Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have really struggled trying to figure out how to write this post. What I really want to say is “OMG! THESE ARE THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIPS COOKIES EVER!!” But I feel like most every chocolate chip cookie recipe you see says that. Up until this recipe, I thought I had found the best recipe. It was back in my early days of blogging, right around the time the NY Times posted a recipe involving multiple flours, specific chocolate disks, and most importantly the step of letting the dough “rest” in the fridge. The main part I took away from that was the resting. It really does make a world of difference.
I’ve made a handful of chocolate chip cookies on this blog. Everything from Alton Brown’s The Chewy (good but too greasy), Soft & Chewy from Martha Stewart Cookies Cookbook (too puffy), and my previous favorite adapted from Smitten Kitchen. But something began to happen with my previous favorite. I had multiple cookie fails in a row. So, in search of a new recipe I went. I didn’t have to look too far to find a recipe I wanted to try. Our wonderful realtor got us (ok, me) the Williams Sonoma Baking Book as a closing gift. She knew me pretty well I guess you could say!
This is the recipe from that book, doubled (because as written it didn’t make nearly as many cookies!), with the added step of letting the dough rest 24 hours. And holy cow, these cookies really & truly are the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made! They are better than the previous favorite, even when they turned out right! I like to bake these using either my smallest cookie scoop, or my medium cookie scoop. However I will say, when you use the medium scoop they turn out even better because they are thicker! I’ve made many many batches of these. It’s funny I was never in a rush to photograph them, because I knew I’d be making another batch again soon! Often, once the dough has rested and been scooped into balls, I only bake 1 cookie sheet. The rest of the balls I freeze, for on-demand baking later on. To do this, just set them on a cookie sheet as close as you can get without them touching. Then stick the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour or so. Transfer the dough balls to a freezer safe ziplock bag and return them to the freezer. You never know when that chocolate chip cookie craving will hit!
These cookies have the perfect texture, and amazing flavor. They stay soft & gooey on the inside, but have a slight crunch on the outside. I’m usually not that much of a nut fan, but the second time I made these I decided to go ahead and toss them in. I’m so glad I did, because the toasted walnuts really do add depth and flavor to this cookie. I chop them pretty small, and toast them just until they begin to release a nutty aroma. I like to use chocolate chunks in this recipe, as opposed to chips, because Nathan & I both like a big gooey burst of chocolate in our cookies. I sprinkled these with a bit of fleur de sel, but it didn’t add as much to the cookie as I thought it would, so that’s just an option.
I hope I’ve convinced you to give these cookies a shot. I know I’ve tried many different chocolate chip cookies, and these are definitely my favorite, fail-proof recipe. I would love to know what you think! Let me know if you try them!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
I doubled the original recipe, but didn't double the amount of nuts. To me, this keeps the cookies from being overly nutty, and yields a larger number of cookies. I can't even begin to tell you how many though, because between the bites of dough we sneak, and how fast these cookies get eaten, I'm never able to get a good count!
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
fleur de sel (optional, for sprinkling on cookies before baking)
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, cream the butter until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and continue beating until the mixture smooth and sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on low speed until blended, occasionally stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula as needed.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until blended. Add the chocolate chunks and walnuts, if using, mixing or stirring until blended. Press plastic wrap onto the dough, and refrigerate 24 hours.
Once 24 hours have passed, preheat the oven to 350. Using a cookie scoop, or dampened hands, shape the dough into 1-inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. (Optional: You can sprinkl the cookie dough balls with fleur de sel, for a bit of salty flavor) Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, about 12 minutes (or 8-9 minutes if using a smaller scoop). Let the cookies cool briefly on the pans on wire racks before transferring them to the racks to cool completely.
from the Williams Sonoma Baking Book