Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is based on the “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie” recipe in Cook’s Illustrated (May/June 2009), with some modifications. Personally, I prefer a cookie with less sugar than most, so be aware that these are not overly sweet; also, the bit of rye flour is important, because it gives them a lovely texture.

Start with:

  • 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (you can buy it at Whole Foods, or take rolled oats and work them through a clean coffee grinder, or Vitamix)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp chunky salt (Fleur de Sel is nice, but kosher salt will do just fine. Just don’t do something like Morton’s Table Salt. You want the occasional crunchy bite of salt in the cookie)

Sift all of these together in a bowl and let sit. Then, in a sauté pan, melt

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter

and swirl until the butter starts to brown (about 1-3 minutes). Transfer the butter into a largish glass bowl and add

  • another 4 tbsp unsalted butter

into the browned butter, and whisk until everything’s melted. Now, add:

  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg (optional) OR
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper and a dash of cinnamon (optional)

Whisk this together until it’s fully incorporated, then add:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk

and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Let it sit for 3 minutes, then whisk for another 30 seconds, then let sit again for 3 minutes, then whisk another 30 seconds. For those counting, that’s whisk for 30 seconds 3 times, with 3 minutes between each whisking episode. The mixture should be smooth, thick and shiny, similar to melted caramel sauce.

Add the flour mixture slowly, and stir everything together with a rubber spatula until it just comes together (about 1 minute). Then add

1-1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups chopped nuts (if you like)

and mix everything together into a nice, lovely dough.

Now, you can drop them on a cookie sheet covered with a silicon sheet (or parchment paper), about a tablespoon at a time, and bake at 375°F for about 10-14 minutes until the edges are set, but the center’s still soft. Cool on a cookie rack and enjoy.

By the way, these also store really well as dough. Just roll them into balls, put them on a silicon-covered cookie sheet (flatten them a little bit so they’re easier to bake later), and pop them in the freezer until set. Then remove them from the cookie sheet and store in a gallon Ziploc in the freezer until you need them. When you’re ready to make them, bake at 375°F (or in a toaster oven on the “Bakery” setting) for 20–25 minutes.

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