Seriously The Best CC Cookies Ever

2 Jul

A neighbor and I were emailing back and forth about chocolate chip cookies a few weeks ago, and I pointed her to what I said was the recipe for the most amazing chocolate chips in the world. As in, ever.

“Did you just hear the gates of hell clang shut for dissing Toll House?” she wrote back.

I laughed, but the thing is this: Toll House cookies never work for me. Ever. They either get dark brown and hard, or they spread out into super-thin Frisbees with chocolate chips poking up, or they’re raw in the middle, or I have to make them as bar cookies, which is cheating and doesn’t really produce chocolate chip cookies at all. Operator error, perhaps, but that recipe is a dud as far as I’m concerned.

Enter my main man, Alton Brown. I have yet to make his “The Chewy” recipe without having half the room ask me for the recipe (I only make them to take to parties–having a batch in the house would be disastrous for my wardrobe), and I’ve never had a cookie left over.

Alton’s a food geek (That’s a compliment. I have a little foodie crush on Alton, truth be told, and get a wee bit giddy when he starts up with his scientist schtick.). And his recipes can be a little bit tedious. I don’t ever weigh ingredients as he insists, and I don’t run to the store for freaky-sounding things I’ve never heard of that pop up in his stuff from time to time. But these cookies? I’m telling you. He’s right about some things:

  1. Making the dough with melted (not soft) butter and then refrigerating it for a few hours before you bake gives you a wonderfully chewy cookie that doesn’t spread to Kingdom Come on the baking sheet. You do, however, need to chill the dough for a few hours. Hide your spoons and lock up the fridge or it’ll never survive to baking–it’s that good.
  2. Using bread flour (which has more protein than other flours) instead of AP flour gives you a delicious little crunch on the outside of the cookie, enveloping that wonderful chewiness inside.
  3. Kosher salt. Kosher salt is key. I’m not a salt user, but you need it here to compliment the chocolate. And the Kosher flakes are nice and big, so you get this little hint of salt with every bite. People who don’t know it’s there won’t taste salt, exactly, but they’ll taste something wonderfully different than other chocolate cookies offer.
  4. See all the brown sugar in this recipe? Toffee, my loves. The molasses comes out in the baking and you get this subtle, wonderful toffee taste.

I, as always, tweaked this one just a tad. I learned way back in high school to double the vanilla in any chocolate chip or similar cookie recipe. Such a difference. I didn’t double it here, but I did take it up to 2 tsp instead of 1 1/2. I also make these cookies smaller than Alton does–a scant tablespoon of dough for each cookie–and only bake them for about 10 minutes. Trust him on the parchment paper, by the way. That brown sugar is seriously sticky when it’s done baking.

Oh. Spring for good chocolate chips, OK? I prefer Ghiradelli, but you go with whatever brand you like that isn’t waxy and processed-tasting out of the bag. If you want them to taste good in the cookies, they have to taste good by themselves.

So. Off you go. Give these a whirl and let me know how those old, tired Toll House cookies stack up. I’ll be here, munching on these…

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3 Responses to “Seriously The Best CC Cookies Ever”

  1. Heather July 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    I’m planning to make these later this week. My father-in-law (and his sweet tooth) will be in town for the weekend. Can’t wait to try them.

  2. Heather July 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    I have the last batch of these cookies in the oven as I type and they have already been declared “the best chocolate chip cookie ever” by my family. They are fantastic! This was kind of unchartered territory for me – I didn’t own kosher salt or parchment paper but I put my faith in you (and Alton) and followed the recipe, along with your suggestions for the vanilla, cookie size, and baking times – WONDERFUL! My girls are already asking when we can make them again and they haven’t even finished cooling yet.

  3. Susan Hendrickson July 13, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    I thought I was ready to make these tonight, but I don’t have bread flour. Waahh…now I have to wait until tomorrow.

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