Best Chocolate Chip Cookies of Your Life
Hi there! I know it’s been a while. I’m finishing up school (FOREVER) right now, and things have been a little crazy with that on top of job hunting and work. I haven’t been cooking or baking as much lately—I’ve mostly been subsisting on things I can make in 10 minutes or less. I’ve also traveled quite a bit in the past month, which makes cooking difficult to say the least. :)
Anyway, this week I have two posts planned for you before I once again jet off to my sister’s graduation in Iowa this weekend. This is the first, and this is the most epic information I have ever shared with you. These are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. Nay, tasted. Ever. In my life. And they just may be yours too. They require a little more work than the Tollhouse standard, but it’s so worth it.
Disclaimer: We’re taking a break from the healthy recipes today, so if you’re on a diet, don’t make a whole batch of these for yourself. I had one cookie and gave the rest away before I devoured them all. That’s the way to do it! There will be a delicious corn chowder recipe later this week for your healthy, yummy food fix. /disclaimer
I made these cookies for the first time a few weeks ago, when I brought a batch in for a co-worker. The next day, apparently the cookies had made their way around the office and another co-worker told me that they were the best cookies he’d ever had in his life and he’d pay me to make him a batch. So I did, and I made a sweet $20. The start of my future career? Doubtful, but I do like getting paid for baking. Anyway, I’m sharing the secrets with you. The recipe is originally from America’s Test Kitchen, and let me tell you, they know what they’re doing.
The secrets to chocolate chip cookie nirvana are as follows: 1) browned butter, 2) the whisk-and-wait method, 3) more yolk than egg white, 4) larger cookies, 5) NO creaming of butter and sugar, and 6) more brown sugar than white. This ensures a deep, full, almost caramely flavor, a greater contrast between crunchy edges and soft, moist middles, and a chewy, cookie texture instead of a fluffy, cake texture. Also important: the way you bake them. Position the rack in the middle slot and ONLY bake one tray of cookies at a time. Seriously, ovens are tricky and if you want evenly baked, perfect cookies, trust me on this.
Makes 16 large cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (8 3/4 oz)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 oz)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
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.
The first, and arguably most important step is to brown your butter. This is a huge component of the amazing flavor of these cookies. If you’ve ever had browned-butter-ANYTHING, you know how awesome it is.
This is where you whisk your butter, sugars, and eggs together repeatedly, letting the mixture rest in between each whisking. This is important. You’ll see why—the above picture is before the whole whisk-and-wait process…
…and this is after. Notice the difference in color? You can even see the texture in the photo. We’ve transformed it from a loose, liquidy mess into a creamy, thick, mixture of deliciousness.
Now add your dry ingredients. Weighing your flour is the best and most accurate way to do it—every little thing will affect the outcome of your cookies, so be as accurate as you can! (At this point, you will definitely want to eat this with a spoon. Try to resist.)
Now add your chocolate chips. Again, back away from the spoon and get out your baking sheet. Time to pop ‘em in the oven! I just got an extra-large baking sheet so I was able to fit about 12 of these large cookies on a sheet, but if you’re using a regular sheet stick to 8 and leave plenty of space between the dough balls.
This picture does not do any kind of justice to these cookies. They have delightfully crispy edges with soft, perfectly chewy centers with a light, butterscotchy flavor and ever-gooey chocolate chips. Seriously, these cookies stay moist with a fresh-baked texture even after they’re completely cooled. They’re awesome. Make them. You will not be sorry. Unless you’re on a diet, in which case, don’t make them unless you plan to give most of them away. Otherwise, you’re in trouble. :)