Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found a picture kicking around on my camera from early autumn and can't believe I haven't yet shared this with you! My favorite cookbook these days is The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition, from the editors of Cook's Illustrated. I have yet to have a recipe turn out anything less than perfect. Seriously, the roasted chicken, pesto sauce, pork chops -- they all have become my go-to recipes for those dishes. But this one, my-oh-my, it takes the cake. Or the cookie, rather.  
The Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best I've ever tasted. Their texture, density and chocolate-to-dough ratio (I don't like too many chips) are beyond compare. And this is even more amazing considering I am the one who made them.

Chocolate chip cookies and I have a long and tortured history. I have searched for a good recipe for years, and even when they come from my best-baker friends, they always fall flat, literally, in my kitchen. These cookies, though, are true to their name. Perfectly thick and chewy, and when topped with a light grind of sea salt à la my brilliant friend, Emily, strike the perfect balance of sweet-and-salty to satisfy any craving. I also followed my auntie Karen's advice and chilled the dough for a few hours before forming the cookies to help them hold their form. 

While you're at it, cruise on over to Sweet as Sugar Cookies, to check out some more fabulous goodies. They're having quite the cookie party right now! 
Cook's Illustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

"These truly chewy chocolate chip cookies are delicious served warm from the oven or cooled. To ensure a chewy texture, leave the cookies on the cookie sheet to cool. You can substitute white, milk chocolate, or peanut butter chips for the semi- or bittersweet chips called for in the recipe. In addition to chips, you can flavor the dough with one cup of nuts, raisins, or shredded coconut."
-Cook's Illustrated

2 1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet)
Plain sea salt or fleur de sel

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

3. Form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt or fleur de sel. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)

4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.


jenny goodman said...

Don't like too many chips? Whats wrong with you! :)
I love the sprinkle of salt on top...I'm not a salt person so i never thought I would. But the bakery here makes their cookies this way and they are fantastic!
Now go pack your hospital bag!

Lisa said...

I've heard a lot about these cookies and how good they are. It looks like yours turned out really well and that salt sounds like a delicious contrast to the sweet. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cookies up.

Emily said...

Cook's Illustrated really is the best! And your cookies look fabulous. Happy Valentine's Day!

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Oh these cookies sure look wonderful and love ur sweet blog too!
Ha ha , i have these older pics too , that i have yet to post!
happy V day with lodsa love!

Missy said...

These look way better than my Nestle break apart choco chip cookies. Num num!