Lindsay Ann Bakes: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

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. My perfect chocolate chip cookie has a sweet buttery flavor with a hint of vanilla, it has got a nice chewy texture with perfectly crisp edges, and is studded with classic semi-sweet chocolate chips. Most importantly, it has to be easy enough to make with the ingredients in my kitchen... no bread flour or cake flour, just good ol' all-purpose, and no separating eggs or sprinkling with specialty salts. The only extra ingredient called for is a nice cold glass o' milk to pair it with ;) 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). 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 and pop in the fridge for a few hours or 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 consistency. If 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.


Bake until edges just start to turn golden brown, then 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 (180g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (141g) packed brown sugar 
  • 1/3 cup (66g) granulated white sugar 
  • 1 large egg, room temperature 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1/2 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 until cool. 

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. With an electric mixer, beat together cooled butter and sugars on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until you see it turn lighter in color and thicken. On low speed, add the egg and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and mix-ins of your choice with a spatula or wooden spoon. Scoop dough into about 16 balls balls (about 3 tablespoons each), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to firm up, or leave in the fridge overnight. 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until edges just start to turn golden brown. Let cookies cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Notes
  • You can use regular melted butter if you don't want to take the extra step to brown the butter, but you will loose out on some of the incredible caramely flavor the browned butter adds. 
  • Refrigerating the dough balls 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 flavor and consistency. 
  • To make 22 smaller cookies, scoop dough into 2-tablespoons balls and bake for 9-11 minutes.
  • If you do not plan on making all of the cookies at once, the unbaked cookie dough balls can be can be placed in a ziploc bag and refrigerated for up to 48 hours or frozen for up to 4 months, to be thawed and baked in desired quantities.
  • Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days or frozen for up to a few months. 



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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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