Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ahoy, Matey!

This ain't no Chips Ahoy, though they have their place...like in the cupboards of the families I used to babysit for when I was a kid. Aside from making a whopping $5 an hour, wasn't the only point of babysitting eating the snacks you never had at home? As much as I enjoyed the OreosMunchos, I still really preferred making the classic cookie at home.

Let's be honest, the Toll House version of chocolate chip cookies is a classic for a reason. But recently both The New York Times and Cook's Illustrated decided to see if they could build a better mousetrap (cookie). The point of the NYT effort was to deepen the intensity of flavor by resting the dough up to 36 hours...but you have to wait 36 hours! Fortunately CI decided to forgo the extra waiting time in their quest for a better cookie by melting the butter, increasing the amount of brown sugar, and whisking the sugar so that it thoroughly dissolves. All I know is, if I am going to bake cookies, it's not going to be a 2 day process!

My original plan was to bake the Toll House recipe along side both the NYT and CI recipes, so that I could see and taste the difference for myself, but having several dozen cookies laying around just sounded like a recipe for disaster. (For my waistline!) Maybe next time. (I
and am still curious.) I'll just be sure to get some tasters on standby. Please enjoy these cookies as much as I (and my friends and office mates) did!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cook's Illustrated)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 3/4 cups (high quality) semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

1. Place an oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 375˚F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling the pan constantly until the butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and and transfer the browned butter to a large heatproof bowl. Stir the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into the hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to the bowl with butter and whisk until incorporated. Add the egg and yolk and whisk until the mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let the mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the process of resting and whisking 2 more times until the mixture is thick, smooth and shiny. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Divide the dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons. Arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.

5. Bake the cookies one tray at a time until the cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and the edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack. Cool the cookies completely before serving. Makes 16 large cookies.


WendyB said...

Love the new header!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely perfect in every way!!! I can really use one right now!

Lisa Marie B said...

Sounds good! I'm going to have to try this. I make chocolate chip cookies so frequently that I'm fond of saying I could whip up a batch in my sleep.