Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies, fresh from the oven. Does it get any better? Is there any more authentic way of proving your mettle, as a home cook, than to produce a perfect chewy chocolate chip cookie for your husband and kids to brag about? I am of the opinion that there is not. So I went on a mission to find that perfect recipe and make myself the most popular mom in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the 'break and bake' variety and the popular recipes on the back of the Tollhouse Chips package didnt quite 'cut it' for me. I wanted those big ol' chewy cookies that they sell at Christie Cookies or Famous Amous stores, but I wanted them to be better and I wanted them to be my own recipe! Is that too much to ask?

Enter Alton Brown. Most of you know of Alton by his fun and informative 'Food Network' show, 'Good Eats'. He's a 'food scientist' of sorts and his episode entitled 'Three Chips for Sister Sarah' described in detail how to arrive at your perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, whether you have a pension for crunchy, cake-like, or chewy varieties. After trying 'The Chewy' several times, I made a few alterations based on my own taste, and arrived at the following 'failsafe' recipe:

1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks)
2 1/4 c. bread flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk
2 c. chocolate chips (semi sweet)

Step 1.
Melt butter over low heat in heavy bottomed saucepan.

Step 2.
Sift together dry ingredients (including granulated sugar, but not the brown sugar)and set aside.

Step 3.
Pour melted butter into work bowl of your mixer. Add dark brown sugar to butter and mix together well. Add milk, egg yolk, whole egg, and vanilla. Mil well.

Step 4.
Slowly add dry ingredients, in a few additions, until mixture is thick and well combined.

Step 5.
Fold in chocolate Chips. Refrigerate dough until firm.

Step 6.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use a medium ice cream scoop to place six large balls of dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Only six cookies per sheet, please. Bake 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway thru baking time. Remove cookies, even if they don't appear finished.

Step 7.
Slide paper w/ cookies off of baking sheet to allow them to cool. Replace with another sheet of parchment paper and six more cookies until all dough is gone.

Makes about 18 large cookies.