February 11, 2009

Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

We made some Chocolate Chip Cookies this afternoon!! The three girls together! We just did our first tasting and they are GOOD!! Really good! M. took one to gym-class now for her coach...

We haven't done any baking since, well... I believe since we've left California. We used to bake a lot. From cookies over bread to fruit pies. For quite a while I would bake all of our bread. The bread soon became a staple at potluck dinners. I just loved every single step in the process: the kneading, seeing it rise, the smell while it's rising or in the oven, the excitement every time you take it out of the oven, as every loaf looks different from the previous one, the sound of the knife in the freshly baked crust...
Since we moved to Paris, there is no incentive for baking our own bread anymore. We have at least ten bakeries within close walking distance...and the bread here is SO good - what did I say? Outrageously good!

For cookies and pies, Martha Stewart was my main resource. I just loved her recipes. I subscribed to Living and Food Every Day, would buy the specials,...
However, we had one limitation: no eggs! no nuts! - as one of our girls was diagnosed with a severe egg and nut allergy when she was about six months old. As most baking recipes call for eggs, baking cookies was quite a challenge at the beginning. That is, until I found out about EnerG's Egg Replacer. It took a while to get the dosage right, but once that problem solved, we could make just about everything - and I believe I can say no one ever noticed there weren't any eggs involved! Baking became a fun activity with the kids. Especially little H. enjoyed our baking sessions.

The absolute favorite were our egg-free chocolate chip cookies. The recipe below is an adaptation from a Martha recipe - tried-and-true! Instead of using water to dissolve the egg-replacer, as suggested on the box, I use milk - something I do for most baking recipes. Also, the egg-replacer tends to color down the cookies a bit, so I've replaced part of the granulated sugar by light brown sugar. Depending on your oven, you might also want to increase the baking time a bit. Just keep an eye on them as they bake!
A batch of these usually doesn't last long, here!

Egg-free chocolate chip cookies

US version
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons egg-replacer dissolved in 8 tablespoons (lukewarm) milk
2 cups semisweet- or milk-chocolate chips, or a combination of both (about 12 ounces; Trader Joe’s semisweet are great!)

European version
250 g self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
150 g unsalted butter, softened
150 g granulated sugar
50 g packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons egg-replacer dissolved in 120 ml (lukewarm) milk
200 g dark or milk chocolate chips, or a combination of both; if you can't find chocolate chips, just smash a bar of chocolate to pieces...

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175-180°C). Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl beat together on medium speed butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce to low speed and add vanilla and dissolved egg-replacer; mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. If necessary, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time and no more than two. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through baking time, until centers are set and edges are golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks using a spatula; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature up to 1 week (but they usually don’t last that long…).

A little side-note: As I don't have a decent mixing bowl nor a good mixer, the batter would keep splattering around. I had already moved the whole setting to the counter near the sink, when M. got a paper plate. "Hey, wait a minute! That's a great idea! Let's cut a hole in it and place it between the mixer and bowl", I said. The girls thought it was hilarious, but it worked! A more transparent plate would have worked even better! And M.? She went to get her little camera...

Disclaimer: Before starting, make sure to check all the labels of all ingredients you're about to use for the presence of possible allergens!!
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