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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted Aug 09 2010 11:54am

The other night, when I was in San Francisco having dinner with BethT , we got on the subject of chocolate chip cookies.

Because we are food bloggers and that’s what we do.

Anyways, our conversation ended up getting really intense and resulted in me sitting on Beth and Corey’s couch for an additional thirty five minutes after dinner, discussing different recipes that we thought to be “the best ever”. I mean, we all have our standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, right? I’ve been making the same ones for years and they always come out great every time. They’re rich, full of butter and brown sugar. I love them. However, Beth was telling me about a new recipe she tried and then adapted from Cook’s Illustrated a while back. This recipe involved actually browning the butter before creaming it with the sugar, to produce a tender cookie with more underlying caramel tones than usual.

As soon as she mentioned browning butter, I was taken. I must try these cookies she spoke of. For the past forty eight hours, those cookies have been all I’ve thought about—-the idea alone just totally consuming me.

Finally, this morning, we had lift off.

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Here’s what you need for success:

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First, preheat your oven to 375 and line two sheet pans with parchment paper or, my favorite, Silpat.

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I got my Sipats when I was in culinary school but you can find them here . They’re great ’cause they last forever and you never need to worry about parchment paper or cooking spray again. Other than my microplane, my Silpats are my second favorite (and most used!) kitchen gizmo.

Now, whisk together 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour and 1/2 tsp baking soda in a medium sized bowl:

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Set aside and prepare to get your butter on.

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You’ll need fourteen (yes, FOURTEEN) tablespoons unsalted butter. I told you these cookies were delicious; I never said they were “healthy”. But if chocolate chip cookies are wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Drop ten of the fourteen tablespoons in a large skillet over medium/high heat

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The goal here is to brown the butter, not burn the butter. Be careful!!! Once the butter melts, start swirling the pan like you’ve never swirled before. When the butter starts to turn golden, keep it going just about ten seconds longer. You want a really rich caramel color. Then, take it off the heat quick.

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And immediately pour it over the remaining four tablespoons of butter in another large bowl.

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This should smell INCREDIBLE. If can find no other reason to make these cookies than to make your kitchen smell like a caramel factory, that’s totally acceptable.

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Add 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp salt to the butters (buttersssssssss)

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Whisk to combine and then add one egg yolk + one egg

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And go ahead and whisk with everything you got. The end result should be thick and creamy.

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Add the flour mixture to the buttery mixture of love and stir gently to combine.

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And then add your chocolate chips. Beth says 1 1/4 cup but I just dumped half a bag in and called it a day.

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It’s just too much. It’s all just too much.

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Form mini ping-pong balls of dough, press down gently, and then bake for exactly twelve minutes.

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Sweet Jesus.

BethT’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

makes about 16 cookies

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

14 tbsp unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)

1/2 c white sugar

3/4 c packed brown sugar (recipe suggests dark brown, but light brown is also acceptable)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 c chocolate chips

optional: 3/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 and line two large baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Sift or whisk together the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Put 10 tbsp of the butter in a medium skillet set over medium high heat. Allow the butter to melt for 2 minutes and begin to swirl it around the pan, allowing it to brown. Keep the butter moving so it doesn’t burn. Browning should take about 3 minutes and you’ll know it’s done when it smells nutty and it has a dark golden brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and use a heatsafe spatula to transfer the butter to a large, heatsafe mixing bowl. Add the remaining 4 tbsp of cold butter to the melted butter, and stir gently until it is melted.

Add the white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt to the butter and whisk the ingredients together. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk again until mixture is smooth, 30 seconds. Allow the batter to rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds more. Do this two more times; the end result should be thick and shiny.

Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined, about 1 minute. Gently stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if using. The batter will be soft.

Form each cookie with roughly 3 tbsp of dough (if using a cookie scoop, use a #24). Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake one tray at a time, 10 to 14 minutes, on the middle rack of your oven. Rotate baking sheet after 5 minutes and check the cookies at 10; you want them to be golden brown and set around the edges, but puffy in the middle. (My oven yielded perfect cookies at 12 minutes.)

Allow to cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


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