Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Serendipitous Chocolate Chip Cookies


Everyone has their own favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and this is mine.  A couple of years ago, I attended a Sister's Appreciation Night at my church, and one of the party favors were these "chocolate chip cookie mixes in a jar" jars.  To be honest, I don't think I touched that jar until almost a year later, when I really wanted to try making America's Test Kitchen's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies but didn't have all the ingredients.  Undaunted, I dumped out the contents of the jar, literally separated all the chocolate chips from the rest of the dry ingredients, and proceeded as directed.  What came out of that oven were the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had.  There was a perfect chocolate chip to cookie dough ratio, and the cookies were just slightly crisp at the edges and soft but not too gooey in the middle.

The next time I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies, I decided to try repeating my success by using the same ingredients from the "cookie in a jar" recipe and the same process as the ATK recipe.  And it worked perfectly, again.  One thing I really like about the ATK method is that you don't have to cream the butter and sugar together, meaning you can make this recipe even without an electric mixer.  The "cookie in a jar" recipe simplifies the ATK ingredients a bit by only using 1 egg instead of an egg plus an egg yolk.  I also roll out slightly smaller balls of dough than what the ATK recipe calls for due to personal preferences.

I call these my Serendipitous Chocolate Chip Cookies because I don't think I would've ever otherwise have come up with this perfect union of two different recipes by myself.


Serendipitous Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 24 cookies

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.


Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Continue to cook the butter until the milk solids have browned, and it has a nutty aroma. 


Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/4 cup of butter, stirring to melt.  Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla extract to the melted butter and whisk to combine. 


Add the egg and whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Let stand 3 minutes and then whisk again for 30 seconds.  Repeat the 3 minute resting and 30 second whisking two more times.


Fold in the flour mixture until just combined.  Add the chocolate chips and stir once more to make sure no pockets of flour remain.


Scoop out 24 balls of dough, about 2 tablespoons each.  Give each ball of dough a quick roll with your hands to make them spherical.  Place the balls of dough onto two parchment- or Silpat-covered baking sheets, about 2 inches apart from each other.


Bake 9-11 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.  Cool before serving.


If you wanted, you could even throw in some of the tips from the tried and true New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe by letting the dough sit in the fridge overnight to hydrate more fully and sprinkling some flaky sea salt on top of the dough just before baking.

Next:  Corn and Black Bean Tortilla Soup
Previously:  Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Five Years Ago:  Red Bean and Black Sesame Ice Cream

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