Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A-Mazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I have the best neighbors ever.  Over the course of 3 days, I got well over 2 feet of snow-and two of my neighbors made sure that my driveway and sidewalks were snowblowed!  As a thank you, I decided some warm, homemade cookies were in order.  I do love cookies, especially chocolate chip ones, and I had heard about a recipe that used melted butter instead of creaming it together with the sugar and eggs.  I wanted to give it a try-so glad I did. 

Some searching found me the recipe from America's Test Kitchen for their cookies on another blog.  Everything I've ever made from that show/website has turned out great--and this recipe is no exception.  If you are a fan of Paradise Bakery cookies, you'll love this recipe.  Seriously, I had to take the cookies over right away because they were way too yummy.

The browned butter is the most important part of this recipe--you can really taste the nutty/caramelly flavor, so don't skip that step.  Use real butter! I followed the recipe exactly.  Don't overmix the sugar or the flour, just slowly incorporate.  Chewy, golden, crunchy on the edges...so good.  Try it.  

These cookies would be amazing with other types of add-ins like white chips and craisens, or nuts.  Just make sure you've got cold milk on hand!

Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen Presents:
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
 ½ tsp. baking soda
10 + 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. table salt
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven rack in the middle position.  Line 2 large (18×12 inch) baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl and set aside.
  • Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in 10-inch skillet (if possible, do not use nonstick) 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.
  • 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.
  • Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons ( I used a cookie scoop and ended up with 18 cookies, although I may have eaten a couple cookies worth of raw dough).  Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.  Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.
  • 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 (mine took 14 minutes), rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.  
  • Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving (yeah, good luck with that).