When I was a kid, one of my favorite snacks was to layer two slices of American cheese on top of a piece of Wonder bread and microwave it until the bread transformed into the texture of a crouton and the cheese bubbled up, hardened, and was slightly brown around the edges. You could say that I have an affinity for things to be crispy and well done. So, it’s no surprise that Alice Medrich’s recipe for Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies has catapulted itself into my top 10 favorite cookie recipes. These cookies are surprisingly sturdy yet very thin, they hold their perfectly round shape during baking, and they’re snappy with their crisp. An interesting thing to note with this recipe is that it does not have any eggs or vanilla extract. And the cookies are easy to make as they don’t require a mixer. You should set aside a little time for the dough to rest before baking.
Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich – http://alicemedrich.com/books/; My notes are in italics between [ ] .)
Makes 15 5-inch cookies
1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp salt
10 tablespoons (5 oz) unsalted butter, melted [I melted the butter in the microwave]
½ cup (1 ½ oz) quick-cooking oats [not regular oats]
½ cup (3 ½ oz) granulated sugar
¼ cup (1 ¾ oz) packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (2 ounces) light corn syrup
2 tablespoons whole milk [I didn’t have whole milk so I used a mixture of heavy cream and 2% milk]
1 cup (6 oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chunks [I used semisweet chocolate chips]
- Position the racks in the middle and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookies sheets with foil, dull side up, or parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together through with a whisk.
- Whisk together the melted butter, oats, sugars, corny syrup, and milk in a large bowl. Mix in the flour mixture. Mix in the nuts, if using. If the dough is warm from the butter, let it cool before adding in the chocolate. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks.
- If possible, let the dough rest for at least several hours at room temperature, or, better still, overnight in the fridge. The rest makes for an especially crisp and flavorful cookie.
- Divide the dough into 15 equal portions (each a scant ¼ cup, or about 1 ¾ oz). Arrange 5 pieces of dough (4 to make a square and 1 in the center) well apart on each of the lined cookie sheets, keeping in mind that the cookies will spread to 5 inches. With the heel of your hand, flatten each piece of dough until it is about 3 ½ inches in diameter. Flatten the remaining 5 pieces of dough on another large sheet of foil/parchment; set aside.
- Bake the two sheets for 18 to 24 minutes, until the cookies are thin and very brown- if they are too pale, they will not be crisp. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. If the cookies are not baked enough, they will not be perfectly crispy when they are cool. If this happens you can return the cooled cookies to the oven for a few minutes.
- Slide the sheets of foil onto the racks to cool completely before removing the cookies. Bake the third batch; you can even slide the sheet of foil/parchment and cookies onto a hot cookie sheet, as long as you immediately put the pan in the oven.
The cookies keep in an airtight container for at least 3 days.
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