Please know, I understand the blogosphere likely doesn’t need another chocolate chip cookie recipe. But my friends need this one. They’ve been pestering me for quite some time. You might need it too.
Over the past few years I’ve turned up all over town delivering these cookies to parties and potlucks, church functions and sporting events. Grateful cookie-loving friends, perhaps with a bit of chocolate chip smeared on their chins, will say: “This recipe is on the blog… right?” To date, my reply had been: “No… it’s just a chocolate chip cookie.”
But it’s quite an extraordinary little cookie.
Baking cookies is my primary form of therapy. Some women shop. I bake. M has noted over the years that there’s a pretty simple indicator that my life is out of control OR I have a huge to-do list I’m avoiding – I’ll be in the kitchen up to my elbows in flour and butter. I’ve needed a lot of therapy over the years… so while working through various issues (usually involving teenagers), I’ve believe I’ve perfected my recipe.
There are just a few simple, yet important, tweaks to the Toll House classic:
– I use only brown sugar, not white. (I find this adds a toffee-like depth to the flavor.) Oh, and I really love the Trader Joe’s organic brand brown sugar.
– One egg, not two (This makes the cookie less cakey – I like my cookies barely set and chewy.)
– 2 cups of flour instead of 2 1/4 cups (Again, this makes for a less cakey cookie.)
– In mixing the flour mixture into the butter/sugar/egg mixture – DO NOT over-mix the batter. I’m serious, once the flour is combined, stop the mixer. Then mix your chocolate chunks and pecans in by hand.
– Chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips, preferably Trader Joe’s brand.
– In terms of nuts, I am a big fan of salted pecans. If you don’t include the nuts, just toss in some extra chocolate chunks. Or you can add dried cherries as well. My book club loves them with the cherries, my family, not so much…
– The batter MUST be chilled for at LEAST an hour, preferably overnight. This gives the flavors a chance to meld, and helps create the toffee awesomeness.
– And just a touch of sea salt is sprinkled on each cookie as they come out of the oven. I’m crushing on the sweet and salty duo at the moment.
Many of these tweaks came from geeking out on this article: FoodLab: The Science of the Chocolate Chip Cookies from Serious Eats. If you’re seriously into cookie baking, it’s worth a read. My version is definitely simpler than the version dear J. Kenji Lopez-Alt came up with after using 32 pounds of flour in over 100 individual tests trying to identify the exact steps to a perfect cookie. But I’m sure his slightly more complicated version rocks too.
Ok dear friends, there you go. It’s now officially on the blog. Please bake them and share them with your friends… including me.
A few things I’ve been crushing on at the moment:
If you like cookies, I’ve got you covered. You also might want to try my Chewy Apricot Ginger Cookies, or my Cowboy Compost Cookies, or my Bacon Fat Gingersnaps with a Hint of Bourbon, or my Outrageous Oatmeal Spice Cookies, or my Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, Dried Cherries and Almonds or my Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles, or my Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Cookies. (I wasn’t kidding about needing a lot of therapy over the years.)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1½ cups packed brown sugar (I like the Trader Joe's brand)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup chocolate chunks (I like the Trader Joe's brand)
- ¾ cups chopped pecans
- ¾ cups dried cherries (optional - my book club loves them with the cherries, my family, not so much...)
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl, and set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy.
- Add the egg, and beat well.
- Gradually mix in flour mixture, but DO NOT over mix.
- Stir in chocolate chunks and nuts, and (if using) dried cherries by hand.
- Pop the batter into the refrigerator for AT LEAST an hour, but preferably overnight.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
- While cookies are still hot, sprinkle very lightly with coarse salt and gently press salt down to embed. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.