Been a while since I’ve posted here on my blog. Lots of stuff gone under the bridge since my last post back in January of this year: job hunting, mad rush to finish the dissertation, finding a job, graduating, moving, and then starting the new job. Things are finally settled enough to where I can again pay attention to blogging.
Well, it’s time to start getting back into the flow. We’ll start things off with a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I used the other day for a picnic supper (thanks Kelley and Derrick for the invite!). This is based on a recipe I found about 5 years ago in Cook’s Illustrated. They do a few things different than the standard Toll House recipe for chocolate chip cookies. First, they do a mix of white and dark brown sugar. Then, they switch to 1 egg and 1 egg yolk rather than 2 eggs. Finally, instead of the standard creaming of the butter, they brown about 3/4 of the butter in a skillet and then add the remaining butter in before adding to the mix. Combining these things together gets you a more chewy cookie while keeping the crisp edges people seem like in their cookies.
INGREDIENTS 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces) 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 3/4cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.