just barely be hinting at golden brown.  Let cool 5 minutes on sheet, then transfer to wire racks for complete cooling.  Store in airtight containers, at room temp, for up to 4 days.
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Lunchbox ready!  …4-day week 🙂

 

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