Sunday, February 6, 2011

Recipe of the Month: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Sunday!  This week, I’m taking a break from cakes to share one of my favorite recipes.  Since I talk about food all the time, I thought I’d share some recipes so you can enjoy these treats too!  Thus, on the first Sunday of each month, I’ll be sharing my favorite recipe for many popular desserts and breads (and anything else yummy I make!)

These cookies are soft on the inside and just slightly crisp around the edges, with the most amazing buttery flavor.  They almost taste like toffee.  So, now that you’re all salivating……introducing my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, courtesy of Cooks Illustrated.  The recipe can found at the end of this week’s post.

One of the secret’s of this recipe is the use of browned butter instead of the standard softened butter found in most chocolate chip cookies.  Begin by melting the butter in a stainless steel skillet.  If you use a non-stick pan, it will be difficult to tell when the butter is browned.

Continue heating until the butter comes to a simmer.  Stir constantly!

The butter is ready when it turns a reddish-brown color.  Mine always takes longer to brown than the recipe says. 

After the butter is browned, the recipe calls for another interesting step of stirring, then resting, then stirring, then resting, then stirring.  This process allows the sugars dissolve, adding to the crisp exterior of the the finished cookie.  It will look smooth and satiny when you're done.

Add the flour and chocolate chips (and nuts if you'd like).  I'm a purist when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, so no nuts here. 

I know you're not supposed to eat raw cookie dough, but how can you help but taste this....maybe two or three times!

I like to use a cookie scoop to measure my cookies so they are all the same size and bake evenly.

Into the oven they go!  Bake until set around the edge, but still slightly soft in the center.


And now for the recipe:

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
1 teaspoon table salt 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 large egg 
1 large egg yolk 
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (see note)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

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. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. 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, 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.

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 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 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)

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 sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Happy Baking!

1 comment:

  1. i love cooks illustrated. so many good recipes and descriptions of the science behind it. i regularly use their recipes, and they are always tasty. had spinach lasagna tonight.