Two days ago I received my May/June issue of Cook’s Illustrated. On the front cover I could see “Chocolate Chip Cookies, Reinvented”. That alone was enough to pique my curiosity, but when I flipped to page 22 and saw “The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie” I couldn’t help but think it takes a lot of ego to call a recipe or a baked good “perfect”. Despite the arrogance of the title I had to make the cookies to find out what constitutes the title “perfect” in the test kitchen at CI.
Basically they’ve tweaked the Nestle Toll House recipe by browning most of the butter, removing some of the egg white, changing the ratio of brown to white sugar, and using a larger scoop of dough for each cookie. Does it yield a “perfect” cookie? The cookies are thick and chewy and are not gooey in the center. The edgesw are crisp. They aren’t greasy, and they have just the right sweetness without being sugary or grainy. The toffee flavor that I like in chocolate chip cookies is pronounced due to the browned butter and dark brown sugar.
In my vocabulary the word perfect doesn’t apply to food, but these are truly excellent cookies, and even if you have to buy the issue off the rack it’s worth the $5.95 to get the recipe, at least if you’re a chocolate chip cookie aficionado. Besides, there is a recipe for the “Best Blueberry Muffins” that looks very good. Apparently they aren’t “perfect”, but I’ll give them a try anyway.
FYI the recipe for Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies appears on page 24 of the May/June issue of Cook’s Illustrated.
This post has been updated to include the recipe with permission from Cook’s Illustrated!
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
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. 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 seet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.