Thursday, June 30, 2011

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

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For me, the perfect chocolate chip cookie is not too thick, but not too thin, not too hard and crunchy, not too dry but not too greasy, but not too soft and cakey. Most importantly, it has to be easy enough to make with the ingredients in my kitchen and not be overly complicated. To me, there are the BEST chocolate chip cookies EVER and I hope they become your go-to favorite chocolate chip cookie too!

It took me a long time to create a rich, buttery, caramel-y and flavorful cookie, with crisp edges and chewy center, that can be made on a whim without complicated ingredients or directions. I tried and tweaked my recipe over and over in search for the perfect cookie. Here is a little look at 4 different batches of cookie dough.


I tried a batch without chocolate chips.


And another batch with chocolate chips.



Let the taste testing begin!



 The browned butter adds an incredible toffee/butterscotch flavor, while the higher ratio of brown sugar to white adds that perfect caramely chew. Letting the dough "rest" in the fridge hydrates the dough and brings out all of the flavors. Lastly, by baking at a lower temperature, rather than the traditional 375 degrees F, the sugar has a chance to caramelize and create a soft chewy center with crisp buttery edges. I usually double the recipe and freeze the extra dough so I can pop a few in the oven any time a craving hits. To me, these are perfection... give them a try and let me know what you think! Start by browning the butter (click here for a step-by-step tutorial). Do not skip browning the butter, it is what gives the cookies and incredible rich, caramel flavor!



Then, prepare your dough.




Spoon balls of dough onto cookie sheet. Bake until edges just start to turn golden brown.


Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy or store at room temperature in an air tight container.



Lindsay Ann's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: about 16 cookies (recipe doubles easily) - Click here for a small-batch recipe!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz) unsalted butter, melted and browned
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1 cup additional mix-in of your choice, optional (toasted chopped nuts, chopped candy bar, toffee bits, dried fruit, M&M's/Reeses Pieces, etc.)

Directions

First you need to brown your butter. Over medium heat, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stirring constantly, continue to cook butter until it starts to foam. Keep stirring until brown specks start to appear at the bottom of the pan and butter has turned an amber color and gives off a warm nutty/toffee scented aroma. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a shallow heat proof bowl (do not over cook butter, it can burn very easily and turn from a perfect caramel scented brown hue to burnt and blackened within seconds! If you have burnt your butter, you will know by the scent). Place in the refrigerator to cool to room temperature and firm up slightly. 

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat together cooled butter and sugars on medium speed for a minute or two, until pale and fluffy. On low speed, add the egg and vanilla extract. Gradually add the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips or mix-ins of your choice with a spatula or wooden spoon.


Scoop dough into 16 balls (about 2 tablespoons each), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or leave in the fridge over night. This allows the flavors to develop and time for the dough to absorb the moisture for a flavorful, hydrated and firm dough yielding rich, golden brown cookies that bake up thicker and more evenly with a better consistencyIf you do not plan on making all of the cookies at once, you can wrap and freeze dough balls for later use. Cookie dough can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours or frozen to be used in smaller batches.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place dough balls onto 2 ungreased or parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 10-14 minutes, until edges just start to turn golden brown but centers are still soft and puffy. Do not over bake. Cookies will continue to bake while cooling on the hot baking sheet. Let cookies cool for about 2 minutes on baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an air tight container. To keep stored cookies fresh, add a few pieces of sliced bread in with the cookies in your air tight container, this will keep the cookies soft and moist.

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8 comments:

  1. MMM! Those look ah-ma-zing! Great job on cupcake wars, btw! :D

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  2. You are an inspiration!

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  3. Thank you! So glad you are enjoying the recipes!

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  4. These are AMAZING! I made them with 2 eggs instead of one because the dough seemed too dry with just one egg. They are the best recipe I've made.

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  5. Hello my name is Amber and I am an addict...to these cookies. Holy crap, these are fricken banging! I am a skeptic for pretty much everything, but when I took a bite of one of these babies I became a firm believer in world peace, Santa Clause and sasquatch all at once. I dropped a piece on the floor and dove after it like a starving hobo. Seriously wicked recipe, thank you so much for sharing!

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  6. My cookie dough became hard as a rock after chilling for 7hours...what should i do?pls help

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  7. You can let it sit out for a little bit until it softens enough to scoop into balls.

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