I think I could easily sustain myself on chocolate chip cookies. They are, by far, my favorite sweet. Appropriate for consumption at all times of the day (yes, even breakfast – try and convince me a muffin or scone is any better for you), can be eaten one handed which allows for multi-tasking, and all around amazing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cupcakes and pies, custards and pastries – but there is something so classic about a chocolate chip cookie. And because I have ranked them as my all-time favorite sweet, I am extremely picky and critical.
I will not eat store bought chocolate chip cookies. Not from the grocery store bakery, not Chips A’hoy, not the frozen Toll House dough cubes – not any of them. They are incredibly easy and quick to make and I’m not going to waste my time on mass produced ones.
For the longest time, I used the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips bag. But I felt like these never turned out right. I would add more flour, less flour, butter, shortening instead of butter, spoon the dough out at room temperature and put in the fridge, put the entire batch of dough in the fridge and cook when dough is cooled; etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. They all turned out differently and none of them quite met my standard.
That’s when I started venturing out to different recipes and landed on the Cook’s Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – hands down the most amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe. I don’t want to hear any arguments because I have seriously tried them all.
Why is this recipe so amazing? I think it has to be the browned butter. By just cooking the butter a little past the melting point it produces an amazing nutty aroma and beautiful caramel color. Can you imagine adding that to your cookie recipe instead of regular yellow butter? Please do.
After you’ve browned the butter, you add a little uncooked butter giving it back a little bit of the creaminess. Then sugar, eggs and vanilla and you beat that until it is thick and glossy. Throw in your flour mixture and just mix till combined, then chocolate chips and nuts if you so wish. That’s it – a one pan, one bowl chocolate chip cookie recipe that does not require any hand mixers, stand mixers or food processors.
- 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop out as much cookie dough as necessary to make the size of cookies you desire. I did one big tablespoon for each cookie, which equaled to 2-sheets of 12 cookies.
- 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, 9-11 minutes.
- Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; and allow cookies to cool.