The Perfect Cookie

My "Tweeked" Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

For many years I have been on a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  When I got the Neiman Marcus Cookie email in college, I thought I had found it.  I made these cookies for years, and got rave reviews for them.  Then, a few years ago, my sister turned me on to Cooks Illustrated.  I had noticed the magazine covers for years – I’m an artist, how could I not?  But I had never picked one up.  Once I realized that Cooks Illustrated is like the Consumer Reports of cooking, I was hooked (that, and the hand drawn illustrations).  While I never bought a magazine subscription, I did get an online subscription, and every cookbook I owned began collecting dust.

The Perfect (or Classic) Chocolate Chip Cookie

People that have tried this recipe have said it’s the best chocolate chip cookie they’ve ever had.  There are a couple of steps that are a little time consuming, but they really make a difference.

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon table salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cups (7 1/2 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips are recommended)

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

It sounds like any other cookie recipe, only you brown the butter (adds a nuttier flavor), and then go through a mix/rest, mix/rest, mix/rest progression with the sugar/butter/eggs mixture to give some toffee flavor (making sure the sugar is fully dissolved).  And like I’ve said, the results are near perfect.  Near perfect.  Yes, I decided to make a few changes to what is already a delicious cookie.  Where do I get the nerve?  I’ve made these cookies enough to notice that they get a little crumbly after a few days (yes, sometimes they last a few days).

My Tweeked Nearly-Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

12 1/2 ounces flour (1 cup + 1 or 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup oat flour, and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup packed (7 ounces) dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) white granulated sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 1/2 – 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (+ a handful extra to press into the top of the unbaked cookie for that blue-ribbon look)

1 cup finely chopped pecans (I always forget to toast them)

I baked these at 350F for 13 min, on parchment paper on a pizza stone.  They don’t look done when you first pull them out of the oven, (they are a little shiny looking in the middle, and they don’t really get brown).  I let them cool for a few minutes on the stone before I slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack.  I tried a cookie while it was still warm, and it was delicious!  The real test will be to see if they hold up after a few days – if they last that long.


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