30 January 2011

another chocolate chip cookie

Who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie, right? (And whoever doesn't, don't trust them!) I don't actually remember the last time I made a batch, so I figured I'd whip some up. It was also a good opportunity to try yet another recipe claiming to be the best. This time: Cooks Illutstrated's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are so good they may actually live up to the name: I'm usually good at only having 2 or 3 cookies from a batch, but I Cannot. Stop. Eating these.
Funny thing is I posted a choco chip cookie recipe about a year ago. Didn't like it one bit. THIS recipe, though, I'd totally hit the like button if I had one! I dare say it's on par with, maybe even better than Alton Brown's recipe, which has been my go to classic CCC recipe for as long as I can remember. Like Alton Brown's, it involved an egg plus a yolk. Like the NYT recipe, I used chocolate disks. Unlike both, the CI version involves browned butter. (Sidenote #1: I've said it before and I'll say it again: browned butter = heaven, which may be the tipping point as to why this recipe is awesome!) (Sidenote #2: unlike most cookie recipes, you can also make this without a stand mixer, so added bonus I suppose.) My verdict = 9.5*. I could have been happy eating just the dough.

* I "accidentally" used 72% bittersweet chocolate disks for this recipe. By "accidentally" I mean that I was looking at a bunch of different recipes before baking, and bittersweet is what got stuck in my mind (I was looking at the NYT recipe). So I used the disks I had on hand, and it makes for a more sophisticated taste and I really liked how they created layers of chocolate to bite into. BUT. The Cooks Illustrated one calls for semisweet, and I bet it'd taste better because it's The Classic flavor. I have no doubt in my mind that had I used the semisweet, the flavor would be a solid 10! If I can't stop eating them now, I'm scared for when I do use the semisweet, lol.
Cook's Illustrated's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
(Trom the May/June 2009 issue by way of The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

14 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 C white sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C bittersweet chocolate chips/disks/chunks* (see note above)

Over medium heat, melt 10 tbsp of butter in a saucepan or skillet. Continue cooking, swirling constantly, until butter turns slightly darker and smells nutty (or like toffee). Remove from heat and pour into a large heat proof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tbsp butter into it until melted.

Add white and brown sugars, vanilla, and salt to melted butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk until mixture is smooth. Let it sit for 3 minutes, and then whisk again for 30 seconds. Repeat the 3 min-30 sec directions two more times. It should be lump-free, smooth and shiny.

Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and then mix until its even. Using a wooden spoon, stir into the butter mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate while you preheat the oven to 375.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. If using a large cookie scoop (about 2 tbsp size), place about 6 on the sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. If using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tsp size), place about 8 on the sheet and bake for 7-9 min. Edges should just be golden brown and centers should still look soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet while the next round is baking.

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