As you may or may not know, I started at Land O’Lakes as a summer intern in the Test Kitchens. I held this position for two summers and made some great memories, but I couldn’t be an intern forever.
Now I am a Product Specialist in the Test Kitchens, and we have an awesome new intern, Samantha, who attends my alma mater- the University of Wisconsin-Stout, which is in Menomonie, Wisconsin. She has been working on a variety of projects here in the Test Kitchens, and I could go into detail but I think Samantha can explain…
Hi all! As an intern in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchens, it has been nothing short of amazing. Why do I say this? Because technically this is a job, though it doesn’t seem like one. I’ve been cooking and baking since I can remember with my mom and Nonna (Italian grandma), and I was thrilled at the opportunity to be in the test kitchens this summer.
I have had the chance to work in different areas of the Test Kitchens from foodservice, to consumer affairs, to retail and I haven’t had to run and get one cup of coffee for anyone! Most people think working in a test kitchen means you get to bake cookies all day. While that is a small part of life here, there are quite a few other tasks performed. One of the tests we do here in the Test Kitchens is recipe tolerance testing, which I performed this week on Five Star Chocolate Chip Cookies.
We’ve all made mistakes on recipes, whether it be an ingredient mix-up or measuring the wrong amount. To ensure that, even with a mishap in the kitchen, your baked goods come out edible, we alter recipes on purpose. We take the original recipe and tolerance it by making two new batches, one with extra amounts of the dry ingredients and not enough wet ingredients, and the second time with not enough dry and more wet ingredients. This is all done using specific measurements for adding and subtracting amounts of ingredients. Then we bake the plus dry and minus dry batches using two different pan types and two different oven types.
If the cookies come out of the oven attractive and still taste good, a bit of paperwork is completed and the recipe is ready for you. If we feel some improvements could be made it is back to the drawing board. The whole process is done so that you, baking at home, get a yummy product even if a distraction led to some extra flour in the batter. If you have a question about a recipe, you can call Consumer Affairs. They know exactly how to help you rescue your recipe.
Here is what happens when we tolerance: the cookies on the far left have a little more flour and not as much liquid, the middle cookies are the "normal" cookies, and the ones on the far right have too much liquid and a lower amount of flour. Adding more flour tends to make the cookies more cakey and they don’t spread as much, while adding more liquid tends to make the cookies spread out and flatten.
We do tolerance testing in our kitchens so that you, at home, can produce the best cookies possible for family and friends. Let’s make Five Star Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Begin by preheating the oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl combine softened butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Beat at medium speed until it’s nice and creamy.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
This is going to take some muscle to mix in all the flour, and if you’re using a hand-held mixer you might need to help it out a little and mix some by hand. It’ll just be extra love and the cookies will taste that much better.
Once all the flour is incorporated stir in a bag of chocolate chips, again by hand.
Drop the cookies using a rounded tablespoon full of dough onto your ungreased cookie sheet.
Pop them into the oven for 10-12 minutes depending on how you like your cookies. I personally am a fan of slightly under-baked cookies. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a couple minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack or to a napkin with a glass of milk nearby, because who can resist a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie? And ta da! Perfect Five-Star Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Do you love chocolate chip cookies? Then you will love these Five Star Chocolate Chip Cookies. I know they helped me get through my long day! Make sure to come back and let us know how they turned out by rating and reviewing the recipe, or leaving a comment here.
Come back in a few days when Alex will share a tasty muffin recipe.
Samantha is an Intern in the Test Kitchens at Land O'Lakes,and Mallory is a Product Specialist in the Test Kitchens at Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.