Thursday, October 07, 2010

Where the Cookie Crumbles

Everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Who doesn't? Who didn't enjoy making the chocolate chip cookies from the back of the Toll-House package or some other recipe. Licking the leftover batter from the spatula was a highlight. Not one speck of batter was wasted, was it?! Raw eggs, who cared.

While Cook's Illustrated says this recipe is the best, and it might very well be, there are countless of wonderful mouth watering recipes. I haven't tried them all to say definitively if this the best but I love it. Cook's goal was to perfect the back-of-the-bag classic with a cookie that was crisp at the edges, chewy in the middle, and full of rich toffee flavor. I've been wanting to make these cookies forever! They made over 700 cookies to perfect this recipe! Given the butter content in these, their staff must have gained weight!

What did I love about this recipe? What's not to love. Butter is one of the main ingredients. Every cookie has almost 1 T of butter. If you believe butter makes everything better than you'll adore these cookies. The butter is melted and browned so that it can caramelize in the oven more which allows for crispy edges and toffee flavor. An added bonus is that you don't need a standing mixer to make these. I also love the nooks and crannies vs. the some times smooth texture that may occur.

I also enjoyed the technique of whisking and resting (read below in the recipe) which develops the deep toffeelike flavor without adding toffee. The high fat content allows these babies to freeze well. A lot are in the freezer now and will be shared with friends this weekend when they come over for an all Indian dinner. I can't wait. In the mean time, I'm trying to stay away from the freezer so there will be some left. We'll see! Can you see where I took a bite (around 10/11 o'clock)?!

Tell me, where does your cookie crumble?!

And before I forget, I want to thank Anu, at My Kitchen Skills, for giving me the Sunshine Award. It made my day brighter on our first fall day. Thank you! I need to pass the award and will do so in the next few weeks.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 16 cookies

- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 14 T unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 c packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 c semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle rack and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 T 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 in remaining 4 T 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 for 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 T (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches part on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.

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 sheets half way through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack, cool cookies completely before serving.


Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I like how these cookies are a bit thinner than standard cookies. I bet they have perfectly crunchy edges.

PS: I can't believe you need to GAIN five pounds. I'd hate you if you weren't so nice :)

Stella said...

Hey Nirmala! Your cookies look so delicious. I can see the texture, and that stack shows how pretty they are! I'm going to make some this weekend, since my Cauldron Boy is out of town.
Oh, and I'm scared to make a sour dough starter too. I'm going to soon though...
p.s. I saw your e-mail-thanks so much, Nirmala. I'm going to try the pita recipe.

♥peachkins♥ said...

those cookies look fantastic!

Julie M. said...

Rarely does Cooks Illustrated steer me wrong. Their recipes are almost always delicious! These cookies look perfect; you can't go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie regardless. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!

Pam said...

They do look perfect! Wish I had some right now.

Dishesdone said...

That is a perfect cookie for sure!

Rita said...

I thought I had the perfect recipe for chocolate chip cookie, but I must say yours really tempts me. My recipe makes lots and lots sp just make it when the kids come to visit. Now I can make you recipe and make my husband a happy man.


It looks like a very lovely ccc recipe! I have a few secret ingredient for mine!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Mmm looks really delicious. The butter to flour ratio is higher than the one I usually use but it's probably partly because the water evaporates when browning the butter. And the flavor from the browned butter must be amazing :).

Katerina said...

I can never have enough cookies especially if they contain chocolate. I will sure keep this one although it will completely ruin my diet.

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

Oh man, these look so good! Pass a cold glass of milk my way.

How do I follow your blog?

Design Wine and Dine said...

These look beeeeautiful! Thanks for sharing the recipe here! Butter does make it better for sure! These babies would be GONE in my house in a second!

redmenace said...

Sounds wonderful to me. I'm still searching and this may be just the ticket! (post baby, of course...) xo

Hannah said...

Oh, but no, Nirmala! I just posted a cookie recipe that said *it* was the best chocolate chip cookie ever! How on earth will we know which recipe is telling the truth?! :D

Chow and Chatter said...

wow these cookies look like the best in the world great job

veena krishnakumar said...

ah! they looks so delicious.

Barbara said...

Everyone's got a perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, Nirmala, and I am happy to try them all! :)
Yours will be next!

Simply Life said...

Oh these cookies do look perfect!

Ameena said...

How could a cookie have 1 T of butter in it and NOT be fabulous? These are definitely the best - I can say that with confidence, despite having never tried them.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

My husband adores chocolate chip cookies. I'll have to give these a try. They sound marvelous. I know he won't be able to eat just one.

Joanne said...

I don't just believe, I KNOW butter makes everything better. These look SCRUMPTIOUS.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I just had to stop back for dessert :) These look soooo good!