Petra CoxPetra is a specialty baker for Mom's Apple Pie Company, a family-run bakery with four locations in Northern Virginia. By the time she was born, the family business had been operating from their home for three years. Petra and her siblings grew up rolling crusts, peeling apples and baking pies with their parents from early on. In addition to bakery experience, Petra trained with family friend, Is Harris, making a variety of Thai cuisine from scratch, punctuating her culinary appreciation for both sweet and savory flavors and techniques. Subsequent training in oenology and cuisine both in Florence, Italy and Washington, DC led to her current position as wine buyer and recipe research and development at Mom's Apple Pie in Occoquan, Virginia.
Petra Cox: I am Petra of Mom's Pies in Occoquan, Virginia and we are making chocolate chip cookies. Now, there is half a pound of butter in this bowl; this is our mixer bowl for our stand mixer. You can also just use a nice heavy bowl and one of those hand mixers as well, or the hand beaters. So, this is half a pound of softened butter and two thirds each, two thirds cup of each of brown sugar and white sugar. So, I'd like to use that kind of whisk beater attachment because it incorporates more air into whatever you are mixing, which is usually a good thing.
So, you want to beat those together until it is like a nice creamy texture. Occasionally, you might need to wipe the sides down with the spatula, just a regular rubber spatula or a spoon or whatever you have. So, you are going to beat this sugar and the butter together, until it is a nice creamy textured, till the sugar is really well incorporated with the butter. I do that at highest level because it just works really fast.
So, there we are with the nice creamy texture. So, now that the butter and sugar mixture is the right texture and it's all mixed up, we can add this flour, which I have measured with the dry measure beforehand. This is a half cup sized five of these, make two and a half cups of flour. It's just basic all purpose flour, so you can add that little more gradually along with a teaspoon of baking soda, not baking powder. and salt I find that salt really brings out the flavor of the chocolate and if you have enough salt in like a chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies, the chocolate will really come out.
So, we are adding in gradually so that it can mix in pretty well and if you have all the flour and then you turn it up real high, really soon the flour just going to puff that. So, you need to do at lower speed at first and before the texture gets too thick of that dough, I am going to add my special Nicaraguan vanilla. This stuff is really thick and it smells amazing. You can see by the thickness of it just how intense the flavor is. So, I do one teaspoon of the special vanilla or you can do a tablespoon of regular vanilla. Since this stuff is so thick, I use a spatula to get it out of there.
Alright. So, this batter is looking a little crumbly, but once we mix the chocolate chips in, it will come together really nicely. You can smell that vanilla, it smells really nice. So, I have the two cups of chocolate, I am using dark chocolate because I love that more intense flavor and its chopped some different sizes just for variation and I am going to finish mixing the chocolate chip cookie dough with a wooden spoon.