Friday, January 25, 2008
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
So, for years, we've been making this recipe called "Kitchen Sink Cookies", which is also known as "Chocolate Chip Pecan Oatmeal Cookies". Don't get me wrong...they are so good. If you haven't made them yet, you should. However, I've always had a secret wish to make perfect chocolate chip cookies.
I searched, sampled, and worked on so many recipes to get the perfect cookies, but it never quite happened. Then one day I realized why: everyone has their own idea of perfect. Too bad they didn't know mine, since it is the ultimate perfect, and if everyone had been working toward that all along we would have all been a lot happier.
At long last, though, I found it. Actually, my sister kinda did. And my brother. Well, my sister told me my brother Seth really liked this recipe in The Best Recipe, so I thought I'd give it a go. Guess what? Nearly perfect!
That was close enough for me, so I made the slight modifications necessary and have it here, ready for you.
Do you know what is so extraordinarily wonderful about the perfect chocolate chip cookie?* It's even better the next day. Most cookies aren't like that, but when you pop a moist, chewy, chocolatey cookie in your mouth the following afternoon, not having been in front of the smell of them for an hour or two, you find that little blissful part of heaven that occasionally imparts itself to your dreary life. Or not so dreary, really. Especially if you just had a really good cookie.
*I know, I said "chocolate chip cookie" instead of "chocolate chunk cookie". It does kind of roll off the tongue. And chips are fine, too. I just prefer chunks.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
slightly modified from The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
2 c. + 2 T. all-purpose flour
scant 1/2 t. baking soda (not as little as 1/4 t., but not quite a full 1/2 t.)
1/4 t. salt
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted then cooled for just a minute
1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chunks, preferably hand cut into 1/2" x 1/2" size, or about the same amount in dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60% cacao or Guittard semisweet are good choices)
Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until consistent throughout. Stir in the flour combo until just barely combined, then stir in the chocolate.
Use a medium scoop or large spoon to place large balls of dough (1 1/2 T.) onto the baking mat. After portioning each ball of cookie dough, split the top a bit by pulling the mass apart and pushing the sides toward the bottom. It's not an exact science, just keep them from going on the cookie sheet in a nicely balled form, or they'll look funny when they come out of the oven.
Bake at 325° for 16-18 minutes, until slightly golden around edges. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 5 minutes (or you'll have a mess), then remove to a clean, dry countertop. You can sample them in about 5 more minutes. Let them cool completely on the countertop before storing in an airtight container or freezing. And make sure you try one tomorrow afternoon!