Today, I’m taking advantage of a perfectly ordinary Thursday to share with you a very extraordinary recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Why today? Because we’re at the tail end of January and we’ve all made it this far. And because yesterday morning my monthly MetroCard didn’t work. And because the ensuing events with a very grumpy station agent might have meant that I cried all the way to 14th Street. And I might have discovered upon arrival that I’d left the house without nipples for Faye’s bottles. Again. No good, very bad, etc.
But, when I returned home to start my work day, there was cookie dough in the refrigerator. James made it on Monday evening to prepare for the great snow-mergency of 2015 and by some miracle we hadn’t finished it all by Wednesday. Cookies to the rescue when I needed them most. As you see, this is really a post about disaster preparedness.
These are the cookies that we’ve been making on the regular for the past five years. And when I say we, I mean that we’ve been eating them, James has been making them. Because that’s how things fly in this family.
Here’s my opinion about chocolate chip cookies: they should be slightly crispy on the outside, slightly gooey in the middle, and most important of all, not too chocolately. I can’t stress this last part enough. Too many chips spoil a good cookie, if you ask me. We’re talking more than eight or so per cookie and you’re walking a slippery, slippery slope into chocolate overload.
Here’s another opinion: chocolate chip cookies are best enjoyed with a glass of cold, whole milk. The milk must be cold. And it must be whole. Because skim milk tastes like chalky water. In my opinion.
The Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
What you need:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (we always flout convention and used salted, but the original recipe calls for unsalted)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed (the dark brown stuff really makes a difference if you can find it)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (we go overboard on the vanilla just for good measure)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (the original recipe calls for 2 2/3 cup, which: woah)
What to do with it:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
2. Into the bowl of an electric mixer (or into another large bowl if you’re doing this step by hand), beat the butter and sugars until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time. Beat each egg until fully incorporated. Add your vanilla last and beat again, just for a few seconds.
3. Add a portion of the flour mixture (we usually do about 1/3 of the flour at a time to avoid the entire kitchen getting coated in flour, but feel free to take your chances) and mix for 15 seconds. Repeat until all the flour is just incorporated.
4. Use your rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.
5. MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: Cover the bowl (we use this stuff) and refridgerate for 6 hours. If you’re in a pinch, you can pop it into the freezer for less than that, but do not skip this step. This is the step that turns everything into magic. Go take a walk. Go out to dinner. Do anything to distract yourself, because those precious moments when the dough is getting all cold are priceless.
6. Once your dough is properly chilly, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (The original recipe suggests lining your tray with parchment paper but we never do this. It’s probably why our cookies are always a little extra crispy at the edges.
7. Use your hands (or a fancy contraption like an ice cream scoop) to scoop small morsels of dough and shape them into round 2-inch balls. Place them about 1 inch apart on a cookie tray. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pans once while baking if you remember. The cookies should be golden brown on the edges.
8. Remove the cookie tray from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, or until you can no longer resist. Transfer each cookie to
your mouth the rack so they can cool completely.
NOTE: Unless you’re sure that you’re made of the stuff that can stomach the entire batch (24 cookies) in one go, consider baking only as many as you can eat in one sitting and keeping the rest under wraps in the fridge. Two caveats: 1) Don’t save yourself just one scoop in the fridge. Because while you might not be able to eat all the cookies in one sitting, you surely need to eat more than just one. 2) This habit might spoil you for anything but fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies from here on. Proceed with caution.
More about James’s baking habit, HERE.