Monday, April 14, 2008

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

As promised, here is the recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies ever. This recipe is adapted from The New Best Recipe, from the editors of Cook's Illustrated. I made a batch to sell at our garage sale on Saturday. Despite the horrible weather, we didn't have any trouble selling the cookies. I was a bit surprised when one man bought a whole plate of cookies (we were selling these cookies plus snickerdoodles - 2 to a bag - for 50 cents) . . . but then again, which would you rather have - freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or someone else's old clothes?

If you'd rather have chocolate chip cookies, but didn't make it to "the best garage sale in town," here is the recipe so you can make your own:

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 to 2 cups chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. Mix together butter and sugars until well blended (I use an electric mixer). Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed (or stir) until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips to taste.
  4. For oversize cookies, roll 1/4 cup dough into a ball.* Space 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are light golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Rotate cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Cool cookies on sheets. Do not overbake.
* At this point in the recipe, Cook's Illustrated instructs you to shape the cookies by tearing the ball of dough in half, rotating the torn surfaces up, and pressing the bottoms back together into a ball (leave the top surface jagged). I have made these cookies many times - and usually skip this shaping step. I also usually make this dough a day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Dough from the refrigerator will be very stiff and may need time to soften on the counter (or in the microwave if you're in a real pinch). To add further confusion, you can also bake these cookies at 35o degrees for a little less time - just be sure to keep an eye on them and don't let them overbake. No matter how you bake them, I'm sure you'll agree they're worthy of being called the "best" chocolate chip cookies!

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