Friday, December 3, 2010

My Favorite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Courtesy of Alton Brown!

I saw these on his show "Good Eats" and had to try them. I usually use Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips. They have a great flavor. I tried the more traditional Nestles Semi-Sweet but found they just didn't have much flavor. I also tried to go high end with Ghiardelli's Bittersweet Chips, recommended for cookies by America's Test Kitchen. While they were very chocolaty, they were also way to bitter for my tastes. I guess I need sweetening up.

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Optional 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • A scoop or disher. #20 makes large cookies, smaller scoops make small ones. Adjust cooking time based on cookie size.
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Mixer

Prep and cook:
  • Heat oven to 375 F. Don't skimp on giving your oven plenty of time. If you cut this short you might ruin the first batch.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
  • Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl.
  • Add the sugar and brown sugar.
  • Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed.
  • Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  • Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and optional walnuts.
  • Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet, if you are using the large scoop. I usually wind up with 12 -16 per half-sheet pan. My wife likes small cookies.
  • Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. For medium cookies, 11 minutes. For very small cookies, 6 minutes.
  • Cool and store in an airtight container. Someone told me they would last several days -- but that never seems to happen around here.
    A couple of tricks:
    • I never cook more than one tray at a time. While two trays, rotated and swapped works in theory, I have never gotten even cooking.
    • Parchment paper is a godsend. It also makes it easy to get them off the sheet pan quickly. If you leave them on there too long they keep cooking.
    • I usually use two half-sheet pans, alternating between batches. I find better cooking on a cool sheet than putting fresh dough on a hot pan.
    • Rule of thumb, if the cookies are completely brown in the oven -- they are overdone. Adjust your next batch accordingly.

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