Sunday, January 13, 2013

A bite of America

One of my favorite things to cook in France is chocolate chip cookies. For all of the talent they have with pastries, they have not yet properly mastered the chocolate chip cookie. Since David Lebowitz's move to France, brownies have broken onto the scene, but REAL chocolate chip cookies still aren't that popular. 

Of course, cooking in another country does not come with out it's difficulties. While most things are easily translated finer points can still be difficult to work out. I used a modified version of the Nestle Tollhouse Cookie recipe which is easily found online (the one modification is to use half the amount of butter that they suggest. Yup, half.)

Here is my international version that I've created (alright, done a lot of internet conversions for). If you don't have a scale, and for general American recipes, I recommend bringing some measuring cups and table/teaspoons with you abroad.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (280 grams), 1 teaspoon baking soda (.5cl), 1 teaspoon salt (.5cl),  1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened (113 grams), 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams), 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (165 grams), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (.5cl),  2 large eggs, 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Ingredient Notes:

  • Baking soda: It can be hard to find, but look for "bicarbonate." It's not always with the other baking things, but is close to the milk (strangely) at my Carrefour.
  • Brown Sugar: "Cassonade" is the direct translation however that is not ample. Cassonade is usually rather dry, and is more similar to "Sugar in the Raw" than the brown sugar we know in the USA. I've had success looking in the fairtrade "ethicable" products. Other than that I have been unable to find regular brown sugar. (a combination of molasses and granulated sugar can also be substituted but I haven't seen molasses in France).
  • Vanilla extract: Possible, but more difficult to find. Instead it is easy to find vanilla sugar. I use two packets instead of the vanilla extract.
  • Chocolate Chips: So this is France's biggest problem in regards to making chocolate chip cookies! It's sometimes possible to find some chocolate chips, but they are small and overpriced. Instead, buy about 300 grams of chocolate (3 100g chocolate bars) and go ahead and chop them up with a chef's knife. I have used Milka milk chocolate bars and it's turned out well.
  • Nuts: Nuts are expensive so I left them out
  • Cream the butter with sugars and vanilla. If your apartment is really cold, then cut the butter into little slivers and hit them with a hair dryer for a little bit. Make sure they don't start melting though!
  • Then add the eggs, one by one, to the butter. Mix well before adding the next egg.
  • In another bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except chips and nuts.
  • Then add the flour mixture, little by little and stirring well to the butter mixture. 
  • After all the flour mixture has been mixed in, fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Bake in the oven for 8 minutes at 375F, 190C or gas mark 5. 


No comments:

Post a Comment