The other night, when I was in San Francisco having dinner with BethT, we got on the subject of chocolate chip cookies.
Because we are food bloggers and that’s what we do.
Anyways, our conversation ended up getting really intense and resulted in me sitting on Beth and Corey’s couch for an additional thirty five minutes after dinner, discussing different recipes that we thought to be “the best ever”. I mean, we all have our standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, right? I’ve been making the same ones for years and they always come out great every time. They’re rich, full of butter and brown sugar. I love them. However, Beth was telling me about a new recipe she tried and then adapted from Cook’s Illustrated a while back. This recipe involved actually browning the butter before creaming it with the sugar, to produce a tender cookie with more underlying caramel tones than usual.
As soon as she mentioned browning butter, I was taken. I must try these cookies she spoke of. For the past forty eight hours, those cookies have been all I’ve thought about—the idea alone just totally consuming me.
Finally, this morning, we had lift off.
BethT’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
makes about 16 cookies
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 tbsp unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 c white sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar (recipe suggests dark brown, but light brown is also acceptable)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 c chocolate chips
optional: 3/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 and line two large baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Sift or whisk together the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Put 10 tbsp of the butter in a medium skillet set over medium high heat. Allow the butter to melt for 2 minutes and begin to swirl it around the pan, allowing it to brown. Keep the butter moving so it doesn’t burn. Browning should take about 3 minutes and you’ll know it’s done when it smells nutty and it has a dark golden brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and use a heatsafe spatula to transfer the butter to a large, heatsafe mixing bowl. Add the remaining 4 tbsp of cold butter to the melted butter, and stir gently until it is melted.
Add the white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt to the butter and whisk the ingredients together. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk again until mixture is smooth, 30 seconds. Allow the batter to rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds more. Do this two more times; the end result should be thick and shiny.
Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined, about 1 minute. Gently stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if using. The batter will be soft.
Form each cookie with roughly 3 tbsp of dough (if using a cookie scoop, use a #24). Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake one tray at a time, 10 to 14 minutes, on the middle rack of your oven. Rotate baking sheet after 5 minutes and check the cookies at 10; you want them to be golden brown and set around the edges, but puffy in the middle. (My oven yielded perfect cookies at 12 minutes.)
Allow to cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.