Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chewy & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's December 12. You were probably expecting birthday cake, or maybe some kind of Christmas cookie. A fruitcake, perhaps? All I have to say is it's my birthday, and I'll make chocolate chip cookies if I want to (a la Lesley Gore, of course).

This is by far the most unusual chocolate chip cookie recipe I've tried. Not only did it involve browning butter, but also it required a finicky process of whisking and waiting and whisking and waiting some more. Somehow, this results in a cookie that is soft, chewy, and crispy all at once. Although I wouldn't call this the perfect chocolate chip cookie (as America's Test Kitchen does) I would say that they are worth the extra steps involved.

Just know that once you put in all that extra effort, if you're anything like me, you will completely ignore the instruction to let the cookies cool completely before serving. First of all, what is the point of making chocolate chip cookies if you're not going to eat them warm? Second of all, who serves chocolate chip cookies?! Unless by "serving," they mean placing the cookies on a cooling rack just long enough that they don't fall apart when you pick them up. Now that's a happy birthday, if you ask me.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.

3. Melt 10 tablespoons (5 oz) butter in a skillet over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the butter turns a dark golden brown. Remove skillet from heat and transfer butter to a large heatproof bowl. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons butter until completely melted.

3. Whisk the sugars, salt, and vanilla into the melted butter until fully incorporated. Add eggs and whisk until smooth. Allow the mixture to rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat this process two more times; the mixture should be thick, smooth, and shiny.

4. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

5. Scoop the dough into approximate 3-tablespoon portions, yielding approximately 16 cookies. Arrange the dough on the baking sheets, about two inches apart.

6. Bake the cookies one tray at a time for about 10-14 minutes. The cookies should be puffed and golden brown; the edges will be set, but the centers will still be soft. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and allow the cookies to cool completely before serving eat the cookies as soon as you are able to pick them up in one piece.

Just in case you were wondering what the small objects in the background of the last picture were, here's a closer look...

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