What's on Tap

What's on Tap

NC Chefs Academy pastry chefs craft delectable chocolate chip cookies

Posted April 3, 2014

The NC Chef's Academy has an extensive pastry program.

— Easter is almost here - a perfect time to enjoy some sweet treats. And when it comes to making a great chocolate chip cookie, the students at The NC Chef's Academy know how to make a cookie stand out. 

We were visiting to find out more about their shorter degree program (more on that later), and we had a chance to sit in on one of Chef Sherry Stolfo's pastry classes. Students were working on chocolate chip cookie recipes. Each team was tasked with tweaking a traditional recipe from their textbook. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe: 


5 oz. Butter or half butter and half shortening 
4 oz. Granulated sugar 
4 oz. Brown Sugar 
1/2 Tsp. Salt 
3 oz. Eggs 
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract 
10 oz. Pastry flour 
5/8 Tsp. Baking soda 
10 oz. Chocolate chips 
4 oz. Walnuts or pecans chopped (optional) 

Cream the ingredients together then blend in chocolate chips and nuts last. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes depending on size. 

To make cookies chewier, the textbook suggested adding eggs, using bread flour instead of pastry flour, increasing sugar and liquid content. For a crispier cookie, suggestions included making cookies smaller, using more sugar, lowering the liquid content or using a lowering baking temperature. 

Students used some of these suggestions, but also came up with their own. Some opted for honey instead of sugar, while others added extra chocolate chips on top once the cookies were dropped onto the pan. 

The winning cookie - known as the Monster Cookie - went for a crispy outside and soft middle by using all purpose flour instead of pastry flour and mixing baking soda with two teaspoons of hot water to dissolve it. They also used semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. 

Become a pastry chef while saving some dough

Being a pastry chef is a decadent job that is getting a little easier to obtain thanks to the NC Chefs Academy. The college launched a 96-credit hour program last month that allows pastry and culinary students to graduate in 15 to 18 months and save nearly $10,000 in tuition. 

The pastry program has added more textbooks and a term decorated to cake and pastry design. Chef Stolfo said the changes are in direct response to students' comments. 

This is all part of the academy's initiative to help working students. In January the academy started offering a weekend culinary arts program. 


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