Chocolate Chip Dough Balls Success

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Oh yes…chocolate chip dough balls…finally!

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7 batches later, I finally have a chocolate chip cookie dough ball recipe to share with you guys!

But maybe you’re wondering what the heck dough balls are anyways. Well…

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…back at the Foodbuzz Festival a couple weeks ago (wow, has it already been that long?), the buzz of the tasting pavilion was Annie the Baker’s dough balls. I had two. They were amazing. I knew as soon as I tasted them that I just had to try to re-create them at home.

On Monday, I was too jet-lagged to be creative, but on Tuesday, I attempted my first batch. Little did I know that on the other side of the country at (possibly) the same time, Mama Pea was working diligently on a vegan version of dough balls in a peanut butter flavor. Her balls came out beautiful and perfect.

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Mine started out ok, but…

…they baked up completely flat. (real photos from batch #1…oy vay! I was too embarrassed to publish them last Tuesday)

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I mean they were flatter than normal cookies, even. It was a total fail. *tear*

But, you guys know me…I like a good challenge. And, I would NOT let these dough balls get the best of me.

I researched what caused flat cookies and tried to do the opposite. My main takeaways were:

  • I needed to put the dough in the refrigerator before baking it
  • I needed to reduce the amount of baking soda I used
  • I needed reduce the amount of liquids in the recipe

So, I modified my recipe and tried…and tried…and tried again.

As I mentioned earlier, my second batch more resembled dog treats than human treats.

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I tweaked the draft recipe and while my third and fourth were pretty good, but didn’t have the right texture (though they were at least no longer flat).

My fifth made for a delicious regular chocolate chip cookie, but once again, they were flatter than they were supposed to be (though not nearly as flat as the dreaded batch #1).

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By batch #6, things had gotten serious. I knew I was on the verge of success, but wanted to put the dough balls through several tests before finalizing my recipe. I tried various variations of the draft recipe with the same dough, but different baking methods:

  • I tried refrigerating the dough
  • I tried freezing the dough
  • I tried baking the dough balls at 350, 375, and 400 degrees F

I tried various trial versions of the dough balls and made hubby do a taste test.

He thought they all tasted really good.

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Notes on baking times and modifications.

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A strange collection of dough balls baked from frozen, refrigerated, and at 350, 375, and 400 degrees F.

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Which version will taste the best?

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Only a taste test would tell.

I liked the version that was refrigerated and baked at 350 best.

***

So, here we are at lucky batch #7. See below for full recipe, but here are some photos to help.

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The wet just before stirring into the dry.

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It will look like there is entirely too much flour and not enough dry. You may think you’ll never be able to get cookie dough out of this desert of a bowl, but keep working the dough. Trust me. Just press the wet dough back into the dry parts, using the back of the spatula. Try to not overmix, though.

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Add in chocolate chips and Boom!

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You have chocolate chip cookie dough.

Now, you won’t actually want to eat this dough. Since it has raw egg in it (unless you use a flaxseed egg, and trust me, I will be testing that version of the recipe out sooner than later to ensure it works), you can’t safely eat it until it reaches 160 degrees F, according to various web sites.

First you’ll want to chill the dough a bit. You could probably skip the refrigeration step, but your dough balls may be a little more flat and cooked through in the center.

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Use a small scooper to scoop out same-sized balls of dough.

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I think this is either a melon baller or a sorbet scoop. Use the one that is smaller than an ice cream scoop. The one with the little sweeper button will make this process a bit easier for you.

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Roll the into balls.

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You can try skipping the ball rolling step, but since the balls will flatten out a bit during baking, I find it best to try to get them as “tall” as possible so they stay more ball-shaped throughout the cooking.

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Bake and you should have perfect little dough balls.

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You’ll want to look for very light browning on the raised area of the dough balls. For the most part, they may look like raw cookie dough when you remove them, but you don’t want to cook these too long or you’ll just have tall cookies and not dough balls. Likewise, you don’t want to undercook these because of the eggs. I used a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of my dough balls were over 160 degrees F to be safe.

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The bottoms will be lightly browned.

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Note cooked outside edge and tender inside. That’s pretty much what you’re looking for.

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But, you can cook your balls a minute or two longer if you want your center a bit more set, like this.

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Chocolate Chip Dough Balls Success
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ stick butter, softened/room-temp
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed-egg)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
Newer and Preferred Method (Scoop and Freeze)
  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. (I used a handheld mixer, but you could probably just use a whisk). Add egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. Note: it will appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. See tips above for combining. Careful to not overmix.
  5. Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
  6. Use a small sorbet scoop (about 1″ wide) to scoop out dough into small mounds. Note: In this method, I don’t roll the dough into balls, I just scoop straight to the baking sheet. Try to not let dough touch too closely so they don’t freeze together. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, though 1 hour is better if you can wait that long. See Notes below for tips on baking/freezing.
  7. When you’re ready for some sweet and delicious dough balls, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Bake balls for 8-10 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers (I find mine are perfect at 9 if the oven is well pre-heated). I usually consider mine done when the tips of the dough are lightly brown. If you use egg, and you’re paranoid like me, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of the balls are at least 160 degrees F, which many web sites say is the safe temp to eat eggs.
  8. Let your dough balls cool till they’re save to eat and enjoy!
Original Preparation Method (Chill and Scoop)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. (I used a handheld mixer, but you could probably just use a whisk). Add egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. Note: it will appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. See tips above for combining. Careful to not overmix.
  5. Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes before using a small sorbet scoop to scoop out dough into small mounds. Roll each mound into a ball and spread evenly on a baking sheet, leaving roughly 2-3 inches between each ball.
  7. Bake balls for 10-14 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers. If you use egg, and you’re paranoid like me, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of the balls are at least 160 degrees F, which many web sites say is the safe temp to eat eggs.
  8. Let your dough balls rest on the baking sheet to cool at least 5-10 minutes or until they’re safe to eat. Enjoy!
Notes
I almost always make a double batch of these, especially using the “Scoop and Freeze” method. I like to freeze the scooped dough balls on a baking sheet for at least an hour to overnight before moving them to a flat tupperware container. This way, you have dough balls ready to bake whenever you’re ready to eat them!

This is my favorite dough ball flavor, but the sugar cookie version is a close second!

***
I’m hoping to try out some other flavors I’ve been dreaming about (I’m thinking of mixing in oatmeal and almond paste!), but be sure to check out Mama Pea’s scrumptious Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls for another wonderful flavor option and a vegan version.

Btw, if you like my recipe, please consider liking the official The Chic Life Facebook page (click to view), so you can stay in the loop of my latest and greatest creations. I like to announce things early for my FB friends. ;)

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Who wants dough balls and pink salted caramels for Christmas? Because I’m starting to think that’s all I’m going to be making this holiday seaon. lol

Bon Appetit!

What’s the most times you’ve tried making a recipe? Did you ever get it right?

Portable Breakfast #4 – Muffins and Green Tea Noodles

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I’m so glad you guys liked our new furniture and my latest Work Chic tips on kitchen essentials to keep at work.

We’re almost ready to wrap up this week’s series on portable breakfasts. I’ve already posted breakfasts one, two, and three. Now we’re ready for the next…

Portable Breakfast #4 – Re-Baked Muffins

Sometimes the best way to save time in the morning is to plan ahead. Re-baked muffins are a prime example.

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Why re-baked muffins? Well, if you’re in such a rush that you need to eat your breakfast on the go…my guess is that you don’t have time to make a fresh batch of muffins. ;) Instead, reap the rewards of a weekend baking project (pretty much the only days there’s time to bake for this working woman) of homemade muffins by freezing your leftovers for later. Really, there’s no reason to let leftover muffins go bad now.

Here are some fab muffin recipes:

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Step 1: Remove your muffins from the freezer & pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.

On the day you want to enjoy your re-baked muffins, you’ll want to note that they will take a little longer than others to prepare, but since you basically just stick the muffins in the oven and let them go, you can easily multi-task and use the time the muffins are heating up to get ready for the day.

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Step 2: Prepare muffins for baking & let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Place your frozen muffins on a prepared baking sheet and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

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Step 3: Bake muffins for 10-15 minutes, till they reach the temperature you want.

Meanwhile, finish getting ready for work or to go out. Pack your lunch, fill your water bottles, sip coffee, etc. If your muffins are ready before you, you can leave them in the oven and just turn off the heat so they stay warm. I wouldn’t recommend leaving them in too much longer after they’re done.

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Step 4: Wrap your muffins in a paper towel or cloth napkin and head out and enjoy!

You may want to employ the dish towel trick from Day #1.

Check back tomorrow for our last portable breakfast of the week!

***

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Lookie who got new oatmeal bowls! You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find brightly colored, tall-sided bowls. And smaller-sized bowls! I find most bowls are too large for me.

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By the way, I’ve been noshing on this Frog Hollow Farm Granola. It’s very tasty, and I loved the ingredient list!

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Check out this neat product I found.

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Green tea noodles!

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I just love the pretty green color!

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I used the noodles in another tofu stir fry today for lunch.

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In the stir fry:

  • tofu
  • broccoli
  • green tea noodles
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • chicken broth

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I love these noodle stir fries, mostly because the noodles are a fast replacement for the rice I usually think about eating.

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I didn’t add any dulse pieces today because I wanted the noodle flavor to shine through. To be honest, I didn’t really taste green tea when I ate the noodles, but they were still fun. :)

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I had a successful baking project today.

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Lucky #7 batch was a winner! Hooray! How do these chocolate chip cookie dough balls look?

I’ll be sharing the recipe with you guys tomorrow! ;)

Work Chic: Let the Office Be Your Kitchen

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Over time, I’ve started keeping a few essential food-related items at my desk at work to make myself more comfortable.

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My essential kitchen items to keep at work list includes:

  • A ceramic bowl
  • A ceramic mug
  • A ceramic plate
  • Pretty napkins
  • A personal sponge

Ceramic Plateware

So…why all the ceramic? Well, if you’ve ever tried to microwave food at the office, you may have had a tupperware or two melt on you, depending on how long you were trying to heat said food item. There are some things you just can’t heat up in plastic. Beyond that, I’m trying to move away from plastics in general. I feel like when I heat food up in plastic that poisonous chemicals are slowly leaching into my food. Not sure if that’s real or not, but if you’re not sold, read the first reason of this paragraph.

And why not paper plates or other disposable items? I think it’s more eco-friendly and cost-effective to simply re-use plateware.

Currently, I am using disposable forks, knives, and spoons, but I would like to get a set that I can keep at the office and re-use.

Additionally, I brought in some of my favorites for my work-plateware. I mean…you have to look at your plates etc at work than you probably do at home, so they may as well be something you enjoy seeing and using. I brought in items that were colorful and pretty.

Pretty Napkins

This is the same reason I have the pretty napkins. On most days, I use whatever paper napkins I’ve collected from getting food out, but the pretty ones are nice to have when you want to use them.

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Personal Sponge

Ok, and so what’s up with the sponge you ask? If you’re going to keep re-usable plates at your desk, you’re going to need a way to clean them. Sure some places have a sponge in the kitchen, but…Well, have you ever seen the community sponge at the office? You know, the one that is multiple colors, has remnants of someone else’s food on it, and smells funky? Yea…there’s no possile way I’m using that one. I’ve seen offices with clean-looking sponges, but as a germiphobe, I have a hard time using something that has been used to clean things that have touched half the office’s mouths. Ew. I keep my own little sponge in a cup at my desk so I know exactly how clean it is and where it’s been used.

Be sure to check out my other Work Chic Post: Best Healthy Snacks to Keep at the Office  and stay on the look out for more office tips coming your way soon. :)

***

After my fabulous oatmeal-on-the-go breakfast, I moved on to a new twist on stir-fries…

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How’s about stir-fries with a new healthy addition – sea vegetables!

I learned from my acupuncture appointment that most Americans are deficient in iodine, which sea vegetables are high in. I think I’d heard this before from reading random news articles…and I’d heard that in general, they were good to eat, so I’ve been adding them to my pantry. I currently have: nori, wakame, and now dulse in my pantry.

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I first learned about dulse from Brendan Brazier. The ingredient is commonly found throughout his book Thrive. I ended up picking some up with a health food store groupon and have been wondering how to use it.

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I like to find easy ways to incorporate healthy foods into things I already eat (like sprinkling nutritional yeast on steamed veggies or salads). So, on Wednesday, I figured…what the heck, why not toss some into my lunch time noodle stir fry?

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In my stir fry, I have: tofu, edamame, udon noodles, soy sauce, chicken broth, sesame seeds, and of course…dulse.

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The dulse added an interesting flavor to the stir fry, but nothing bad. Just different. I think I’ll have to keep up this new habit in future versions.

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Hubby also brought home this giant churro from Costco. It was truly huge.

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So large, this sweet tooth fan and churro fanatic couldn’t finish it.

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After work, hubby and I went out to run errands and stopped by IKEA.

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We decided to just go ahead and eat dinner there. He had the pasta combo and I had the veggie soup, which I think is pretty good.

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And what meal wouldn’t be complete without an IKEA cinnamon roll. It wasn’t nearly as good as the one I had last time, and I only ended up eating about 3/4 of it. I think I’m losing my sweet tooth touch. First the churro, then the cinnamon roll. Whoa! lol But, I wasn’t going to force myself to finish eating something when I was already full either.

We also stopped by Crate and Barrel and I got some fab goodies that I can’t wait to share!

Do you keep any kitchen items at work?

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