Chocolate Chip Cookies
The first time I made these chocolate chip cookies was when I first bought my copy of Cookies and Brownies. That was nearly ten years ago, and I was in pastry school at the time. I'd been a longtime user of the standard Toll House Cookie recipe, and I remember being really surprised and happy with the variations in this book. In fact, the book falls open to the chocolate chip cookie recipe, it's so worn, water-stained and annotated.
Ten years is a long time, and the changes we've made to the way we bake really show up in these cookies now. In the past, I would have measured by volume (with a measuring cup), but now I measure by weight (with a scale). Ten years ago I would have baked with bleached flour, probably from Gold Medal. Nowadays I used unbleached bread flour from Bob's Red Mill. Those two changes alone can make a huge difference. For example, a cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 4 - 6 ounces, depending on how it's put into the cup. Bleached flour absorbs more liquid than unbleached. Those differences have changed this cookie for me - and I have to work a little harder now for it to turn out the way it used to ten years ago.
A few notes about this recipe:
- Assume that 1 c unbleached AP flour = 4.5 oz, but this may need to be upped to 5 oz. There's quite a bit of spread in this cookie and I think it's because the liquid's not getting absorbed like it would with bleached flour. 4.5 oz of unbleached flour would absorb less than 4.5 oz bleached flour.
- Rather than use chocolate chips, I oped to chip chocolate from disks of El Rey 65% cocoa. Given that the chocolate is mixed in after the dough cools, I had to wait quite a while to mix in my chocolate shards because they have a lower melting point than traditional chocolate chips.
- I rolled these into balls and they baked with a crispy edge and a soft middle (they were tender, not pillowy).
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2+1/4 c AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
16 T unsalted butter
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c (packed) brown sugar, lump free
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c chocolate chips
1 c coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cookie sheets, ungreased
- Combine the flour and baking soda in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or a fork. Set aside.
- Cut the butter into chunks and melt it in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour mixture just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Let the mixture and the pan cool.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and the nuts.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator to soften.
- Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and place them 3 inches apart on cookie sheets.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and no longer look wet on top.
- Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Use a metal pancake turner to transfer them to a rack to cool completely before storing or stacking.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies
May be stored in a tightly sealed container for several days
This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.