Everyone who bakes – bakes from scratch, that is, and maybe some who don’t – has at least one bag of chocolate chips in the pantry. Chocolate chip cookies are one of the most basic and most popular treats out there. There is a lot more to chocolate chips than chocolate chip cookies, however, and The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook sets out to showcase some of the many possibilities for this pantry staple.
Your average chocolate chips are made from semisweet chocolate and tend to be somewhere between 50 and 60% cacao content, putting them at a level that is less sweet than milk chocolate and sweeter than dark chocolate. It’s a great medium ground and, even though it’s not everyone’s top choice when it comes to eating chocolate, it is a great choice for cooking. Semisweet chocolate can be adapted to just about any recipe, and because chocolate chips are so readily available, they’re a great starting point for more than just cookies (even though you can’t go wrong with basic cookies). There are other types of chocolate chips out there to choose from, including bittersweet and white chocolate chips, but semisweet is by far the most common.
The cookbook is divided up into chapters by type and stars out with chocolate chip cookies, including recipes like Toffee Chip Snickerdoodles alongside more classic sounding cookies. Other sections include Brownies, Bars and Muffins; Pies, Puddings and Tarts; Chocolate Chip Cakes w/o Frosting; Chocolate Chip Cakes with Frosting or Filling; and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Other Desserts. The photos in the book are outstanding. Simple and colorful, they really make all the treats look irresistible. The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, and there are enough ideas in the book that you’ll probably leave it feeling a little bit inspired to experiment in the kitchen.