Sunday, November 4, 2007

Finally, a really good chocolate chip cookie recipe

It seems that the classic recipes are often the ones the most difficult to master. The more popular and common the recipe, the more variations and options you have, and most of the time it's hard to find the perfect recipe. I've been searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for a while now. The best recipes call for butter since they have the best flavor, but butter often causes flat cookies. I used a cookie from the book Death By Chocolate Cookies for a long time, but the texture was never quite right, they were too dense and the dough didn't quite have the flavor I was looking for. Dorie Greenspan has a recipe in her baking book that I was pretty excited about, but they were the flattest cookies I have ever made -- dough flatter than a pancake with lumps of chocolate chips poking out -- they tasted great, but they were not the cookie I was looking for.

Today I made the chocolate chip cookies in Rebecca Rather's book The Pastry Queen and I think my search is over. A little crisp around the edges, but perfectly chewy and full of chocolate chips, walnuts and pecans. They are fantastic.

Chocolate Chip Cookies -- as the recipe appears in the book. I didn't toast the nuts and thought they were excellent. If you do toast the nuts, check them after 5 minutes since I believe if you leave them in there for 7 minutes you'll burn them. Plus, I flattened the dough a bit once I had it on the sheets with helped them bake evenly.

1 1/2 cups walnuts
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 scant teaspoon salt
3 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Arrange the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast them for *7 to 9 minutes*, until golden brown and aromatic. Cool the nuts and then coarsely chop.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats., or grease generously with butter or cooking spray. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl on medium speed about 1 minute, until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix on medium-l0w speed until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, pecans, and chocolate chips. The dough is relatively stiff, so don't be surprised if this takes some muscle.

Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in golf-bowl sized scoops. Space the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart as they will spread. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are medium brown around the edges. (As long as the edges are brown, don't worry about a little bit of raw-looking dough in the middle. It will disappear as the cookies cool) The cookies will spread to about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

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