Friday, July 6, 2012

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie?

I follow the blog Brown Eyed Baker and she recently posted a recipe for Salted Espresso Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They sounded (and looked!) divine, and I was all ready to make them when I realized my big canister of oats did not have very many oats inside of it.  Her post mentioned a previous recipe she had posted for Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, so I thought I'd give that a whirl instead.  I've been quite happy with my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe of late, Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies (there's actually a much better photo of the finished cookies here), but I figured I'd give this one a try for a change of pace.

I'm really glad I did.  This recipe produced large, soft, perfectly craggy cookies.....I don't yet know how well they keep/how chewy they are after a few days, because the last cookies are still baking in my oven, but I don't imagine long-term storage will be necessary.  I expect these to be but a memory by tomorrow.  The recipe only yields about 18 or so large cookies if you follow the directions for measurement/disbursement of the dough.  I highly recommend doubling the recipe.  You will not be sorry.  This recipe was a lot quicker to put together than the Torres recipe, so I think this is my new go-to cookie.

I used half Nestle Semi-Sweet chocolate chips and half Nestle Dark Chocolate chips in the recipe.  Next time I may rough chop the two types of chips or chop blocks of semi-sweet and bittersweet baking bars instead.  With the two Nestle chips, the dark chips are larger than the semi-sweet, so you get two different sizes and types of chocolate in the cookie.  Using chopped baking bars or chips, you'll get even more variations in size, including little flakes and slivers of chocolate.

But forget the chocolate for a minute.  To me, the perfect chocolate chip cookie needs to taste wonderful even without the chocolate; sometimes my favorite parts of the cookies are the plain parts without chocolate.  For as long as I can remember, every time I've baked chocolate chip cookies, I've baked at least one or two "naked" cookies, cookies that use the dough that was stuck to the sides of the bowl and to the cookie scooper or spatula after all the chocolate chips are gone.  These babies are all mine - my husband and kids know better than to eat these.  (As if they even get the chance; they are usually gone 10 minutes after they come out of the oven!)  The cookie dough from this recipe was delightfully sweet and tasty when fingers (my daughter's and my own) swept the inside of the bowl for a taste (or four.)  It was even better when all baked as one of my infamous naked cookies.

This recipe originally came from the book Baking Illustrated by America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated.  It's a definite winner, and I hope you try it today.  Please follow the link to the recipe on the Brown Eyed Girl blog.  I'm sure you'll find several other recipes there that you'll want to try, too!

Happy Baking!

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