Pages

Thursday, August 5, 2010

In Search of the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie



The problem with searching for the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie, is that opinions are subjective.  What I like in a cookie, maybe you don't.  A recipe that one person raves over may seem blah to the next.  When I saw America's Test Kitchen's video for the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie, I knew I had to try the recipe.  It uses an almost radical technique and boasts caramelized soft, chewy perfection.


As I made the cookies, my olfactory senses were on overdrive.  The aroma of the browned butter and the brown sugar is almost overwhelming in deliciousness.  The resulting cookies are indeed in the top 5 of all chocolate chip cookies ever baked in my home, but are they the ultimate?  I leave it up to you.



America's Test Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies (from their website)
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
tsp table salt
tsp vanilla extract
large egg
large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

  • Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet 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. 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.
  • 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. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
  • Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
  • 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. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
I followed their instructions to the letter (I know, weird for me.) I even weighed all of my ingredients.  When I asked if these were the best cookies, The Thinker said he liked chewy, cakier cookies.  The Musician said he'd rather just have peanut butter cookies.  The Comedian said he liked thinner gooey-er cookies.  The Engineer said he liked any kind of cookie.  Someone else mentioned those ground oatmeal with the grated chocolate bar cookies.  Like I said, perfect is subjective.




31 comments:

Belinda said...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO they look perfect. I can only imagine fresh out of the oven with some ice cream.

Allie and Pattie said...

Kristen, I had to laugh! I always say we have a mixed marriage- Ray likes his flat and crunchy, I like mine fat and chewy. My kids generally like them soft, but every one has different preferences- too funny! I will definitely try this one!
xoxo Pattie

Chef Dennis said...

I love them soft and gooey, my girls like them both ways, we make 2 different chocolate chips cookies everyday...do I spoil them or what!

Pacheco Patty said...

They do look very good, I'll save your recipe and give it a try next time:-)

ravienomnoms said...

Haha too funny! My guy likes them crispy and I love mine chewy! So true about how everyone loves a different KIND of cookie, however at least we can all agree that we like cookies in general! haha ;-)

JillyAn said...

These look aswesome Kristin. BTW...how did you get your CBOTB background to work again? I copied the code and pasted where they told me but it will not show up. All it does is paste their logo. My blog is a MESS right now and I've been out of town for two weeks so I haven't been able to work on it.

Melissa said...

I LOVE America's Test Kitchen! These Cookies are very good. Few things from the Test Kitchen don't taste good! Gotta love PBS!

Peaceful Wishes,
Melissa

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

I can just about smell these already!
They look great!

Bon appetit!
=:~)

21st Century Housewife© said...

Well they certainly sound scrumptious that is for sure - And they look awfully nice too!!

shopannies said...

I love the way your bunch has different tastes. My bunch is just like yours in that they can never agree on any one thing. The cookies sound delicious I am a new follower of yours as well.

Tracy said...

I am an oatmeal cookie kind of gal. When I have chocolate chip cookies though, I like a chewy cookie.

Marty said...

It makes me want to question how others like their cookies....Hot right outta the oven, dipped in milk, warm w/ vanilla ice cream on top??? Yumm!!!!
bf ff=)

Kelly said...

MMM! Those look yummy! Now I am craving chocolate chip cookies!

Ms. WhitePlates said...

I prefer peanut butter cookies over all cookies but sometimes I have an overwhelming craving for straight up, traditional chocolate chip cookies. My sister makes some pretty terrific cakey cookies (the mound shape variety) whereas I really love the flatter, slightly crisp, still chewy cookies.

I think I'll just have to give these a shot! Browning the butter is interesting!

katerina said...

You definitely made me curious. They look chewy and delicious. i will have to make them and let you know my family's opinion.

The Mom Chef said...

Leave the chips out and you have the perfect cookie. :D

Redeemed1 said...

I'm seriously craving cookies now! These look great!

ButterYum said...

In my mind, it's pretty hard to find a bad chocolate chip cookie. My favorite recipe to date is from Shirley O'Corriher's book CookWise. She lists 3 or 4 versions - I like her "thin" ones the best. They're crisp, yet chewy, and the vanilla flavor is very strong. They're amazing. Anyway, Happy Foodie Friday to you!


:)
ButterYum

Cori said...

darn you for posting that delicious photo and then scrumptious recipe! I think I'm off to make some for myself :)

zentmrs said...

These look and sound absolutely perfect to me! Thanks for sharing! I think... ;-)

Kristin said...

These look DELICIOUS! I am going to make these. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

gibknitty said...

yum, these look wonderful! i hope to find some time soon to try them. thanks for sharing. (and thanks for popping by my blog earlier!)

es65 said...

You can't beat a good chocolate chip cookie as a favorite. Those look awsome!

Magic of Spice said...

They look fantastic:)

baking.serendipity said...

I've never made chocolate chip cookies with browned butter before, but I bet it makes them delicious!

Drick said...

yep - it's the chocolate vs vanilla again - I like mine crisp, buttery and with nuts, like me!

Lisa Madden Bass said...

I cannot wait to try this recipe!
By the way, I love the quote on your upper left side bar!
Where are you in Arizona, I lived in Mesa for about 3 years, back in the early 1980s!

Lisa

Joanne said...

Chocolate chip cookies are HARD. I personally haven't found a favorite yet. Then again, I haven't tried these! which look fantastic.

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

I've made the same "family" favorite recipe for years so am looking forward to trying a new version. I'll try and do a post with a comparison this week.

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Yay, chocolate chip cookies are tricky. Everyone likes them a little bit different! They look good to me!

Jerri said...

Soft and chewy, you say? Then I'd definitely like these! (As if I don't like just about any chocolate chip cookie. lol.)

Thanks for linking up with me for Friday Favorites!

All content in this website including text and pictures is copyrighted and belongs to me. If you need to use it or reproduce it, please ask first. Any unauthorized usage will constitute plagiarism.