Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made a New Year's Resolution to try at least one new recipe a week this year, which usually isn't a problem, but so far this week I've only made tried-and-true recipes and really quick and easy stuff for dinner. I was flipping through the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book today as I was watching America's Test Kitchen and decided that today was the day to try out their chocolate chip cookie recipe. My go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe as of late is the famed New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe, but that requires at least a day to let the dough rest, thus preventing whipping up a quick batch when the mood strikes. This recipe was created by America's Test Kitchen after the NY Times recipe came out (I've see the America's Test Kitchen episode where the discuss it), and they believe that it's an improvement, although I'm not sure I agree.

The secrets to making these cookies chewy are melted butter, an extra egg yolk, and slightly underbaking the cookies and letting them finish baking on the hot baking sheet for 10 minutes. Do not take the cookies off the cookie sheets early.

The most important part of a good chocolate chip cookie, at least in my opinion, is the chips. While Nestle morsels will do, my personal preference is Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips. These are widely available at grocery stores, but are significantly more expensive than Nestle or store brand chocolate chips. I get mine in 3 lb. bags at Sam's Club where they are much cheaper.

My final verdict on this recipe: better than the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag, but not quite as good as the New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe. But when you want to whip up a batch on the spot, this recipe is wonderful.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
from the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

2 c. plus 2 T. (10 2/3 oz.) all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 c. packed (7 oz.) light brown sugar
1/2 c. (3 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. (9 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

2. In a large bowl, beat the melted butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chips until incorporated.

4. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet ahdlway through baking.
 5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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