Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

2013 11 29_2809-1These cookies live up to their name. They really are perfect. They are crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. They have the most fabulous caramel toffee flavor due to the browned butter. They were just what I needed to remind myself that I can in fact bake delicious things after Thanksgiving filled with disappointing new recipes. They are a bit futzy to make, but it is all worth it. Trust me.

 Start by whisking together the flour and baking soda and set it aside.

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Now the real key to this recipe is the browned butter. Start by melting 10 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Once the butter melts, continue to heat, swirling the pan, until the butter turns a rich golden brown. This would be easier to do in a lighter colored skillet, but all I have is non-stick. Just watch it closely, you can see it darkening in color as you swirl.

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 Once the butter is brown, transfer it to a bowl and whisk the rest of the butter until it melts.

2013 11 29_2753 2013 11 29_2754 2013 11 29_2755Add the sugars, salt and vanilla, whisk until incorporated. I never had dark brown sugar, so I make up for it with just a little drizzle of molasses. Add the egg and yolk and whisk some more until smooth.

2013 11 29_2756 2013 11 29_2757Now for the futzy part. Let the mixture rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again for 30 seconds. Repeat the 3 minute rest, 30 second whisk 2 more times until the mixture is thick and glossy.

2013 11 29_2758 2013 11 29_2760 2013 11 29_2762Now stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated and no flour pockets remain.

2013 11 29_2764 2013 11 29_2765 2013 11 29_2804-1 2013 11 29_2805-1A note on chocolate chips. Use these, Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet baking chips. They are the best chocolate chips you’ll ever taste. And they are flatter and wider than regular morsels, which allows them to melt into perfect layers of chocolate in the cookies. They are well worth the extra buck they cost.

2013 11 29_2766Back to the recipe. Divide the cookies into 16 3 tablespoon balls. Bake 8 at a time on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. They are large cookies that will spread out so make sure there is enough room so that you don’t end up with a pan of bars. And don’t give in the urge to make smaller cookies. Their large size allows them to be chewy and soft in the middle and crisp on the edges.

2013 11 29_2806-1Bake the cookies, one pan at a time for 10-14 minutes. The edges should just be golden and the cookies should still be soft in the middle. Allow to cool before you eat the whole batch. And they are so good that you will want to eat the whole batch.

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
The best chocolate chip cookie you will ever eat.
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  1. 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  3. 14 tablespoons (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter
  4. ½ cup granulated sugar
  5. ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon table salt
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 1 large egg yolk
  10. 1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  11. ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
  5. 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.
  1. Yields 16 large cookies.
  2. If dark brown sugar is unavailable, use light brown sugar and a drizzle of molasses.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Crafty Cori Strikes Again




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