Friday, February 26, 2010

The Chocolate Chip Cookies



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.


24 comments:

  1. Sarah - those look INCREDIBLE!!! I am dying to make some with the browned butter. Time. I need more time.

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  2. Wow, Sarah, it looks like you came up with a perfect hybrid. I'm going to have to put yours in a taste test with Leslie's hybrid ones, but I might have to keep the verdict secret ;P

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  3. Hooray for coming up with your perfect cookie to suit your tastes! They look wonderful :)

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  4. Congratulations on discovering your very own perfect chocolate chip cookie! Peace, Stephanie

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  5. Too funny! I just made cookies similar to these just tonight!! They are really good. Great photos!

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  6. Those cookies look fabulous! Sooooooooo much chocolate! Yum!!!!

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  7. I love the NYT chocolate chip cookies and adding brown butter must make them so good that they should be illegal. But it's not, so I'll be making these soon.

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  8. No criticisms, eh? Well I am going to have to try because they look outstanding. I especially love the look of the chocolate in these.

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  9. Yet another CCC recipe to add to the "must try" list. It looks seriously good!

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  10. Okay, you've convinced me. I'll be making these today. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. What percentage of cocoa in the chocolate?

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  12. Martin - I used 72%, but you can use whatever you prefer.

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  13. I made these yesterday. You are right. This is it. THE chocolate chip cookie recipe. I don't know whether I'm happy or sad that my search has ended, but it has. This is the best chocolate chip cookie ever. Brown butter does wonders!

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  14. SugarCooking - So glad you made them and loved them! Brown butter is miraculous!

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  15. Gah! I am out of brown sugar!

    I can't wait to make these!

    Thank you for sharing it!

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  16. Yum! These sure look like "the" CCC: thick, chewy and with lots of choc chunks. I will definitely give these a shot (thanks for providing weights - I'm a scale-loving girl) :o)

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  17. oh, goodness, why did i never think of this before? brown butter improves anything and everything it touches. chocolate chip cookies: of course! thanks for this.

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  18. Hi! I tried your recipe and the cookie dough is sitting in the fridge at the moment. But I'm afraid I over browned the butter as it was fairly black :[ Do you know how this will effect the taste? thanks

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  19. @anonymous - It depends on how dark... If it was burned the cookies may have a touch of that taste, you'll have to let me know. If you over-brown butter again, my suggestion would be to strain it before adding it to your dough, removing the burned solids.

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  20. I weighed the butter before and after browning, and it seems that of the five ounces, one had evaporated. So should it be five ounces before or after browning? :-/

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  21. Martin - 5 ounces before browning.

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  22. Sarah, that is absolutely gorgeous! Those cookies are making me drool here - and I'm not sure that is acceptable at work. :)
    Printing the recipe right now - I'll give these a go on the weekend!
    Tks for sharing!

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  23. This really looks delicious. I'm definitely craving for a plate of that right now. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. This is definitely a must do recipe this weekend since I got my Alcohol Training.

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