July 7, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my current favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Everyone likes to claim their recipe as the best cookie recipe ever. I'm not going to claim it's that, as many factors come into play - altitude, cooking equipment (I use a Pampered Chef stone), individual preferences for what makes a good cookie, type of flour, etc. But for me, this recipe works perfectly.

Tips/ideas that work well with this recipe (can do any combination of these for added yumminess):

  • add 1 tsp. almond extract along with the vanilla extract
  • sprinkle formed, unbaked cookies with coarse sea salt
  • let dough sit in fridge, up to 72 hours, before baking
  • add 1/2 cup shredded coconut for added texture

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
from America's Test Kitchen

2 1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
½ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
½ 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)

Heat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 for large cookies). Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

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.

For regular-sized cookies:
Using a medium cookie scoop (about 1-2 tablespoons), drop cookies onto baking sheet.. Bake in 350 oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to rack to cool.

For large cookies:
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. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)

Bake at 325 degrees, 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.

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