Monday, March 23, 2009

Undisputed Best??

I have already shared my family recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have long believed that this was the best recipe to be had. Whenever I come across new recipes that claim to be the best, I have to give them a try to make sure they really aren't better than mine.

So, you can imagine what I felt when I came across this blog: Good Things Catered. She has a list of popular recipes on the side, and one of them is for Chocolate Chip Cookies. UNDISPUTED best, she calls them. This woman used to be a caterer, and all of her food looks perfect and delicious. I was enthralled. I had to make them.

And guess what? They ARE the best. They really are delicious. They are big and chewy and chocolatey, and they look like the type of cookie you can buy at a bakery (only they taste better than bakery cookies usually do).

Her recipe is very specific and detailed, so I would recommend taking a look at it in her own words on her blog here: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Here's the recipe in my words:

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies*
2 c. plus 2 T. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter**, melted & cooled until warm
1 c. brown sugar, packed (I used my traditional dark brown, but I think she uses light brown)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

*OK, I realize that different people look for different things in a chocolate chip cookie. But as far as my experience goes, this is the best traditional, no-frills recipe I have come across.

**Her recipe specifies unsalted butter, but I didn't have any when I first tried the recipe and they were still delicious. The second time I made them I used unsalted, and they were even better.

The original recipe has you combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, but you know me, I didn't do that. ;) You can choose for yourself.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in the microwave and set aside to cool until just warm (if it's too hot it will cook the egg). I found it best to partially melt the butter and then stir it until it is completely melted. That way the butter wasn't too hot from the start. In a large bowl, mix together both types of sugar and the melted butter. Add the egg, the egg yolk, and the vanilla and mix until combined. Add salt and baking soda, and briefly mix. Add flour and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and combine either with the mixer, a spoon, or your hands. I really find that my hands work the best. ;)

Prepare cookies by rolling a scant 1/2 cup (just estimate) of dough in your hands. This is quite a bit of dough. Remember, the cookies are big, and this ball of dough is for two cookies. Pinch the dough slightly in the middle and pull it apart. Place balls of dough, rough side up, on two ungreased cookie sheets (she says to line the cookie sheets with parchment paper, but I don't have any). Continue preparing cookies until you have 24 cookies, 12 per cookie sheet (I use light metal jelly roll pans). Place both sheets of cookies in the oven, one on a lower rack and one on an upper rack. Switch the cookie sheets halfway through baking. Bake for 16-18 minutes total. Cookies will be slightly golden. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for a while (roughly 5 minutes), until they can be moved without breaking. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before storing. Makes 24 big (delicious) cookies.


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