Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cook's Illustrated's "Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookie

Man, this cookie was good! I'd say it comes about as close to perfection as a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe can come. I still don't think it beats my favorite cookie recipe of all time (a certain Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, which I will definitely blog about the next time I make them), but it's definitely super high up there on a scale of my favorite cookies. The recipe is actually very close to a chocolate chip cookie that I used to think was the best CC cookie I had come across, called the Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie, from Allrecipes. There are a few small changes, but the most noticeable one is the one that I think makes all the difference in these cookies and gives them a flavor that's out of this world: browning the butter. The brown butter in these cookies gives the dough the most unbelievably nutty, caramely, delicious flavor ever! The dough tasted kind of like Werther's caramel candies and I had a hard time keeping myself from eating it straight out of the bowl!

One thing that's super important to these cookies though is REFRIGERATION!! I said in my previous post that I always refrigerate my dough because it makes it so the outside of the cookie gets nice and crispy while the insides stay ooey, gooey, and chewy, since the butter in the dough has set and firmed up and therefore doesn't melt as fast and doesn't cause the cookies to spread out as much. This particularly holds true with this recipe. I baked a few right after I made the dough since I was eager to try the recipe and refrigerated the rest. The result was a HUMONGOUS cookie; it had really spread! It was good, but it was a little cripser and not as chewy as I like it. When the dough had set in the refrigerator, I baked a couple more and the refrigeration made a huge difference. The cookie didn't spread nearly as much, was a lot thicker, and was nice and crispy while still gooey on the inside, just like how I like them. It seemed like the caramel flavor of the dough came out a lot more in the refrigerated cookie.

Side by side view.Different thicknesses.

I had actually even found myself wishing that I hadn't put as many chocolate chips in so I could taste the delicious nuttiness of the browned butter more, so maybe next time I'll do that. I'm not allowed to post the recipe here, but I'll direct you to a blogger who received permission from Cook's Illustrated to post it. If you're a fan of the thick, buttery, chewy cookie, definitely give this one a try and you won't be disappointed! Recipe here.

Click on image for full size. I left the overall size of this one a little larger so you could see the cookie's delicious, gooey insides. :) By the way, the recipe calls for you to divide the dough into 16 portions, about 3 tablespoons each. I measured out each cookie with a tablespoon exactly 3 tablespoons each and I only ended up with 11. So if you want to get more out of the recipe, I might suggest scaling down to 2 tablespoons each. But I'm okay with it, as I love big cookies!

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