Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever (RECIPE)

June 23, 2010 § 3 Comments

A dear, former work colleague got me one of my favorite gifts ever: the ad hoc cookbook by Thomas Keller. I’ve tried half a dozen recipes from this cookbook and every single one has been stellar. Thomas says in this very cookbook — filled with high-end, family style recipes and awesomely practical cooking tips — that if you get a recipe right the first time, it’s luck. Well, I’m sure that my rendition of his exacting recipes wouldn’t meet his bar, but for those of us with normal palettes, each of the recipes I’ve tried turned out pretty darned tasty the first time.

Like the chocolate chip cookie recipe. I baked a half recipe tonight because I was craving cookies. My husband came home late from work, picked one up, and said, “Oh my God, these are so good,” and then snuck another one when I wasn’t looking. I’ve included the full recipe with the half recipe in parentheses.

Best tip ever for those of us who like soft cookies: Don’t bake them for less time. Spray (or brush) the tops of the unbaked cookie dough dollops with water before baking. Works like a charm, and the cookies stay soft in an air-tight container for 2-4 days. If you have any left when they get a bit hard, break them up to top a bowl of ice cream!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from ad hoc cookbook by Thomas Keller

2 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon (1 1/8 cups + 1/2 tablespoon) all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon (3/8 teaspoon) baking soda

1 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt

1 1/4 cups (5/8 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips*

1 1/4 cups (5/8 cups) bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 pound or 2 sticks (1/4 pound or 1 stick) butter, cut into pieces and chilled

1 cup (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar

3/4 cup (3/8 cup) granulated sugar

2 (1) large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift flour and baking soda into a medium bowl. Stir in salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat half the butter on medium speed until fairly smooth. Add both sugars and remaining butter and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes until the mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating until the first is incorporated before adding the second, scraping the sides of bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.

Remove bowl from mixer. Mix in chocolate with spatula and fold to ensure chocolate is evenly incorporated.

Using about 2 level tablespoons per cookie, shape the dough into balls. (A small ice cream scoop works well here.) Arrange cookies on baking sheet 2 inches apart, because the dough will spread. (At this point, you can freeze the shaped cookies on the baking sheet until firm, then transfer to freezer bags or containers and keep for up to 2 weeks. Defrost cookies in the fridge before baking. You can also refrigerate the shaped cookies for up to 5 days, well-wrapped.)

Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until tops are no longer shiny. Rotate baking sheet halfway through baking.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on top of racks for 2 minutes to let them firm up, then transfer cookies directly to rack to cool completely.

*Note: The original recipe calls for chopping 55% and 70-72% chocolate bars into chip-sized pieces, then putting them into a fine-mesh sieve to remove the chocolate dust, but that seemed overly wrought to me for a pan of cookies, so I went with pre-made chips.


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