Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies. Everyone.
Realtors will tell people trying to sell their homes to bake a couple right before a showing to increase the “homey” feeling for prospective buyers.
But I wasn’t interested in good chocolate chip cookies, because those are a dime a dozen. Hell, you can go to the supermarket and get pre-made dough and turn out a good chocolate chip cookie. I wanted great chocolate chip cookies, the kind that even chilled in the fridge would be delicious.
I thought I’d found The Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to end all chocolate chip cookie recipes after I read the writeup, and accompanying recipe, from the New York Times. The recipe didn’t call for any weird or off the wall ingredients, but it did call for refrigerating the dough for at least 24 hours before baking. That made the “hey Dad, I need to bring in cookies for school tomorrow” cookie baking frenzy (we’ve all been there) impossible. However, they were, at the time, the best I’d made, the best I’d had, so I thought the quest was over.
Then I came across Cook’s Illustrated chocolate chip cookie recipe. After making the first batch, and testing the results, there was a quick and bloodless coup in the Kingdom of Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a new king was crowned! Long live the King!
The secret to the new Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is the browning of most of the butter and the use of dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar. Browning the butter added depth and maturity to the cookie, which was emphasized by the dark brown sugar. One time I tried making the recipe without browning the butter and using light brown sugar. Still a great cookie, but more along the lines of a Prince than a King.
The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
17.5oz/496g (3 1/2 cups) flour
1 tsp baking soda
28 tbsp butter
7oz/198g (1 cup) sugar
10.5oz/298g (1 1/2 cups) dark brown sugar
2 tsp table salt
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Place 8 tbsp of butter in the bowl of your KitchenAid stand mixer or large bowl
- Heat 20 tablespoons butter in skillet (NOT non-stick) over medium-high heat until melted, about 3 minutes. Continue cooking, using a whisk to constantly whisk the butter, until it is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 4-6 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, immediately transfer browned butter to the bowl with the butter in it. Whisk until melted.
- Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add eggs and yolks and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds (I used the speed setting of 3 on my KitchenAid). 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. Switch to your beater bar (or use wooden spoon if doing it by hand), 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.
- Divide dough into 32 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 6 dough balls per sheet.
- Bake cookies 1 tray at a timeuntil cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes (12 minutes in my oven), rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies for 2 minutes, then slide cookies and parchment paper off the sheet and onto the wire rack. Cool completely before serving.
- The browned butter will go from browned to burnt in < 30 seconds, so once it’s browned, get it out of the hot pan immediately!
- I tried using dark chocolate chips, but I thought it made the cookies too rich (yes, there is such a thing)
Cook’s Illustrated May 2009 (online at http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=19364)
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/09chip.html