The World's Most Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

So it's pretty challenging to follow up my last blog post!  I am humbled to have received such a positive response. I have had 100s of views just on the yardsale post. It's amazing.

Many of the positive responses were from ECEs and child care workers. I am glad that the post struck a chord with some of you, as it really was for you!

My original intention of the blog was not to be political, but it definitely opened my eyes to the fact that it is still a platform!

I hope that in future, when I talk about less trivial things, I can be truthful and thought provoking.  Thanks again for reading :)



So on to more delicious and less thought provoking topics: cookies

I love cookies and nothing is more classic than chocolate chip.

Since it is so classic...there are MILLIONS of recipes. When you google 'chocolate chip cookie recipe' there is over three million hits.

And that's not counting all of the subtle changes in cookies that you can make to change the chocolate chip recipe. Add nuts, caramel, sea salt, cocoa, use maple syrup instead of sugar, go gluten free....

So basically...it's hard to wade through the mountains of recipes.

Hello!
 Never fear...America's Test Kitchen is here.

I must admit...this recipe is pretty much untouched from it's original on the America's Test Kitchen website. But I trust the reputation of America's Test Kitchen! They recipe test like no other.

Again...as before....the main thing to keep in mind is patience!

Here we go:

1 3/4 cup of AP flour
1/2 tsp of baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
3/4 of packed brown sugar
2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 tsp of salt (the original calls for 1 tsp but I prefer half the amount)
1 full egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup- 1 1/2 cup of chocolate (could be chips, chopped chocolate, combo of nuts and chocolate etc)

The secret to this recipe is the butter.  First..it's gotta be real butter.  Second...it's browned.

Use unsalted butter as it really helps you control the amount of salt in the recipe

This is the trickiest part of the recipe. Place 10 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan on medium. Stir constantly with a silicone spatula.  What you will notice is that as the butter continues to heat, it will start to bubble and foam (it's the water in the butter evaporating!).



Then you will see white specks in it.  This is the milk solids separating.



Keep stirring constantly.  Over the course of a few minutes, the butter will start to change colour..to a light brown.  The butter will start to smell toasty. As soon as the milk solids start to turn brown, remove from the heat and pour into a heat safe bowl.  Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted.  This room temperature butter and removing it from the original saucepan, will bring the browned butter down in temperature and will prevent the milk solids from burning.


Ooh baby
Now you can preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Once the remaining butter is melted, add the sugars,salt and vanilla. Whisk briskly until sugar is incorporated and there are no lumps.



Add the full egg and whisk.  Then add the yolk. Whisk for 30 secs or so and then set aside for a minute. Whisk again for 30 sec and set aside.  Continue this until the mixture has thickened, is paler in colour and is glossy.



Between whiskings, sift flour and baking soda into a bowl. Once wet mixture is ready, fold in dry ingredients and chocolate.

We went off road and had a mix of white and milk chocolate
The sweetest helper
I use a small scoop to appropriately portion the batter onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. 



The original recipe indicates that this batter makes 16 large cookies.  I prefer to use the small scoop which makes about 24 reasonable portion cookies.

Now...how long do you keep the cookies in the oven? (that's assuming that the dough makes it into the oven...if it didn't...congrats! Cookie dough hangover is on its way!).

I have strong opinions on the baking time of cookies (are you surprised? haha!).

For two years in my university days, I was a subway sandwich artist (yea!) It was there that I learned the perfect amount of time cookies should stay in the oven: 8 minutes.

My oven cooks cool, so I use 9 minutes at 375.

Basically, your cookies should come out of the oven when the edge is just starting to look a little brown.  Your cookies should be a little underdone when you take them out.

The reason is that cookies need to rest for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before you remove them with a spatula (otherwise they fall apart, as their structure is too soft). During that time frame, they continue to cook.  If you leave them in the oven too long, they become too brown on the bottom after they rest on the sheet.  Here is an example of the perfect doneness if you like a soft cookie (which I do).



Once they rest for a few minutes on the sheet, remove and cool on a baking rack.

But..for best results consume warm, with coffee or milk or wine or...

These cookies really do work for all occasions and the dough really holds up well to experimentation to what you add to it.  (One year, Andrew made them with chopped mini eggs in it...phenomenal).

So all the best in your brown butter cookie baking! While your arteries won't thank you, your belly will!

K.




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