Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. So when I see hype about a great chocolate chip cookie, I am able to look the other way. I know The Chewy gives great results time and time again. Shortly after finding that recipe, I did venture out and try others, thinking that maybe I’d find one that was better than my beloved Chewy. Nothing ever came close and I was always disappointed.
Enter the America’s Test Kitchen Boston Blogger Cookie Challenge. The lovely folks at ATK have challenged bloggers to try their Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. I’m not going to lie, I almost missed the buzz on Twitter about this challenge. It came out when I was on vacation and I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to bake cookies, take photos, and post about something by May 10th. Luckily I was able to make these cookies and get this post written just in time for the deadline.
I’ve been a fan of Cook’s Illustrated for some time now. The enginerd in me loves how they explain why different methods or ingredients are used. I find myself applying those lessons to other recipes that I make so that my journey through cooking and baking is also a major learning process for me.
As you can see, this recipe yields some beautiful, large, bakery-style cookies. I had more than one coworker ask for the recipe and ask what that unidentifiable ingredient in the cookie could possibly be. I explained that it’s not just an ingredient but also the techniques that make these cookies so good. As the recipe states, using more brown sugar creates a chewier cookie. The browned butter in the recipe lends to the almost toffee flavor the cookies have. And last, by making the cookies larger (I used a 3 Tbsp scoop), you get a greater contrast between the crispy edges and the chewy center of the cookie.
I enjoyed that these cookies didn’t require a mixer. Less fussiness is always good in my book. I also enjoyed the whisking and waiting. I did have to write on the recipe how many times I had done it so I could keep track, but I found during the first 3 minute wait, that it tasked me about 3 minutes to unload the dishwasher. Then I learned it takes me about 3 more minutes to put away all my baking ingredients. And during the last 3 minute wait, I was able to load the sink full of dishes into the dishwasher. It worked out great.
I enjoyed these cookies a lot better on the second day, after sitting overnight in an air tight container. I honestly think these cookies gave The Chewy a run for their money. I think I’m going to have to make them both so I can taste them side by side.
One last thing, I forgot to mention the prizes that some lucky bloggers will be winning. One winning blogger will have the opportunity to tour the test kitchen, and three additional bloggers to win a 1-year membership to CooksIllustrated.com – how cool is that?!?
Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie or are you still on the hunt?
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies – from Cook’s Illustrated – makes 16 large cookies
Note, I’ve added some pictures in the recipe to show the texture of the cookie dough as it comes together. As recommended in the recipe, I weighed my ingredients where applicable.
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 Tbsp 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 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (see note)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
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.
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.
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 (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.)
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.