These cookies come out uniform in size, crispy-edged and chewy-gooey-centered. The recipe says to wait until they are cooled to enjoy. I say you'd be remiss to NOT break apart one of these fresh out of the oven and try them while they're hot (note: I take no responsibility for burnt mouths.)
The one problem with this cookie is that it is TOO good. I behaved myself all day- got all my fruits and veggies in, did a workout, made a healthy dinner and ate small, beach-friendly portions and then I started baking. And then my health status for the day flew out the window. I kept picking at the batter, and then I kept nibbling on more cookies as I waited for the batches to bake. Having the world's worst sweet tooth, I'm used to picking a little bit during any baking project. This one was just out of control. I think it's the browned butter. That extra step seriously enhanced the flavor of these, putting them way above any generic chocolate chip cookie you could buy or basic recipe you could follow.
My husband agreed. He is a die-hard hockey fan, and the Bruins playoff game was mid-play, and he lost focus while taking his first bite, turned around to me with love filled eyes and said "These. Are. Legendary." and then went back to the game. My cookies distracted him from PLAYOFF HOCKEY. They are that good.
Have I convinced you yet? Here's the recipe to make 16 nice big cookies, courtesy of America's Test Kitchen / Cook's Illustrated, with a little Boston Sweetie commentary added in for fun. If you try these, let me know what you think! If you're a blogger and you bake these- make sure to take pics and enter the Cookie Challenge! Do you have a recipe that you think could rival this one?
First, a few notes from Cook's Illustrated:
Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored.
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
- 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12- inch) 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.
**BOSTON SWEETIE NOTE: This is what happened when I didn't read the recipe carefully:
***Clearly, that is ugly and not right. Upon re-reading the recipe I realized I forgot the eggs. Don't forget the eggs! Adding eggs made a much nicer batter:
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 (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
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 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.