To re-invent this classic, Cook's Illustrated lists down all the details and possible improvements that they can make to achieve this perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe using a super-easy melt-and-mix method. These "perfect" cookies have a great balance in both sweetness and texture; they are moist and chewy on their inside and crispy at the edges. Although these cookies can be as perfect as they can be, I reckon that the texture and taste can vary too depending on the ingredients used in this recipe.
I have baked these cookies more than once and whenever these cookies are freshly baked from the oven, they are all gone very quickly. Even after the cookies are gone, the smell would stay in my kitchen and all I can hear is "mmm...mummy...These cookies are delicious..."
For this post, I'm baking two batches of cookies. The first batch is the nice and simple NUT FREE ones for my son's little friends at crèche. The second batch is the gourmet ones with dark muscovado sugar, walnuts, vanilla beans and chocolate chunks for my family. Knowing that my son loves baking for his friends, I had involved him with stirring, baking and decorating these cookies and he was extremely happy and helpful doing that.
|My gourmet-style "perfect" chocolate chip cookies|
|Making the cookie dough|
|Baking the cookies|
|Baking nut-free cookies for my son's friends|
|Things that we used to decorate the smiley cookies|
|Ta-da! My boy was very happy baking these cookies.|
|One of my gourmet-style cookies. Are you drooling seeing this?|
Here's the recipe from Cook's Illustrated (Published May 1, 2009)
(with my modification in blue)
Most recipes from Cook's Illustrated has to be subscribed via their website but this one is free and can be accessed via the Cook's Illustrated apps.
Makes 16 cookies.
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda (replaced by baking powder)
14 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar or light brown sugar
(made 2 batches one with light brown sugar and another with dark muscovado sugar)
1 tsp table salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
(made 2 batches one without vanilla extract and another with vanilla beans scraped from 1 vanilla pod)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (see note)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
(made 2 batches one without nuts and another with walnuts)
The batch made with light brown sugar, vanilla extract and without nuts are for my son's friends at crèche as the all food cooked or baked for crèche has to be strictly NUT-FREE. The other batch with dark muscovado sugar, vanilla beans and walnuts are made with EXTRA LOVE (from me) for my family's consumption.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F . Line 2 large (18 x 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Heat 10 tbsp butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 mins. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 mins. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tbsp 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 sec. Let mixture stand 3 mins, then whisk for 30 sec. 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 min. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain. (After this step, I rested my dough in the fridge for about 1-2 hrs)
Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tbsp. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
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 min, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
Note: Using the full amount of recipe, I've baked 22 nut-free medium sized cookies and 30 gourmet-style cookies in total at 180°C fan forced for 10-12 min. Half of the recipe was baked as the nut-free crèche batch and the other half was for our consumption.
Before serving, my son and I gave each of the crèche cookies a smiley face.