Friday, June 8, 2012

Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found the recipe for these cookies the day after I got my wisdom teeth out.  I was immediately intrigued by the title, thousand layer- who wouldn't want to try a thousand layer chocolate chip cookie?  Talk about sheer torture, I couldn't make them because I couldn't eat them, so I made a note to myself to make them as soon as I could chew.  The very next weekend, I made my first (and second batch of these cookies).

The recipe is pretty much the same as the toll house recipe, except you use egg yolks only and you layer the dough and smash the chips in.  The extra step of layering the dough had me intimidated for about two days before I finally bit the bullet and made them.  Seriously, the extra step adds very little time and the end result is so good that you won't even mind.  The cookies are crispy on the outside and edges and soft and delicious in the middle.  They taste exactly like the big giant chocolate chip cookies I used to buy from the bakery that used to be in the town where I grew up.

If you've got a party or barbecue to go to this summer, you might consider bringing a batch of these, they are sure to be a hit.  The best part?  You can freeze the cookies once you cut them out and bake them directly from the freezer and your craving hits.
Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Oven:  375'

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
6 oz mini chocolate chips- I wouldn't try normal sized chips, I don't think they'd work well here (or you can shred a chocolate bar)

1) With paddle attachment in mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium high until light and fluffy.

2) While butter/sugars are beating, separate eggs, saving the yolks.  After butter is creamed, add in egg yolks and vanilla.  Scape down sides.

3) In separate medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly add flour mixture to batter in mixing bowl, mix on low until combined.  Scrape down sides, mix again, then stop mixing. Scrape dough off of paddle.

4) Stretch a piece of plastic wrap on your counter.  Take 1/3 of dough, place it on the plastic wrap and using your hands, form it into a 4X8 rectangle.  Wrap the dough rectangle up in the plastic wrap and set aside.  Repeat the process for the remaining 2/3 of the dough.  Try to keep each rectangle the same size.  Place the three wrapped rectangles in the refrigerator to firm up slightly for 30 minutes.

5) After the dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, remove it and bring it to the counter top.  Lightly flour the counter top, unwrap and place the first rectangle on the floured surface.  Place 1/2 of the chocolate chips on top of the dough rectangle.  Place the second rectangle on top of the chips, then place the remaining 1/2 of the chocolate chips on top of this, and finally, cover the top with the last dough rectangle. You will have a pretty high mound of dough and chips (it's ok if chips fall out, you will collect them later).
6) Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll/pound the dough down to about 1- 1 1/2" thick.  Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out cookies and place them on a plate covered with parchment paper.
Take the dough scraps and smoosh them together (at this point, I abandon the rolling pin and just use my hands).  Form another 1" thick dough piece and cut out more cookies, continue until there is enough dough left to smoosh into the center of the cookie cutter to form the last cookie.
7) Put the cut out cookies in the fridge for 1 hour (lightly covered with plastic wrap).  At this point, you can stick them in the freezer for about thirty minutes to begin freezing, and then transfer them to a freezer safe plastic bag for storage until you are ready to cook them.  (Note:  I have made them from the freezer, from the fridge after 1 hour, and impatiently right away after cutting them out.  I haven't noticed a huge difference in flavor immediately, but the leftovers the second day taste way better from the ones that have been refrigerated for 1 hour before baking.  If you do any type of research online for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, they all seem to stand by refrigerating the dough before cooking to maximize flavor - most are in there at least six hours).

8) After 1 hour, remove cookies from the fridge, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  If you like (and I do), sprinkle the tops with sea salt.  Bake in 375' oven for 15-20 minutes (until edges are golden and tops start to turn golden.  Try to let them cool before biting in.  If you are baking from the freezer, cook time will be 20-25 minutes, but let the color of the tops be your guide.

Source:  The Newlyweds Cookbook by Sarah Copeland via Tracey's Culinary Adventures
How did I do it?  The first time I made these, Dave was out of town on a business trip.  Since I was using the mixer, I didn't need to be fully paying attention.  I was adding ingredients to the mixer while I was making dinner for the kids.  When the dough was done, I took five minutes while they were drinking their milk to form the rectangles and get them in the fridge.  Then while they were in there for 30 minutes, I served dinner, did the dishes, and cleaned up the table.  While I was pounding out the cookies, a few kids were helping, and the others were reading books.  WHile the cookies were refrigerating for 1 hour, we did baths and jammies, then we got impatient and baked them after 30 minutes.  While they were baking, we read bedtime stories, then we ate them, brushed teeth, and they were off to bed so I could sneak a few more cookies.

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