Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who isn't looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe? And if you aren't, you should be. Of course, there is no one winner. Everyone has different opinions on what a chocolate chip cookie should be. And while sometimes we have different tastes and preferences, Brad and I definitely agree on this! Here's our take:

Chocolate chip cookies should be chewy, on the softer side and have a not-so-subtle brown sugar vibe about them. We also both tend to agree that the cookie part is better than the chocolate chip part. I definitely don't want an overdose of chocolate chips to drown out the wonderful brown sugar and buttery goodness of the cookies that they are suspended in. And, as far as Brad is concerned, the softer they are and the more they taste like cookie dough, the better.

So I decided I wanted to try to make not just good chocolate chip cookies, but GREAT chocolate chip cookies. I had two recipes in mind that held great promise: Alton Brown's "The Chewy" and Baking Illustrated's "Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies," which has been featured on zillions of food and baking blogs. They are both very similar and ended up I deciding on the Baking Illustrated version, mostly because of all the rave reviews.

I must say that these were amazing and did not disappoint. I'm convinced that they are my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are chewy, with a great texture, and have a wonderful brown sugar flavor. Like all cookies, they are beyond phenomonal straight out of the oven but still hold onto their chewiness and flavor for a couple of days in a well-sealed container. Not much more to say other than we loved them!

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Recipe from Baking Illustrated, page 434)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2-1 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

3. Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. (This batch should make about 18 large cookies.) Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

4. Bake until the cookies are light golden gro
wn and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a metal spatula.

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