Pat Sinclair really understands baking. I have been so impressed with her book Baking Basics and Beyond: Learn These Simple Techniques and Bake Like a Pro published by Agate Publishing.
When she wrote about a “Toll House” cookie combining butter and shortening to create a softer texture, I had to try them!
I used the Wonder Plunger Measuring Cup from ThinkGeek to measure the shortening. Review to come soon!
Beat 1/2 cup softened butter with 1/2 cup shortening. Add 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar. Mix on high until creamy, making sure to scrape down the bowl a few times.
Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla.
Add 1 egg. Mix well.
Combine in a medium bowl 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt.
Reduce mixer to low and add flour mixture, scraping down the sides until a dough form.
Stir in 1 cup of milk chocolate chips and 1 cup of white chocolate chips by hand. You can also add 1/2 cup chopped pecans if desired.
“Drop dough in rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.”
Really? That’s a lot of dough, I thought to myself. To be careful, with my smaller scoop I scooped out around 2 tbsp of dough.
I prefer to work with parchment paper. I put them in a preheated 375F oven with the rack in the middle. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until cookies are browned on the edges.
Let cookies stand on cookie sheet for 1 minute before cooling on wire rack.
The second batch of cookies I made I used half the amount of dough and put in the oven for a shorter period. These were fantastic! A little crispy for my liking and not as good as the Subway cookies I love but I have to say they tasted pretty darn classic.
In fact when I bought this retro foodie plate from my Thrift store it was exactly this kind of recipe I had in mind for the shot. BTW, this weekend I will be sharing some of my latest foodie thrift store treasures on my blog!
Yup, in this case, smaller is definitely better! Wow, does this recipe ever make a ton of cookies too. I absolutely insisted Reg take some to work, we did not need all those cookies to ourselves. I give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons made my way.
I decided to review Baking Basics and Beyond by Pat Sinclair because I know how hard it is to learn how to bake. Baking was a complete enigma to me not that long ago. I could not just make a pie crust. I wanted to understand what was happening to make it flaky and figure our why my pie crusts were like lead.
This glossy trade paper book is obviously filled with information from a natural teacher who has decades of baking experience. There are not a ton of foodie photographs in the book but the language and layout are so clear, the recipes are very easy to follow and comprehend. Each chapter describes the following type of treats and breaks it down so that you understand what it is you are to embark on during your foodie journey with Pat Sinclair.
Honestly, as I was reading the section on pie crusts I thought to myself, this is the book I would have written and it is done how I would have done it. From biscuits and scones, to coffee cakes, cobblers, butter cakes, pies, tarts, yeast breads and rolls… to easy sauces at the back of the book, this is a fantastic book for the beginning baker. And me. I thought about giving it away here on my blog but I just can’t, I like it too much.
Despite not agreeing with her idea of the perfect toll house cookie, I recognize I am ridiculously picky and give this cookbook five out of five wooden spoons.