30 September 2010

Here's my afternoon snack and the recipe from the experts.

Note the nearly empty cup of coffee (stovetop espresso...we'll talk about that later).
This means that I had already eaten a cookie or two! 
One of my favorite things about where I live has to be the local public television station. Seriously, folks. Most of my friends and acquaintances in the area will tell you the same thing... Their household's most watched local TV station is NPT

There is a great show on Saturdays called America's Test Kitchen that I get to catch once in a while. They have the most fabulous tips, delivered in a very technical manner, which I love! This last weekend they showed how to tweak the famous Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe. The adjustments were easy, although seemingly labor intensive. Trust me, don't be intimidated. I was tired on Sunday afternoon but making these cookies was a breeze. You can watch the show right here.

I noted in the recipe below that I love the Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips. On the episode you'll see they do a chocolate chip taste test and they came to the same conclusion! See how big the chips are in my cookies? They are larger chips and such a great quality of chocolate. The taste does not leave a weird, chalky finish either. These cookies are buttery, chewy and chocolaty smooooth!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
From the episode: The Cookie Jar

Makes 16 cookies
Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored. For our winning brand of chocolate chips, see related tasting.

  • 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 (the BEST are Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans 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.