Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tollhouse with a Twist

So a funny thing happened as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day... I actually found something utterly and totally interesting! (I jest - I LOVE Twitter and find amazing, funny, insightful, creative, inspirational and helpful tidbits there all the time.) But this one post completely caught my eye. In less than 140 characters, it spelled out how to take a Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe and turn it on its head. Coincidentally, I was actually in the market for a good cookie recipe, so I thought I'd give the tweeter's idea a try (sorry - I can't even find the tweet now to give proper credit!).

At any rate, the twist: use half semi-sweet chips and half dark chocolate chips, and then add potato chips to the batter as well. Potato chips? What the....? But the idea intrigued me. Could this simple twist on a classic recipe turn out a cookie creation that had that sweet/salty combination that I so very much love? I had to try it.

So I made the recipe according to the Twitter instructions - meaning, I winged it. I followed the Tollhouse recipe on the back of the chocolate chip package, and dutifully swapped half of the semi-sweet chips for Ghirardelli dark chocolate nibs. But when it got to the potato chip portion... where to start? The tweet did specify that the potato chips should be crushed into dime-sized pieces, but that was about it (140 characters only go so far....). How much to add? Did I want ridged chips or just plain old plain chips? I made the executive decision: plain original Lays potato chips, in a quantity that I eyeballed, but just seemed about right - I'm guessing about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of crushed potato chips. Then I threw in chopped walnuts for good measure. It made for a very chunky dough - really tough to stir - but the elbow grease is totally worth it.

The end result: quite possibly one of the best chocolate chip cookies you'll ever make. The dark chocolate addition - excellent as I suspected. As for the potato chips, they did add a saltiness, although it was subtle. What they really imparted, however, was texture and structure. You know how Tollhouse cookies usually fall flat? Not these. They held a nice, round-ish shape, and remained moist. The potato chips also added a nearly-imperceptible crunch... here was a bit more body than in your average cookie. And no one - I mean no one - was the wiser. I took my platter of cookies to a meeting, and they disappeared in a heartbeat, with everyone remarking just how delicious they were. Not a single soul said "Hey - is that a potato chip in my cookie?" (They really did almost just disappear when the cookies were baked.)

So, dear readers, I have no recipe for you ... just a concept that I know works. Try it out, and let me know if your experiment is as successful as mine!

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