Monday, June 8, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pizza

Oh how the eyes of a child light up when you say you are going to make a giant chocolate chip cookie!

First I started with a round pizza stone. A round pizza pan is ideal so that when the cookie spreads it will not run into anything. You can use any pizza pan you want. A disposable foil pizza pan would be perfect if you are giving the chocolate chip pizza away. Just leave it in the pan and then wrap it in cellophane.

For our pizza we wanted to slide it off the pizza pan when it was done so we traced the round stone onto the parchment paper, and then cut it out so it fit the pan perfectly.

I am a huge advocate of homemade chocolate chip cookie dough. It tastes better and looks better and has less"stuff" in it. And by stuff I mean all the little extras that make the shelf life longer. EW! However, I do not stand on such high moral ground that I would not confess to having used it on occassion. It is convenient when time is short. The one thing to keep in mind about store bought dough is that it spreads very easily. You will want a good spacer between the cookie dough and the edge of your pan, and absolutely use the parchment paper. 

Here I simply made a cookie dough disk, using my favorite recipe, in the middle of the pan and left plenty of room for spreading.  Then, made it is as close to a perfect circle as I could and made sure that the thickness of the dough was the same all over.

I cooked the dough at a low temperature of 300 degrees. Low and slow is the best when baking large chocolate chip cookies.  

I just had to take a little peak in the oven to make sure that is was cooking nicely. This was after it had been in for about 20 min.

Five more minutes at 25 minutes in the oven the edges and the very top peaks of the cookie were golden brown and it was time to come out.  I left it on the stone for another 5-10 minutes before sliding it off onto a cooling rack. This bad boy measures 10 1/2" wide.

I could have had a larger cookie, but I only used 2/3 of my dough. I needed some dough for another project of mine.

I wanted to really pretty up this cookie with some icing and toppings and make it look like a real pizza. But as with real pizza in our house, this chocolate chip pizza was eaten simply without toppings. I could not keep the kids at bay any longer and when even my husband asked when we were going to cut and eat, I knew I was out numbered. 


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chopping A Chocolate Bar

Cutting up your favorite chocolate bar for your cookie dough is simple. Take a large kitchen knife and coarsely chop the chocolate into smaller pieces. The pieces do not need to be uniform as that will add character to your cookies. You can make them as large or as small as you like, but I prefer to have a combination of very large pieces and small pieces.

Monday, March 30, 2009

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Heaven

I decided to make the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie for my first blog post because it is spring and such a pretty cookie.  It reminds me of a more tropical climate which I would gladly take right now.
I used my basic Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. It really is one of the most versatile cookie dough bases to use.  I then added white chocolate chunks, and macadamia nuts. 

Usually when I use white chocolate I just buy a "chip". But this time I really wanted a decadent cookie so I used a quality white chocolate. I also wanted the more dramatic look of large chunks throughout the cookie. This Baker's chocolate comes in 6 1 oz squares which I just coarsely chopped.

Macadamia nuts are one of the more expensive nuts but well worth the extra money. Buying pre-packaged nuts off the baking aisle can either leave you spending more than you wanted and with nuts left over or not enough.  The best way to buy just the amount you need for one recipe, or even a lot for that matter, is to buy them in the bulk section at your grocery store.  You will save lots of money and get JUST what you need.

Macadamia nuts kind of look like someone has already  chopped them in half for you. I like to leave them a little larger so I roughly run a knife through them once more.

Then I chopped the white chocolate bars into chunks.

I am a firm bleiever in mixing  the nuts and the chocolate in by hand.

Notice that the dough balls are FULL of large chocolate chunks and nuts. This is good and not to be worried about. The cookies will look great when they are done.  In this picture the dough drops are very close together. DO NOT BAKE THIS WAY. You will end up with sheet cake. I just place them this close together to chill them in the fridge. When I bake them there are no more than 12 to a sheet.

There are so many ways to dress up cookies for delivery. I usually have on hand many different kinds of decorative plates,boxes, bags and ribbons. Any time I see something on major clearance or at the dollar store I buy some for the next time I give cookies away.  People love pretty presentation and it makes it just a bit more special and appetizing. A clear cellophane bag is my all time favorite. They are so cheap and can be easily decorated with a simple curling ribbon, satin ribbon, or cloth ribbon to match any season. Cookies should be completely cooled before stacked in bags or boxes.