Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

7 Jul

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These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I found the recipe on the Cooks Illustrated website, which is by the same folks that produce America’s Test Kitchen. On a side note, America’s Test Kitchen is becoming one of my favorite cooking shows. (I know it’s been around for years, but I’m just now discovering it.) I actually feel like I’m learning something when I watch it — not just a recipe but why something works the way it does when cooking. Even the boy likes it. ;)

This recipe for chocolate chip cookies requires a bit more work than the standard recipe on the back of your bag of chocolate chips, but it’s well worth the effort. The final result is a cookie that is somehow soft, chewy, and a little bit crispy all at the same time — de-lish!


Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
14 tablespoons  unsalted butter  (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
3/4 cups  packed dark brown sugar  (I typically use light brown sugar because that’s what I have on hand)
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 pecans  or walnuts, toasted (optional)
Coarse sea salt for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  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.
  2. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. 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, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula making sure to capture any browned bits, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted. (Note about browning butter: It helps to use a stainless steel skillet because it’s easier to see the color change. Your butter should be a little lighter than the color of a penny.)
  4. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.
  5. 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.
  6. Using a 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.
  7. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared baking sheets. Makes about 30 cookies.
  8. 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.
  9. Remove baking sheet from oven. While cookies are still hot, sprinkle very lightly with coarse salt and gently press it down to embed. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

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