Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ode to The Chocolate Chip Cookie

I love love love chocolate chip cookies. There is something so comforting about a deliciously gooey chocolate chip cookie. Completely satisfying. Up until a couple of weeks ago, my most reliable source for a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies came directly from the back of a bag chocolate chips. The recipe is pretty standard- cream the sugars and butter, add your eggs and vanilla, then combine with the dry ingredients and drop in the chocolate.  This was my method- I had no idea that this infamous comfort cookie could be made any other way. The chocolate chip cookie, in fact, turns out to be a little more than I thought. 

In 2008, The New York Times published an article entitled "Perfection? Hint: It's Warm and Has a Secret." I don't know why I never heard this before, but you should always chill your dough in the refrigerator before baking. The difference? According to opinion in the article, chilling the dough allows "the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency." I had never heard this. It most definitely did not mention this on the bag that I had so faithfully taken to. Apparently the Queen of Cookies, Ruth Wakefield, wrote in her cookbook “At Toll House, we chill this dough overnight,"  but Nestle somehow left this portion off the back of their chocolate baking bars since 1939. Shame! 

In my opinion, Alton Brown's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe is, hands down, the best recipe around.  In summation, his recipe differs by the melting the butter, using bread flour,  and an egg and egg yolk. A bit of crunch around the edges and soft in the middle. The true test? They are still delicious after they've cooled. Trust me. I recognized this this cookie with a three-part hand-stitched tribute. It's serious. 

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.


      1. Oh man. Now I need some cookies in my Monday. I will have to look into this when I go grocery shopping this afternoon.