I love chocolate chip cookies; there are few other foods that can embellish any moment. The chocolate fortifies against sadness, the caramel flavor makes you remember sweetness. The gooey center makes you get lost in the moment completely – and when you reach the other side, a crispy edge serves as the perfect ending. The problem is, there is no perfect chocolate chip cookie. That’s like saying there is one person who is the only soul-mate for everyone else. (Talk about competition!) We all have preferences, whether is flat, crisp, chewy, soft, big, small, gooey – there is a cookie (& a person) out there for you. Sure, people try to make cookies that have it all, but we are not sending our cookies to college – they don’t have to have an impeccably well-rounded resume. Personally, I prefer gooey. And not cake-y. (Very high brown-to-white sugar ratio, less egg, less flour and TONS of chocolate, if you’re wondering.) When I dream of opening my own cookie business, I scour the internet for recipes of the cookie that will be my archetype. I hate to ruin the surprise, but I don’t think I’ve found it yet. These two recipes, one from a NYT feature and the other from Amanda over at the Taste Tester, are both excellent and have parts of what I’m looking for, but not the whole package.
First up is the NYT chocolate chip cookie (adapted from Jacques Torres) – I swear it started a blog movement. It requires a 24 hour refrigeration, which is definitely worth the wait. The caramel flavor really comes through, and I’m a big fan of the size. It’s on the thicker side, but has a great chocolate ratio, and the sea salt speaks for itself. The second cookie, in my opinion, was a bit more up my alley. Still a bit puffier than I typically got for, but the brown butter...swoon. It adds a little depth to the cookie. Next time I make them, I might go for a similar size to the NYT cookie (aka massive) to see if I can get all 3 cookie textures (crisp, soft, gooey).
Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the eggs. (If your on a cookie quest – more eggs will make the cookie more cake-y.
You should really add the eggs one at a time to let them emulsify, but, due to my lack of sophistication, I got too excited and just dumped them in. I don’t think it changed the flavor one bit.
After this step, It’s all pretty much the same. You will gradually add the dry ingredients until you have a well-blended dough. Dump in the chocolate chips, and refrigerate for 1 or 24 hours, depending on which recipe you are making.
For the brown butter recipe, instead of using room temperature butter, you’ll blending the sugar with melted butter. But I’m getting ahead of myself…first, let me explain browning butter. The more uppity term is beurre noisette, or hazelnut butter. The hazelnut reference comes from the deep, nutty flavor and smell it develops through the cooking process.
After you brown and cool the butter, the combination steps are the same as the NYT cookie. Sadly, you can not make them at the same time (due to the different baking temperatures). I would also suggest fully devoting yourself to one cookie to make sure you follow the steps. (See links below pictures.)
NYT Chocolate Chip Cookie
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie
|2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter1 ¼ cups light brown sugar1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 ½ ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 ½ ounces) bread flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks
| 1 cup (2 cubes) salted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature1 cup packed light brown sugar1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For even more chocolate cookies tips, head over to Gabby’s blog for some helpful hints on baking temperature, sugars, and flour.