Thursday, June 30, 2011

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

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There are thousands of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there that claim to be "the best" chocolate chip cookie ever. Now everyone has their favorite "go-to" recipe, but what makes a chocolate chip cookie perfect? Well everyone has a different definition, but 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. After trying and tweaking about a zillion different recipe variations I have finally found my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and I hope they become your go-to favorite chocolate chip cookie too!


While everyone raves and raves about the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie, I wanted to develop a recipe doesn't require multiple types of flour, special ingredients or days of resting the dough before I could enjoy a cookie***

 My perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe ties all of my requirements for perfection together 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... Perfection. 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, beat together the cooled butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.


 

Add the egg and vanilla extract, followed by the combined dry ingredients.

 


Fold in chocolate chips or mix-ins of your choice. Cover and refrigerate dough for a few hours or overnight to hydrate and firm the 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.




Recreated by Ayla T.
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/426991_10150559912406309_279936336308_9126914_964444311_n.jpg
Recreated with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts by Carrie  Carries Creations
Recreated with confetti sprinkles by Charles from CA
Recreated by Anoushka S. from India
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash2/75225_10150674861126309_279936336308_9527476_372809364_n.jpg
Recreated by baking in a dish and topped with ice cream by blogger, Carrie, from Carries Creations
Check out more of our fan photos created by YOU, our readers!

*** My review of the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie: Although it is a wonderful cookie for planning and preparing in advance for a party or special occasion, it requires a little too much fuss for my taste. First off, the recipe requires even weights of cake flour and bread flour. If you don't normally have a variety of flour types stocked in your pantry, then these cookies will cost you a trip to the grocery store and a pretty penny on all the different ingredients. If you've read my section on Flour types in my Baking 101 series, you might think that all-purpose flour would be a good substitute for the cake and bread flours because it has a protein content between the two. Logically this might sound like it would work, however I tried the recipe using only AP flour and it didn't compare. The recipe also uses coarse sea salt. Now, salt in fact heightens the flavor of sweets, yet the coarse chunks of salt within the cookie AND sprinkled on top might not be appreciated by everyone. To avoid risking someone not liking my cookie because of such a small ingredient, I would stick with regular table salt, unless you are feeding the cookies to a group of foodies who you know will appreciate the little textured crunches of saltiness through out the cookie. Thirdly, their chocolate CHIP cookie requires bittersweet chocolate fèves or disks, that aren't readily available in a standard grocery store and cost a lot more than a good ol' bag of chocolate chips, and while I love ALL chocolate, I definitely prefer semisweet over bittersweet chocolate for my cookies. I think it gives them the traditional taste expected and loved by adults and children alike. The recipe also calls for a lot more of the chocolate than a traditional recipe, to create "layer" of chocolate within the cookies. However I think this really takes away from the deliciousness of the COOKIE portion, and who doesn't love the chocolatey chunks burried in each bite of buttery cookie? The recipe also instructs you to make each cookie out of 6 3 1/2-ounces of dough to yield 5-inch cookies! They say this is necessary for a nice soft middle with a crispy edge, however I have never had a problem getting a crispy outside with a softer chewy center with my recipe. Also, that is simply far too large a cookie to bring to a party for people to snack on, or add as a lunchbox snack. Not to mention, eating a giant cookie (comprised of enough dough for almost 3 regular size cookies) completely defeats the purpose of "indulging in moderation" with just one or two cookies, right? Most discouraging for me, was the fact that the cookies dough must "rest" in the fridge for 24-36 hours :/ So, if you are anything like me, you will simply NOT be able to wait that long for a cookie. I baked them immediately, after about 12 hours and again after about 24 hours. I couldn't wait 36 hours. The resting time definitely makes a different and produces a cookie darker in color with a deeper caramel flavor, but sometimes you just want to make a batch of cookies for an after dinner treat, or just before guests come over unexpectedly, or when you simply just want a cookie without having to wait a whole day. Lastly, is says that these cookies are best served warm... now, everyone loves a warm cookie out of the oven, yet I found that these cookies were not the same the next day. After they were stored over night, they lost their crispy edges and were a bit on the dry side. So, unless you are making a small batch, you will probably want some left overs for the next day or so, and you are most likely going to want the cookies to be just as delicious the next day, unless you are making these for a special occasion of party. In that case these are a great cookie for special occasions, but if you are looking for a cookie that is a definite go-to anytime, I think I will stick to my good old standby, Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.




Give them a try, and be sure to share a picture on our Facebook wall, or email a photo to MyCreation@dollhousebakeshoppe.com to have your recreation featured in our Fan Photo album!

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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.

    ReplyDelete

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