Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm sure most of you know about Pinterest--the addicting site with images and links to everything from Etsy finds to tailgate recipes. I found a cookie recipe months ago and decided to make it last night, in honor of H's last exam today. And can we talk about how there are only 6 months of MBA classes left? This last year and 1/2 has completely flown by with the wedding, meeting new friends, H getting buried in school work, and living the college lifestyle again (at least vicariously for me). Anyway so I made these cookies last night that They are the best version of chocolate chip cookies I've ever had in my life. The cookies are crispy on the edges and gooey on the inside with a salty/toffeeish flavor that is amazing. Definitely worth a shot and another great thing about the recipe is that you melt and brown the butter, no taking it out of the fridge 4 hours before you want to bake, perfection!

Here it goes:

Published May 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works: Our perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe had to produce a cookie that would be moist and chewy on the inside and crisp at the edges, with deep notes of toffee and butterscotch to balance its sweetness. Melting the butter gave us the chewiness we were looking for. Cutting back on the flour and eliminating an egg white also improved texture and brought the brown sugar flavor to the fore. To give our chocolate chip cookie recipe the crisp edges and toffee flavor we wanted, we let the sugar dissolve in the batter for 10 minutes, then baked the cookies at a high temperature so the edges darkened while the centers stayed soft. (less)

Our perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe had to produce a cookie that would be moist and chewy on the inside and crisp at the edges, with deep notes of toffee and butterscotch to balance its sweetness. Melting the butter gave us the chewiness ...(more)

Makes 16 cookies
Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored. For our winning brand of chocolate chips, see related tasting.

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 14tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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)

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.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas 2011

So I thought I would venture back out into the blogosphere with a little posting about my Christmas wish list. H and I are exchanging gifts a little early as we're headed off to Utah for Christmas to be with his family.

Other Christmas traditions that we started last year include, driving around the beautiful Nashville neighborhoods in all their Christmas glory with hot cocoa and Christmas music, watching Christmas movies of course, decorating our Douglas Fir, and attending the Holiday festival in Franklin. I also want to visit the Grand Ole Opry to see their amazing decor and maybe take a walk through the ice sculptures.