Thursday, May 14, 2015

No Messin' Around Big Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the crispy vs. chewy debate among chocolate chip cookie lovers, I definitely fall into the chewy camp. I usually pull them out of the oven a minute or two before you're "supposed to". 

Over the years I've tried many of those over-sized chocolate chip cookies at coffee shops and in box lunches, and they've never failed to disappoint. Some are too sweet, some don't taste like anything, some might as well be cake...but when I came across a recipe that had melted butter and an extra egg yolk, I decided to give it a whirl. HOLY COW it was good! This is slightly adapted from that recipe (in The Best Recipe by the amazing folks at Cook's Illustrated), mostly to make it bigger so there is enough for the whole office or a bake sale. Recipe card at bottom. 

Are you drooling yet? This recipe as written yields about 28 big cookies, depending on how much of the dough you eat. Not that you or I would eat raw dough. 

Melt 3 sticks of unsalted butter over low heat. 

Let cool for a little while until close to room temperature. 

Pre-heat the oven to 325.

Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl:

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 c white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt (fine or kosher)
3/4 tsp baking soda

All one kind of flour or the other is totally fine. 

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, put 2 c brown sugar (light or dark OK), 1 c white sugar, and the melted butter. 

Mix until well combined. Depending on your sugar it might seem a little grainy, but that's OK. 

Add 1 1/2 Tbsp (that's 4 1/2 tsp if that's easier) vanilla extract, 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks. As usual I've cracked the eggs into a glass container to make sure I haven't left any bits of shell in before I dump it into the sugar mix. The good eggs don't come cheap, so I don't want to have to start over!

Add the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined uniformly. It should look a little darker than your average cookie dough. If using a stand mixer, cover the mixer with a towel so you don't get flour all over the kitchen!

You shouldn't have little white bits like I do here. If you do, check to see if they're flour or baking soda. If they're flour it's probably fine. If they're baking soda, you'll need to make sure they get worked in or picked out. I'm gonna need to sift the flour for the next few recipes so I don't repeat this!

Stir in the 2 to 3 cups chocolate chips, ideally by hand or very quickly with the mixer. Use semisweet if you're baking for the kiddos, or bittersweet (if you can find them) for the grownups. My favorite chips are from Guittard. I always want to load it up with extra chocolate chips, but sometimes with this recipe they slide out of the dough!

This next step is a little odd, but since the good folks who wrote the original recipe did such good work, who am I to judge? You could probably just scoop out the dough to save a minute or two. 

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out some dough. Gently roll it into a ball with your hands.

Take the ball of dough and break it in half, then turn the rough sides up and stick it back together. 

Place the cookies about 2 1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets or parchment covered cookie sheets. 

Unless your cookie sheets are really big, you'll probably need three. Bake at 325 for a total of 14-18 minutes, switching the pans from one shelf to the other and front to back after 8 minutes. (The third pan will need to go in after the others come out). 

If you're going grown-up style, sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on top when you pull them out of the oven (just a few grains per cookie is good). Let cool on the pans for ten minutes, then remove with a spatula and place on a wire rack to finish cooling, unless, of course, you've already downed them all a la Cookie Monster. These are so big and filling you probably won't be able to!
To print recipe card, right click and save to your computer. 

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