Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesdays With Dorie: My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies. It’s true. They might be out there, but if so, they’re not easy to find.

So, naturally, the competition for the title of Best Chocolate Chip Cookie is steep. But Dorie Greenspan claims to have the winner. Although I think her recipe needs a few modifications, she’s not wrong. These just might be the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies ever.


I am so glad that I chose them for a very special week: my turn to host Tuesdays With Dorie. It’s hard to believe it’s already my turn. When I signed up a year and a half ago, it seemed so far away. Now, after making 42 recipes, it’s my shot. I’m a cookie fanatic, so I couldn’t resist trying out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. I hope everyone enjoyed it!



Now, on to the cookies. Let’s start with the drawbacks. I baked the cookies on three different batches of cookie sheets, trying a slightly different method each time. The first batch ended up flat, almost melted, and fairly burnt after 10 minutes of cooking, although still edible.

(the first batch)

I chilled the second batch in the refrigerator while the first batch baked, and then baked it for 9 minutes. These fared better than the first, but were still a bit too dark and flat for my liking.

For the third batch, I tossed the remaining batter in the freezer until it was very firm but not frozen. I also baked them for 8 minutes. This was, in my opinion, the best way to bake them. They looked much, much better.


(the cookies getting progressively better)

And the taste? Phenomenal: the perfect counterbalance of vanilla-scented batter and rich chocolate chips. They were perfectly chewy, too; even the ones that were bordering on burnt softened up nicely in the cookie jar. I made half of the batch with walnuts and half without, and although the walnuts were fun to try, I still prefer this recipe without nuts.

Now that I know the proper method with which to make them, they’re my new favourite chocolate chip cookies. And my fiancé’s, too.

Thanks so much for baking with me! I'm in (hopefully sunny) Florida right now and depending on the internet situation, may or may not be able to comment on everyone's blogs right away. But I will do it once I'm back home. I look forward to seeing what you all think.

My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
From pg. 68 of Baking From My Home to Yours
Makes 45 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional) or pecans (optional)

Directions:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts. (The dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. If you'd like, you can freeze rounded tablespoons of dough, ready for baking. Freeze the mounds on a lined baking sheet, then bag them when they're solid. There's no need to defrost the dough before baking - just add another minute or two to the baking time.)

Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.

Bake the cookies - one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point - for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that's just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

The cooking can be kept in a cookie jar or sealed container for about four days, or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to two months.

Variations:
Cocoa Chocolate Chip Cookies: use 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies: add 1 1/2 tbsp instant espresso powder after you add the vanilla extract.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies: use 1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) of unsalted butter and a 1/2 cup peanut butter (you can use chunky or smooth, but it's best not to use natural peanut butter, which will not give you the right texture). Beat them together before adding the sugars. Use salted peanuts instead of walnuts or pecans.
Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies: Add 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted or not, to the dough when you add the chocolate chips and nuts. Why not go all the way and add some raisins or bits of dried apricots?

49 comments:

The Food Librarian February 16, 2010 at 12:04:00 AM EST  

Great choice! These were really yummy. - mary the food librarian

Shandy February 16, 2010 at 2:08:00 AM EST  

Delicious cookies Kait! Thank you for such a wonderful choice. The cookie dough was soft, wasn't it? It is always a good sign when the host loves the recipe she chose =)

Jencrafted February 16, 2010 at 2:44:00 AM EST  

Thanks for the selection! I love how your cookies turned out and it's certainly helpful that you shared the different baking methods with us. This is a wonderful recipe! I'm enjoying a piece with a glass of milk as I'm typing this. Delish!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields February 16, 2010 at 3:33:00 AM EST  

Wonderful choco chippy post.....

Que Magnifigue este...bravo!!!!
Oh yeah....LOVE IS IN THE AIR....SO IS ROMANCE N WISHING YA ALL LOADS N LOADS OF IT @ 365

Delicious days are here .......

mike February 16, 2010 at 3:38:00 AM EST  

Kait - fantastic choice - these were definite favorites of a lot of people at my office! Next time I'm going to try some of the variations - and will freeze them again. That seemed to work the best - as you found out. Thanks again for choosing!

Jennifer February 16, 2010 at 6:56:00 AM EST  

Thank you for a wonderful selection-these were truly amazing!

Mary February 16, 2010 at 7:18:00 AM EST  

Great choice, Kait! I liked the ones I baked from frozen best too, though I didn't get any pictures of them. Oh, and my colleague is still eating them 10 days later and says they're still good. Who knew they'd last that long!

Clivia February 16, 2010 at 7:28:00 AM EST  

Fabulous choice! Thanks for sharing your baking experience with us.

Melissa February 16, 2010 at 7:36:00 AM EST  

We enjoyed these. Thank you for the great pick! Your cookies look yummy!

Kayte February 16, 2010 at 7:43:00 AM EST  

Thanks, Kait, the guys absolutely inhaled these cookies...a bit hit! Okay, I am your first person not to like Chocolate Chip Cookies, only because I don't like chocolate. I made a couple without the chocolate and they were delightful as well. Loved your post and research!

Amanda February 16, 2010 at 8:00:00 AM EST  

I completely agree about the taste, phenomenal! I wish I would have frozen my batter now, mine were flat. Thanks for choosing this recipe, they were soo good!

Amanda February 16, 2010 at 8:00:00 AM EST  

I completely agree about the taste, phenomenal! I wish I would have frozen my batter now, mine were flat. Thanks for choosing this recipe, they were soo good!

Cristine February 16, 2010 at 8:46:00 AM EST  

Thanks for hosting this week! You can't go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie!

Pamela February 16, 2010 at 8:57:00 AM EST  

It was a wonderful choice and an easy one to make. I love making cookies, big surprise, right? :o) Your pictures look really yummy! Oh, and I hope you're having a great time in Florida.

Amy February 16, 2010 at 9:08:00 AM EST  

Great pick! Thanks for hosting this week!!

vibi February 16, 2010 at 9:29:00 AM EST  

Thanks Kait for a great pick... I had a lot of fun changin the recipe to PB... I still don't think they are the best, but they surely aren't very far behind!

Bravo for yours... they look very nice, rustic and their golden color add to the mouthwatering bit!

Valerina February 16, 2010 at 9:39:00 AM EST  

Thank you for hosting this week! These were not my favourite c.c.cookies but they were better than I had thought they would be. :) Beautiful job!

Kimberly Johnson February 16, 2010 at 9:43:00 AM EST  

Great pick! My cookies were definitely too crispy for my liking so thanks for the tip on freezing them and using a shorter bake time! I refrigerated them but didn't get the results I was looking for.

Prudy February 16, 2010 at 9:57:00 AM EST  

What a great pick! We loved them!

Jules Someone February 16, 2010 at 10:01:00 AM EST  

Ah ha! My dough was cold but perhaps not cold enough. Too flat like you said. Nice pick!

Lynnylu February 16, 2010 at 10:18:00 AM EST  

Loved these! Great choice!

bakingwiththeboys February 16, 2010 at 10:22:00 AM EST  

Who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie. We inhaled these at our house. Have fun in Florida.

dorie February 16, 2010 at 11:50:00 AM EST  

Kait, I'm so glad you ended up liking your pick. These cookies are always pretty flat -- that's their style -- but since I'm a crispy-type, it's really what I like about them.

Teanna February 16, 2010 at 11:58:00 AM EST  

Thanks for the fun pick! I really enjoyed these!

AmyRuth February 16, 2010 at 1:10:00 PM EST  

Hi Kait,
I loved reading your post and thanks for choosing a great cookie and also thanks for your wonderful tips as well. They really are helpful even with what we think of as a common CCC!. Dorie's really are good although not my favorite. However, I am going to give them another try and make them (I hope) a little more chewy and tender. I'm all about the chilling and or freezing step anyway. So that may just be the ticket to "the ultimate Dorie CCC!" Have a wonderful sunny FL vaca. Thanks again.
AmyRuth

Lauryn February 16, 2010 at 1:15:00 PM EST  

looks like third try's a charm!!! These were amazing!! Thanks for the perfect selection!!!

Jeannette February 16, 2010 at 2:49:00 PM EST  

I think your choice was nothing short of perfect. I admit these weren't my favorite but they were quite tasty! Thanks for adding another CCC to my repertoire. :)

Kitchen Roadie February 16, 2010 at 4:06:00 PM EST  

I'm new to reading your blog and I'm happy I visited it today. The cookies look fantastic! I'll have to give these a try this weekend.

Flourchild February 16, 2010 at 5:00:00 PM EST  

Thank you for being the hostess this week. Im so glad you chose cookies! I am a cookie freak!

jill Buker February 16, 2010 at 5:13:00 PM EST  

Great pick, Kait. I opted for adding some instant espresso powder and loved them. Can't wait to try the other variations!

Gourmified February 16, 2010 at 5:30:00 PM EST  

YUMMMM!!! I'm so glad you picked this one! I vamped it up and added coconut toasted almonds and chocolate chips. LOVE them!

http://gourmified.blogspot.com

jillbert February 16, 2010 at 8:37:00 PM EST  

Thanks for the great pick! I liked these a lot, and I'm going to make a note to try freezing them next time. My cookies never turn out chewy, so I was thrilled to have made a chewy chocolate chip cookie!

Susan February 16, 2010 at 11:29:00 PM EST  

Wish I had read your post before I made these cookies! Mine all baked flat as can be. I lowered the temperature and the amount of time baked with the same results. Just didn't try cooling the dough. Your last ones look great! Thanks for hosting! :)

Leslie February 17, 2010 at 1:01:00 AM EST  

Thanks for picking these for us and hosting this week! I went in a slightly different direction, but it was all about chocolate chip cookies. Hope you're having fun in Florida!

Mimi February 17, 2010 at 12:07:00 PM EST  

Thanks for being the hostess this week. I always enjoy chocolate chip cookies.Great post showing your baking experience.
Mimi

Eliana February 17, 2010 at 1:57:00 PM EST  

What an awesome recipe to select. It took me a few times at making chocolate chips cookies to realize that the chilling process is essential to good cookie. I leave mine in the back of the fridge (which is colder) at least 24 hours before baking.

Carol Peterman February 17, 2010 at 9:57:00 PM EST  

I love your investigative approach to the best baking method. I'm sure mine would have benefitted from a little chill time before baking.

margot February 17, 2010 at 11:40:00 PM EST  

Excellent choice, Kait! These were a big hit in my house. I love the progression picture, I'm glad you found the proper baking method.

Linda February 17, 2010 at 11:40:00 PM EST  

A fantastic selection this week! You've definitely stirred up a bit of conversation about everyone's CCC preferences.

Bridget February 18, 2010 at 12:34:00 AM EST  

I'm so glad you chose chocolate chip cookies! One of my favorite desserts ever, and I don't get many opportunities to make them lately.

Liz February 18, 2010 at 1:44:00 AM EST  

This was a fun choice! I never turn down an excuse to make a chocolate chip cookie. Thanks for the pick!

steph- whisk/spoon February 18, 2010 at 8:37:00 AM EST  

i'm so glad these were finally chosen--thanks!! yours look fantastic. i usually freeze my doughs before baking...like you, i find that usually gives best results.

Karen February 18, 2010 at 11:28:00 AM EST  

Fun choice! I love chocolate chip cookies!

zinerim February 18, 2010 at 4:39:00 PM EST  

yum, so delicious, very beautiful!

TeaLady February 19, 2010 at 11:53:00 PM EST  

LOVE CCC. Mine flattened out, but the flavor was great.

Nice pick.

Nancy/n.o.e February 21, 2010 at 9:54:00 PM EST  

Thanks for being so thorough in your chocolate chip cookie baking; now we have the perfect way to bake these. I might just have to try them again (they were a tad too flat for my tastes).

matty February 22, 2010 at 11:35:00 PM EST  

These were awesome!

Jess February 23, 2010 at 3:12:00 PM EST  

What a fantastic pick! I made a PB-cocoa version, but your post makes me want to try the classics again. Lovely cookies!

Tonya @ What's On My Plate February 28, 2010 at 10:00:00 AM EST  

I'm always on the lookout for a new chocolate chip recipe/ technique. Have you tried this one from the NY Times? http://whatsonmyplate.net/2010/01/13/chocolate-chip-cookies/

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