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(There will be a much bigger post coming, with tips and tricks, how the cookie evolved,  and a video! However, I’ve had so many emails about this recipe, and it is showing up everywhere else on the internet, I thought I might as well put it on my site so I can answer questions and help troubleshoot here.)

To buy my book (complete with the cookie recipe, as well as many, many more!) click here.

(Pan-Banging) Chocolate Chip Cookies
As seen in the NYTimes and Star Tribune.

Originally I thought to include a different chocolate chip cookie recipe in this book. It was my go-to cookie, one I had made for years at Bordertown Coffee. I began working on a thin and crispy version, and along the way it evolved into this recipe. The cookie falls somewhere in the middle of gooey and crispy, with edges that shatter in your mouth and a center that is soft and full of chocolate. My family loved it so much that my original recipe hasn’t seen the light of day since. Meet our new house cookie. Makes 10 cookies.

2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks; 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups (297 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50 g) packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces averaging ½ inch with some
smaller and some larger

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil, dull side up.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix on low to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low into the batter.

Form the dough into 3½-ounce (100g) balls (a heaping 1/3 cup each). Place 4 balls an equal distance apart on a prepared pan and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. After you put the first baking sheet in the oven, put the second one in the freezer.

Place the chilled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 inches and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down (this will feel wrong, but trust me). After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake 16 to 18 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

NOTES: These cookies are rather large, but to get the edges to spread out and crinkle, they need to be on the big side. If you want to make the cookies smaller, you won’t get as many ridges on the outer layer, and your center won’t be quite as gooey. They will still be delicious, but not quite what I intended for you.

If you skip freezing the cookies, they will spread too much on the pan and will not form the crinkly outer layer.

Chocolate chips are not a good substitution for the chopped chocolate; the cookies will not turn out the same with chips. If you do still want to use chocolate chips, you will need to use 8 ounces chips and make the cookies 2½ ounces big.

Using the dull side of aluminum foil to bake these cookies is a little trick I learned after hearing Alice Medrich speak. The foil helps make for an extra-crisp, golden brown bottom. Parchment paper can also be used with good results.

The cookies are delicious warm, but I’ve found I love them a couple of days later just as much. I usually store them in the fridge and sneak pieces of them cold.

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Sarah Kieffer, 2016.

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

It’s finally time: The Vanilla Bean Baking Book is available for pre-order!

This cookbook is brimming with over 100 baking recipes and nearly 200 photos; everything from Mixed Berry Muffins and Creme Fraiche Scones to Ganache Cupcakes with Basil Buttercream and Cherry-Strawberry Slab Pie. It can be purchased early now, and will be sent out or available on bookstore shelves November 8th. This also happens to be Election Day, so depending on whether your candidate wins or loses, you could find it useful for either comfort baking or celebrating. I’m hoping to celebrate, with my Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream (found in the Party Cakes chapter).
vanilla bean baking book
I spent almost two years working on this book. When Avery approached me, I had never taken on a project this big before, or one with multiple deadlines. It required figuring out how to balance both work and home life, which was quite a challenge initially. My work space, the kitchen, is the center of our home, and a place that is needed for more than just recipe testing. My family came to find the sink and dishwasher were forever overflowing with bowls, whisks, knives, measuring cups, and spatulas. The noise of the mixer was a consistent background hum, the refrigerator always packed full, and the oven made our kitchen a constant blazing furnace. I would frantically text my husband at work with grocery lists: butter, chocolate, sugar, flour, eggs, and more butter! It was a struggle at times for all four of us to flow well with evidence of the cookbook piled everywhere, but eventually I managed to find a rhythm to testing recipes and writing. I baked all day while the kids were at school, and then wrote each night, after they were tucked into bed. It helped to have a supportive family during these months; my husband and kids encouraging and helping me.

I must admit I am feeling many different emotions presenting you with this sneak peak; excitement and nervousness, mixed with joy and fear. I worked so many hours on these recipes: testing and retesting, then retesting again. I don’t know how many times I made my All-Butter pie crust, or Easy Danish Dough. So many I can’t count them. My husband told me the brownies were perfect after months of testing, but I made them six more times anyway, trying to get them just right. I finally did. My father-in-law came over every day to pick up cookies and pies and cakes and bars, my husband brought the same into work each morning. If there hadn’t been a deadline in place, I might still be in my kitchen, making that Orange Cranberry Bundt Cake ‘just one more time.’ But now I’m here, on the other side of the work, with a collection of recipes and photographs on printed paper. I’m so excited, and (dare I say) proud, to share this book with you. My hope is for this book to become a trusted, go-to reference in your kitchen, well-worn and used; pages earmarked, smudged with chocolate and cake batter, and filled with your pencil marks and notes.
The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book
The Vanilla Bean Baking Book is divided into seven chapters: Morning Baking; Quick Breads, Muffins, and Everyday Cakes; Party Cakes, Pies, and Tarts; Cookies and Bars; No-Churn Ice Cream; and Homemade Staples. Recipes range from simple to complex, but there are visual guides to help with recipes that are a bit more work. Some of my favorites from the book are: Pumpkin Scones, Apricot Danish, Ginger Chocolate Bread, Honey Cake, Blackberry White Chocolate Cake, Peach Caramel Pie, my new and improved Chocolate Chip Cookies, and S’mores Ice Cream Cake (which I am bringing to you tomorrow, so stay tuned!).

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book is available for pre-order! You can order from the links below, as well as from major retail stores:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / BAM / IndieBound /Amazon.ca / Indigo.ca /
The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

You can also follow along on Instagram! My hashtag for the book is #vanillabeanbakingbook

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

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