Monday, November 29, 2010

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

 These cookies are a large, chewy, yet crunchy treat.  Packaged beautifully they would make a great gift! They are delicious and special!  My husband is a self proclaimed research nerd, and he is the one who dug out this recipe.  He received Cook's Illustrated for his birthday from my Mom last year which sent him running to the library to find back issues.  Their test kitchen's will make 175 batches of cookies to find the perfect one, and my sweetheart agrees that this is the perfect chocolate chip cookie! 

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teas. baking soda
14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teas. salt
2 teas. vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2.Heat 10 Tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes.(Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned.) Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl.  Stir remaining 4 Tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.  Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.  Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds.  Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny.  Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute.  Stir in Chocolate chips and nuts, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

4. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, each about 3 Tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop).  Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (smaller baking sheets can be used, but require 3 batches.)

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until the cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.  Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool.  Cool completely before serving.

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