Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made, hands down the Best chocolate chip cookies ever, yesterday! The recipe comes from one of my favorite baking cook books called "Baked". The book was written by two guys who grew up in the south but they moved to Brooklyn and opened the best bakery in Red Hook, Brooklyn. So, all the recipes in their book are all very home made with a southern flair to them. They are all the classic desserts you grew up with but 100 times better! The chocolate chip cookie recipe I had made once before, but I had failed to read the recipe all the way through before I started and realized that I was supposed to refrigerate the cookie dough for 6 hours before baking! So, the first time I made these they tasted great but they were very flat and crunchy, which is not a bad thing, they just weren't how the "Baked" guys described them to be. They were supposed to be a little crisp on the outside and soft in the centers. Which is how I love my cookies. After the somewhat failed attempt the first go around, I decided to try them again yesterday since we had a BBQ to attend and my job was to bring the dessert. This time I let the dough sit in the refrigerator for about 3 1/2 hours, which definitely made a huge difference. Although there was a little bit of a mishap with the baking, the recipe says to place the dough balls on the cookie sheet 1 inch apart, which I did, but when they were baking they all started to melt into each other to form one large cookie! So, needless to say some of the edges didn't get crisp, and they made for a very interesting shape cookie! But they tasted phenomenal and were a big hit at the BBQ. So, here is the recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (I know what your thinking this is a lot of butter but this recipe does make a lot of cookies and the butter is what makes these cookies so soft and gooey)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I like to use bitter sweet chips and I don't use all 2 2/3 cups, I find that about 2 1/3 cups is just enough chocolate otherwise it gets a little too chocolaty)
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.
In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat for 5 seconds.
Add half the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl tightly and put in the refrigerator for 6 hours (I only did it for 3 1/2 hours).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon scoop out the dough and form into a ball with your hands and place on the prepared baking sheets. Space them 2 inches apart or they will melt into each other if they are too close. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans once during the cooking time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the tops just start to darken.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to remove the cookies and place on the wire rack to finish cooling.
*The note in the cookbook says that you can make the dough and leave it in the fridge for up to 5 days and bake it off in small batches anytime you want warm, fresh from the oven cookies!

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