Ever on the lookout for ways to tweak my own version of the Chocolate Chip Cookie, I’ve followed a lot CCC recipes over the past few years. “What’ll you do tomorrow, on your day off?” Scott asks. “Mmm. Dunno. I’m thinking of baking”, I usually say. “Well we do have those chocolate chips in the cabinet” he says, as though they’ve been languishing for years.
This time I baked up the version that Cook’s Illustrated printed in their May & June 2009 issue. Sorry Dad. I guess I beat you to it. Priorities, priorities.
The recipe is totally hand mixed, which doesn’t make your arm want to fall off because the butter gets melted and browned. You’re really dealing with a liquid-like batter. The final dough is shiny-looking, rather than the typical matte sheen that you’re used to seeing, and it was a bit soft too. They suggest baking the cookies immediately rather than wait the 24-36 hours recommended in this popular recipe. And I did. They came out looking pretty good. But I only baked half of the dough. The other half is in the refrigerator. I’ll try baking a batch using the chilled dough in a few hours and notice the difference. They did spread a little on the edges, producing the crisp/crunch that they were looking for. But it was a little too crisp for my taste. *I imagine that chilling the dough for a while will help to eliminate the spread a bit (my preference).
As for flavor, they’re dang good. There’s a nice butterscotch-y-ness produced by the browned butter and brown sugar, there’s a good ratio of chocolate to cookie, and they do have a nice, rich chew in the center. Also, the next day they were amazingly good. The day’s rest seemed to improve them, even.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from Cook’s Illustrated May & June 2009
yields 16 large cookies
- 1-3/4 cups (8-3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Heat 10 Tablespoons butter in a NOT non-stick, 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 a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove skillet from heat and, using a 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 for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is think, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips, giving dough a final stir to ensure that no flour pockets remain.
Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 Tablespoons. Arrange 8 dough balls, 2 inches apart, on one of the prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies, one tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking if your oven heats unevenly. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
*Aha! They were much better after the dough was thoroughly chilled (about 3 hours in the fridge). I scooped and patted them into balls and baked them for 14 minutes. No spread, nice and chewy in the center, but crisp on the edges.