Don't these look like the quintessential chocolate chip cookie? I would have to say that these might be the prettiest cookies that I made this week. I just like the way they look. I see them and I want to eat them. They say you eat with your eyes first, right?
So, what sets this cookie apart from the others? The butter. In all the other cookies, the butter is either softened and creamed with the sugars or it is melted first. In these cookies, the butter is melted but it goes one step further. These cookies use brown butter. Y-U-M!
I am definately a brown butter fan. For those who haven't had or made brown butter before, it is when butter is melted to over low heat until it browns (not burns). What is left behind is a very delicious butter with a nutty flavor.
These cookies are slightly high maintenance, but not quite to the extent of the NYT cookies. After the butter is browned, it is whisked into the sugar for 30 seconds, left alone for 3 minutes, and then the process is repeated 2 more times.
The verdict? An incredibly delicious cookie. I loved the subtle nutty flavor from the brown butter and the smell was amazing. This cookie definately ranks up there in my book.
Cooks Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (see note)
3/4 cup chopped pecan or walnuts, toasted (optional)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
2. 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.
3. 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 3 minutes, then whisk 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.
4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
5. 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 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.