I have made many different choco chip recipes over the years. My aunt’s well known recipe that makes a very cakey, not too sweet cookie. Low fat recipes made with applesauce (ick). I have even sliced and baked a few Pillsbury cookies.
Once again, I decided to try something new. I had seen a bit of discussion on the blogs about a recipe in the current issue of Cook’s Illustrated. It calls to melt and brown the butter. Let’s give it a try.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Cook’s Illustrated May/June 2009
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional – I did not use)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. (I used one baking sheet and my silicone liner)
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, 1-3 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.
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 for 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.
Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use a #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (I did 6 at a time and did make them big – about 3 T each – I put the dough in the fridge between bakes)
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, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
Here they are in various states of cooling, stacking, and packing. Of course these were tasty right out of the oven. I liked making them big. However, I was a bit overwhelmed by the butter/toffee taste. They almost seemed a bit greasy.
This did not stop me from eating two huge cookies as I packed them up to take them to my parent’s house.
My parents also described them as ‘really buttery’. They only stayed soft for a few hours and were pretty crunchy in the end. I have a few leftovers I have been nibbling on. I am not sure I am in love with the melted/browned butter technique. I liked the look of these (literally bakery quality) but I just don’t know about the taste. Not bad, just different.
Perhaps this was an omen:
This happened about halfway in to the baking. I have (somehow) never done this before.