When I announced my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie a couple months ago, I had a long list of recipes to try. So that we had a baseline, I started with the original, Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. From there I tried the Neiman Marcus cookie, another cookie with an origin story. When I tried this next recipe, I was tempted to call off the rest of the quest. This one is that good.
If you have ever made any recipes from Cook’s Illustrated, you know that they are exhaustively tested. The recipes often have a lot of steps, but they are foolproof. Their test kitchen varies techniques and tweaks recipes and ingredients until it arrives at the definitive recipe. (Their recipe for Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies is, in fact, a revision of an earlier published version.)
Is this the Perfect Cookie?
Their work here has paid off. This recipe starts with browned butter and that is the secret to what, in fact, may be the perfect cookie. The browned butter provides a butterscotch quality that makes these irresistible to me. They are soft and chewy, but with just enough crunch at the edges. The chips punctuate the sweetness. I am not sure that I will find another recipe to beat this one, but my quest continues. Tell us what you think.
Cook's Illustrated's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups dark brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees with oven racks in center. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
- Melt 10 tablespoons butter in non-stick 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Once melted, continue cooking, whisking or swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl.
- Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
- 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.
- Stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute.
- Stir in chocolate chips, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
- Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons.
- Arrange dough 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
- Bake cookies one tray at a time until 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 cookies completely before serving.
This recipe is just barely adapted from Cook's Illustrated's "Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies" recipe, published May 1, 2009.