Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Myself, I must have tried about a dozen different chocolate chip cookie recipes. So you should just prepare yourselves now to be bombarded with them over time. I can’t help it. I am a chocolate chip cookie recipe addict.
Now! THESE chocolate chip cookies. They belong to Cooks Illustrated, so you know they have no other option but to be amazing. And they are. But with that it also means that they must contain a number of extra steps to complicate what should be a basic recipe. This one isn’t tooooo excessive though. One of their less excessive recipes if you will…
What makes these so special and so different than the one that I shared with you previously? Well, the last chocolate chip cookie I shared was simply fun, in that it used vanilla pudding to increase the moisture and fantastic texture. This recipe uses brown butter….
Brown Butter. I LOVE brown butter. I love plain butter too, but when you brown it, something happens… it becomes nutty and caramelly. It reaches these amazing levels of deliciousness. Ugh. SO good.
Cooks Illustrated takes a portion of the butter in this recipe and browns it to enhance the depth of flavor in their cookie. It works. Fantastic. They also amp up the flavor by using dark brown sugar. They throw an extra egg yolk in there for good measure too.
I will say this about the recipe though- my cookie dough was verrrry wet. I imagine it was because my butter was too hot, so it looked like slop. I salvaged it though! I put it in the fridge then used a cookie scoop to drop the batter. I even froze some leftover cookie dough balls and baked them straight from the oven with no problem. So if your cookie dough is very loose, don’t worry! Just refrigerate it. I always do that with my cookies anyways for good measure so they don’t flatten too much in the oven.
- 1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
- ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
- Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir 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 for 3 minutes, then whish for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
- Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use a #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
- Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.