Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

I used to make the best chocolate chip cookies. They were fantastic! I made them all the time and people would get so happy when I would bring them into work. Then of course, my crappy roommate at the time and her pothead boyfriend/husband (a story for another time) hooked the cookbook that had the recipe, among other things, from me. I did end up finding that book again, but the cookies were never the same after that.

Since then, I've been on the hunt for the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie. Can I tell you how many different recipes with that as the title I've tried in the past decade? What I've found is that "perfect" is subjective. I've had some truly awful cookies that had been dubbed by this or that person on the Internet as "perfect."

People will take a lot of liberties with a recipe trying to reach perfection also. Everyone wants to have that special secret ingredient, but I've discovered that sometimes, the basics are what works. You don't need to add vanilla pudding mix, or honey, or anything like that. Chocolate chip cookies have butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt, and of course, chocolate chips. The key is figuring out the correct amounts and ratios for each ingredient.

Keep in mind though, that the technique is almost as important as how the ingredients are put together as well. I list some tips on how I made these under the recipe, so if yours aren't completely amazing you can compare technique as well as recipe.

So, I give to you, finally, MY version of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Miss M's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
315g all purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnut pieces

Cream together butter and sugars in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Beat in eggs, vanilla and salt; mix well. Sprinkle baking soda evenly over mixture and stir well to combine.

Gently mix in flour, just until combined. Add chocolate chips and walnut pieces, stirring just until evenly mixed.

Scoop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes or until edges are just browned.

Tips for Success

*Mix these by hand. Sure, you want to get your money's worth from your fancy kitchen equipment, but mixers make these tough for some reason. No one likes a tough cookie. :)

*Don't use cheap/imitation vanilla extract. PLEASE.

*Just stir the flour in until combined. Overmixing leads to the formation of gluten, which again, leads to a tough cookie.

*Use a Silpat and plain, shiny aluminum baking sheet if possible. If you don't have Silpats, use parchment paper. Airbake style and dark nonstick pans will not give you good baking results.

*Bake these until the edges are lightly browned. This will mean the centers will look a little raw. It's okay; due to the phenomenon known as carry-over heat, they will be cooked through. Promise.

*Allow to cool on the sheets, on a wire rack, for about five minutes. When they are cool enough to sort of handle, but still pretty hot, use a spatula to move them to the wire rack. If you let them cool completely on the cookie sheets, that carry-over over heat will over cook them and leave you with a... wait for it... TOUGH COOKIE!

I made these today and was very cautiously optimistic when the first few were good right out of the oven. I've made some before that were awesome fresh and warm, only to be tough or crispy a few hours later. I purposely left out one out on the counter instead of putting it in the cookie jar so I could see how it held up when cooled. I had it after dinner and it was PERFECT. Crisp around the edges, soft and slightly chewy in the middle... yum.

So needless to say, I'm happy with these. :)

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Blogger Lindsay Teague Moreno said...

I kinda love you for this because I LOVE chocolate chip cookies and don't have a good recipe. I'm going to go get me a silpat and give them a shot! Boom!


7:49 AM  
Blogger Muffy said...

LOVE this and LOVE your milk glass piece they are in! HA!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Mmmmmm.....They look so good. I'm always in search for a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'll have to give these a try!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Thanks for that! ps- those are pretty darn perfect!

1:14 PM  

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