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Cocoa Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If Kenji Alt-Lopez is my cooking spirit guide, then Stella Parks is the baker equivalent. Her recipes are inventive, delicious, and incredibly well-tested, researched and scientifically explained. A lot of people consider baking a science; Stella Parks has a PhD. The best thing about her is that she explains the reasons behind her ratios and ingredients, so that, should an aspiring baker (like me!) choose to riff on a recipe, they can make an informed choice.

This recipe sounded like my idea of heaven. I like chocolate chip cookies fine. I make them all the time, following the standard nestle’s Toll House cookie recipe. I always use milk chocolate chips because I don’t care for semi-sweet, a substitution I continue here. I recommend getting the best quality chocolate for this recipe- something that you would savor as a  special candy bar rather than your typical chips.  Listen, you’re already buying cocoa butter, you may as well splurge on the milk chocolate, too.

My favorite part of the cookie is the cookie part, not the chips, and that part of the cookie is so criminally undervalued and ignored. Not here.

In this recipe, the fat component of the cookie is split evenly between butter and cocoa butter. The result? A pale cookie, completely permeated with a chocolate aroma, and a lovely, meltingly ooey-gooey texture. Grab a big glass of whole milk, and dig in to a chocolate chip cookie unlike any you’ve had before.

4 ounces raw cocoa butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces softened butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk chocolate, chopped

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave in ten second bursts. Let the cocoa butter cool to lukewarm temperature (but still be liquid). Add the sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and butter. Cream this mixture well, until it is pale, light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Fold in the milk chocolate. For best results, refrigerate the dough, covered, overnight, and soften to room temperature before portioning. This ripens the dough, melding the flavors together.

Dollop baking sheets with 2 tablespoon rounds of cookie dough, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 15 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and firm around the edges. The cookies will still be quite pale because of the cocoa butter (all butter cookies brown more). 

Remove from the oven and cool on the cookie sheet until set, abut 6 minutes. Remove and enjoy warm right away (my favorite), or enjoy room temperature. Store in an airtight container (if you have any left over, that is).


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