One of the first things I learned to bake was chocolate chip cookies off the back of the yellow Tollhouse package. Every time I made them, they seemed to turn out different. Sometimes crispy, sometimes chewy. Sometimes cakey, sometimes perfect. I have since learned that recipes are more about technique than a list of ingredients.
For example, “Beat until creamy.” Creamy with my KitchenAid is way different then creamy by hand or even with a hand mixer. I now know that over-beating the butter and sugar can cause the too much air to be incorporated into the batter and the cookies will overspread and flatten. Over-mixing when you add the flour causes gluten strands to form which makes cookies tough.
I have tried many different chocolate chip cookie recipes and my favorite so far is Alton Brown’s “The Chewy.” It is important to follow this recipe EXACTLY to achieve the perfect combination of the crispy edge with the chewy center.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheets
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Personally, I like to scoop before I chill onto a parchment lined baking sheet, placing them as close together as possible so I can fit almost a double batch on one sheet. Once they are chilled, you can bake as many as you like and save the raw dough already scooped in the freezer. Nothing says “love” like fresh, homemade cookies.