Last weekend, John and I participated in a charity walk for NOCC, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. We had a beautiful morning for a walk. It was a cool start which had us dressing in layers. By the finish, We were in single layers and basking in the sunshine that finally caught up to us.
The morning exercise had me bustling with energy, and in the mood to bake some cookies. I took a poll (I asked John), what sounded good. I should have known what he would say without even asking him. Chocolate Chip cookies, specifically, the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Cooks Illustrated.
These cookies are a bit more work, and only make a batch of 16 to 18, but they are worth every extra second. They are gently crispy on the edges, and chocolatey-gooey in the middle.
Preparedness is the secret to these cookies coming out perfectly. I didn’t have girl scouts growing up, but if I did, these cookies would have earned me a badge.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. It’s best to let your oven preheat for 30 minutes prior to baking. You will also want to take out two eggs and let them come to room temperature. If you are like me, and don’t always plan ahead, you can put the eggs in a bowl of water that is at room temperature, for abut 5 minutes. Lastly, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
We will be using one whole egg plus one yolk. Put them in a small bowl prior to starting anything else. You will not need the extra egg white, so you can refrigerate it for another use. We will also be using 14 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 7-1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or chunks. I love using Ghirardelli brand chocolate chips. Not only are they delicious, they are safe for people with nut allergies. Speaking of nuts, you can add 3/4 cup of chopped nuts, that isn’t my thing. Go for it if it’s yours, just get them out now.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Whisking takes the place of sifting the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
Melt 10 tablespoons in a 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Use a pan that you can monitor the color of the butter. Babysit this pan. It can go from brown to burnt in seconds. You will want to keep swirling the pan until butter is a golden brown. You will have brown flecks in the bottom. That is called money. Well not really, but it should be. It’s actually the milk solids. Remove the brown butter to a large bowl. You want to remove it so it doesn’t continue cooking.This isn’t a super clear photo. Please forgive me. I think I had the shakes from the nutty brown butter aroma. Ahhhh the memories.
To the melted butter, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, and continue stirring until the butter is completely melted. Add the 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Add the whole egg and yolk. whisk until the mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.
Let this mixture sit for 3 minutes and then whisk again for 30 seconds. You will repeat this process two more times until mixture is thick smooth, and shiny. The mixture lightens up each time you stir it.
Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture. Continue stirring until combined. Add chocolate chips, and fold until thoroughly combined. You would also add the nuts at this point if you are using them.The dough is so shiny. Show a little restraint if you are subject to pilfering the dough (like John…go away).
Scoop out 3 tablespoons of dough, and roll them round in your hands. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake one sheet at a time 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Turn half way through baking. Cool pan on a wire rack to room temperature.
Get out of the way. The smells from the kitchen will have them running!
Did you see the little nose sneaking in on John’s cookie? Poor girl didn’t even get a nibble.
My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 3/4 all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg plus one yolk
1 1/4 cups (7 1/2 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Adjust oven rack to center. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk all-purpose flour and baking soda together. Set aside.
3. Melt 10 tablespoons of butter in a 10 inch skillet. Swirl until butter is golden brown. Pour into to a large bowl. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and stir until completely melted.
4. Add brown sugar, white sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Whisk until completely combined. Add Whole egg and yolk. Whisk until completely combined, 30 seconds. Let rest for 3 minutes. Whisk for another 30 seconds. Repeat 2 more times.
5. Add flour mixture. Stir to combine. Add chocolate chips and nuts if using.
6. Roll 3 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Keep two inches apart on a baking sheet.
7. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are browed on the edges, 8-10 minutes, rotating half way through. Cool pan on a wire rack until room temperature.
Recipe provided by HostessAtHeart
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