Monday, March 29, 2010

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last month, John and I spent a relaxing weekend in Lancaster County, PA (also known as "Amish Country"). In addition to horse-drawn buggies, bonnets, and towns with oddly suggestive names (Intercourse and Blue Ball.... haha), Lancaster County is also home to the Wilbur Chocolate Factory. It was at this wonderful place that I picked up two beautiful bags of chocolate chips. One bag of chips ended up in my Samoa Bars, and the other sat in the pantry, waiting for their higher calling. That calling came on Saturday when I clicked over to the Cook's Illustrated website, where these Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies were a featured recipe.

The cool thing about this recipe is that you melt the butter, so you don't have to wait around for your butter to come to room temperature like with most cookie recipes. You actually have to melt it and cook it until it's just brown... then you whisk it with sugar to form a delightful caramel-y base for your cookies. 
 While calling them "perfect" might be overstating things a bit (I still have yet to find the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie), I would say that these cookies are pretty fantastic. Thick, chewy, and a little crispy around the edges... how can you go wrong?

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Cook's Illustrated

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14  tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecan or walnuts, toasted (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MMMMnnn - they look good...

All My Love, Auntie :) xoxoxox