It's about time, isn't it?! I can't believe I haven't posted in so long. And here I am with another chocolate chip cookie... I hope you're not tired of them. There have been many factors to my absence, not the least of which is the fact that I've baked several things that I wasn't really crazy about, and I have a hard time posting sub-par treats. These cookies, however are anything but sub-par.
These are the cookies that I surmised about in my last post. These are the Perfect Cookie and New York Times cookie hybrid. These are the cookies. The cookies.
They are drawn more from the NYT recipe than the CI one, the only real contribution from CI being the brown butter. What a contribution it is, though! I will never make another chocolate chip cookie without brown butter. It does add an extra step, but it is well worth it. I find it fascinating that the actual brown butter flavor doesn't really come through here. I tasted several to make sure. What it does is deepens the flavor of the cookie, tempers the sweetness and imparts a slight nuttiness. It is a smooth and subtle addition, one that highlights the tastes already present and seamlessly ties all of the elements together.
These fulfill all of my requirements for a perfect chocolate chip cookie: they are dense and chewy on the inside, with a crispy and sturdy outer shell; the flavor of the cookie itself is rich and complex and mysterious due to the brown butter; the balance of cookie to chocolate is right on and the sprinkle of salt on top is the perfect finish.
I have no criticisms of this cookie. None. They were given enthusiastic thumbs up by everyone who tasted them, were the winner of a blind taste test with this cookie, and my mom deemed them the best chocolate chip cookies she's ever had. That's the real ccc test, people. If my mom approves, it is a true winner.
The Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from The New York Times and Cook's Illustrated
8 1/2 ounces unbleached white flour
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, browned
5 ounces light brown sugar
4 ounces granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chip-sized pieces
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugars. Pour hot brown butter over sugars, and without stirring, place in refrigerator to cool the butter to room temperature. Attach bowl to mixer and on medium speed, beat until light in color and fluffy. If butter isn't becoming pale, it isn't cool enough. Pop it back in the fridge for a few more minutes and try again. When butter mixture is desired consistency, add egg and beat for 30 seconds. Stir in vanilla. Add dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate. Form dough into a log and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours (if you can stand to. If not, I understand). When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Form dough into balls a little over an inch in diameter, or 1.5 ounces. Place balls at least 2" apart on baking sheet, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly puffy, dry on top and tinged with golden. Let cool completely on baking sheet.