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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever - America's Test Kitchen Recipe

In addition to the healthy baby food banana cookies I made recently, I also made chocolate chip cookies last week. I used my favorite recipe. It's not at all healthy, but it is indulgent, amazing, and delicious. It's the America's Test Kitchen chocolate chip cookie recipe, and it makes huge, chewy, melty, gooey cookies that are perfect with milk.

The trick is to brown the butter and give the brown sugar time to dissolve fully into the eggs and butter, creating a toffee-like flavor that is so rich and almost candy-like.

Here is the recipe:

America's Test Kitchen Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 ¾ ounces)
½ tsp. baking soda
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks)
½ cup granulated sugar (3 ½ ounces)
¾ cups packed dark brown sugar (5 ¼ ounces) *make sure to use dark brown sugar; light brown doesn't give it the same toffee flavor.*
1 tsp. table salt
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks *for the best results, use Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. They are not to sweet but melt into a gooey, flavorful wonderness. (That's right--I just made up a word)*

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven rack in the middle position. Line 2 large (18×12 inch) baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in 10-inch skillet (if possible, do not use nonstick) 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. *I usually see a bit of separation in the butter at this point. Be careful not to burn your butter or any solids that fall to the bottom of the skillet.*
  4. 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.
  5. 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 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny.*This is what makes all the sugar dissolve so it can caramelize into the wonderful toffee flavor.* 
  6. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
  7. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons. *I use an ice cream scoop for this and further mold the dough into a ball shape in my hands.* 
  8. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.
  9. 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, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.*These are the instructions from the cookbook. I usually end up baking mine for 8-10 minutes. It's best to pull them out before they look completely done.* 
  10. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

The only problem with this recipe is that it doesn't make nearly enough cookies, especially after I've eaten half the raw cookie dough. Oh yeah, and it's not on the South Beach Diet.

After I made the cookies last week, I stumbled across this recipe for The Best Whole-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies on An Oregon Cottage's blog. Now I'm wondering if I can take the amazing trick from the America's Test Kitchen chocolate chip cookie recipe and apply it to this recipe to make it a little healthier (ignore the copious amounts of butter and sugar, people.)

I almost pulled out all the ingredients to try it in my kitchen this morning, but my to-do list is a mile long, and cookie-baking is definitely not on it. So stay tuned.

This post is linked up at:
Mandy’s Recipe BoxTasty TuesdaysDelicious Dishes Blog Party


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