All this week on Leena Eats—a week of my favorite holiday recipes! Enjoy this oldie but goodie– it’s one of my favorite cookie recipes.
When I woke up this past weekend, these cookies are what I wanted to see. What I actually saw was this:
Why did I see a sky full of snow on March 29th, 9 days after spring was supposed to start? Because Chicago hates me, that’s why.So when the happy, sunny yellow-covered Cook’s Illustrated (May/June 2009) arrived in the mail, I took it as a sign. If you cook or bake it, spring will come…or at least you will be distracted long enough to not notice that spring starts in June now. Score.
How did C.I reinvent the chocolate chip cookie? They created a cookie that is chewy in the middle and crisp on the edges, with strong tones of butterscotch and toffee that cut through the sweetness. To do this, they used more brown sugar, melted beurre noisette (browned butter), less egg white, let the sugar and liquid ingredients rest so the sugar dissolved thoroughly, and used more dough per cookie. As suggested, I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips.
The recipe itself was easy enough to follow, and really wasn’t much more complicated than the traditional recipe that creams the butter and sugar together like cake. I typically appreciate the detail in C.I. recipes because they explain everything clearly and tell you exactly what occurs when you do it. The article that accompanied the recipe even explained why it is better to bake one tray of cookies at a time instead of two (leads to uneven cooking).
The cookies ended up just as promised: crisp on the outside, chewy in the center, and a deep butterscotch flavor throughout. So was this the perfect chocolate chip cookie, as the recipe was titled? To me, no. I enjoy more emphasis on the chocolate chips and texture as opposed to more flavor in the dough. Was it a good reinvention of the chocolate chip cookie? Totally. I love butterscotch and toffee, and these cookies definitely have a strong butterscotch/toffee taste to them. The texture is perfect, really my ideal chocolate chip cookie texture.
And as my cookies cooled, the temperature outside warmed up. Seriously! The snow was melting so fast, huge chunks of it pelted down from the tree tops onto cars and people below. Sure, it was a bit dangerous, but when it comes to weather, I’ll do just about anything for a nice day in Chicago.
Recipe: Cook’s Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookie, Reinvented
Summary: Not an original recipe—this recipe was created by Cook’s Illustrated magazine
- 1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) AP flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
- ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large 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 for 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 a #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
- 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, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
Microformatting by hRecipe.