Dearest Chocolate Chip Cookie,
As you are well aware, you are very popular. The simplest of ingredients combine to make you one of the most loved baked goods, ever. You are the Official State Cookie of Massachusetts, where the accidental miracle of a recipe was created. If there was a cookie prom, you would be crowned King. Your companionship with milk baffles even the sweetest of teeth, and your crumby goodness leaves the fullest of bellies aching for “just one more.” I do, however, have one bone to pick with you. Why is it so impossible to find the perfect recipe?! There are so many variations, it seems impossible to choose “the one.” I will hand it to you, though. No matter the recipe, crunchy or soft, milk chocolate or dark, with nuts or without, you remain delicious, and I am always satisfied. From the bottom of my cookie-obsessed heart, thank you for being awesome.
As much as I love to bake, you’d think that my favorite baked good would be something a little more sophisticated. But to be quite honest, not much makes me happier than a warm chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. Simple, yes. Disappointing? No way.
Although a decent place to start, the basic Tollhouse recipe just doesn’t cut it. I’ve always altered it to my own taste, but something was never quite right. Almost every recipe I’ve tried has been undoubtably tasty, but I’ve always known there was something better out there. Then, I found this recipe on Brown Eyed Baker, who grabbed it from the ever-so-lovely America’s Test Kitchens and the Baking Illustrated cookbook. I love it! The cookies came out chewy, sweet, and delicious!
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips – I think they distribute better)
1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste. (I used hardly over a cup of chocolate chips, and it was plenty. In fact, I would almost be inclined to use less next time.)
4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup (Yes, they’re big…) of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.
5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula. I used the heart-shaped spatula I got a week ago! 🙂
Okay, a few tips/tricks:
Please, please, please follow the strange instructions! Pull the dough apart and face the soft edges together. When they’re done, they’ll have that bakery look we all love!
Also, my dough seemed too soft to form a ball strong enough to pull apart, so I threw mine in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Putting the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes will give you a chewier cookie – no matter the recipe!
I’m very impatient, but I somehow managed to keep myself from removing the cookies from the baking sheets. I gave myself a hearty pat on the back for that one, because the cookies actually keep baking on the sheet, but the lack of air circulation around the cookie kept the bottom from getting hard.
As an avid chocolate-chip-cookie-lover, I am pleased. But this is not the end of my quest for the “perfect” recipe! If you have one that you love, please share it with me!
Nestle Tollhouse, eat your heart out!