July 7, 2011

Delicious Desserts - American Chocolate Chip Cookies (& a sodium bicarbonate expat tip)

I have been looking all over Holland for baking soda to satisfy my recent baking insanity, but all I could find was baking powder... and let me tell ya - you can't make real, soft, moist, American chocolate chip cookies without it (believe me I've disastrously tried).  It must be the special ingredient to the recipe's goodness.

Then a little expat birdy told me a tip ...

Baking Soda a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate - can be found in the Pharmacy here in the land of wooden shoes - not on market shelves.

I must admit I was a little doubtful.  But then, while picking up prescriptions this Friday, I asked the Pharmacist in my "broken non-dutch dutch" if they had any "sodium bicarbonateie" (trying to put a dutch swing on the word?)

The nice pharmacist went to the shelf behind the register where they keep the 1/2 way over the counter meds... and gave me this little gem.  Apparently the term in dutch is "Zuiveringszout" - opps.

Should I be concerned it says "Drogg Bewaren" - could that mean "Drug - Beware"?

I think not - I mean I'm sure she told me "baking" - as in it's for baking right?

Either way I got to baking as soon as I was home.

I used the typical "Tollhouse" Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipie  but broke up a chocolate bar with my pounding mallet because I can't find good reasonably priced chocolate chips here.

Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies 


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (cookie flour in the Netherlands)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened (just let it stand out for a bit)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 ounce of chocolate 
 (usually dark semi-sweet chips are used, but if you like milk go for it and if you don't have chips just break up the chocolate - you'll have chocolate chunk cookies! I even threw in some "toffee" chocolate)
    1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
    2) Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. 
    3) Combine and beat - butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. 
    4) Add eggs one at a time to creamy sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
    5) Gradually beat in flour mixture with the egg/sugar mixture. 
    6) Stir in chocolate by hand until well distributed. 
    7) Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
    8) BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. 
    9) Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    Notice the recipe says use a "large" mixer bowl - it means it.  I've got to buy a bigger bowl - I had the cookie dough-pocolypse in my kitchen after mixing the cookies.  Even the peaches were casualties.

    Thank God, Mary and Joseph for my little "expat birdy" because before I could pour myself a glass of milk, Sweet Home America enducing smells were wafting through our apartment.

    The cookies came out a little weird  and flat looking -  but did they ever taste good.  Slim agreed enthusiastically as he grabbed another from the plate.
    Maybe they came out flat because I have no idea what's going on with my oven.
    Do any of you on this side of the pond know what any of these pictures on my oven knob mean?

    Note to self - do not make 36 cookies on a Friday night .... we only had 15 left on Monday.  Opps (hello non-portion control).  I guess that would make it a "cheat weekend" and mean lots of bike riding this week.


    PiNG aka Patti said...

    I have that exact same issue with cookies in my oven here in Denmark. I've tried multiple things to remedy the situation without much luck. Honestly, at this point, I really think it's the flour but the only way I can prove it would be to bring back some all-purpose flour from the states and see if it makes any difference. I already have a box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda so it's not that!

    The Expatriate said...

    Oh thats a good idea - I saw some at our expat store (although it is probably ridiculously expensive) I'll have to do some experimenting. Thanks for the tip!

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