Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies - Version One

One of my fondest memories growing up was when my mother made chocolate chip cookies. It wasn't so much the cookie part, though. It was the dough. She would make a batch of Nestle cookie dough (I mentally will always call them Nestle with a French accent, thanks to Phoebe on Friends.) in her mothers pale yellow Pyrex bowl. Then she and I would each get a spoon and dip to our hearts desire.

If I remember correctly, we'd take turns getting a spoonful while the other played Pac-Man on the Atari. I can't even recall if we ever even baked the cookies, because I vividly remember the dough being covered with Saran Wrap in the fridge.

This recipe is from The Best of America's Test Kitchen. It is fantastic! I even got as far as baking them, but only for photo's sake. I ate a lot of dough. Lots. Double-dipping is sooooo okay at our house.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
from The Best of America's Test Kitchen, 2010

* Makes 16 Cookies *

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk the flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Melt 10 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the butter , swirling in the pan constantly until the butter is a golden brown color and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes.
4. Remove skillet from heat and transfer butter to a heatproof bowl. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
5. Add both the sugars , salt, and vanilla to the bowl with the butter and whisk until incorporated. Add the egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no lumps, about 30 seconds. Let the mixture rest for 3 minutes. Repeat whisking for 30 seconds, resting for 3 minutes two times.
6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter, stirring until just combined. Add chocolate chips and nuts (if using), and give your mixture a final stir.
7. Roll dough into roughly 3-tablespoon balls. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake 10-14 minutes*, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time.
8. Transfer to a wire rack and cool before serving.

* When I baked these, it only took 8 minutes.


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