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Of all the recipes I’ve made over and over in my life, trying to perfect the iconic chocolate chip cookie has been the most fun. About 1M batches later, I’m ready to share the version that is my current obsession! I’m talking crispy edges. Dense, chewy center. Ripples of golden-brown caramelization cascading over the surface. Perfect bursts of bittersweet chocolate studding the dough. The reality is, I’ll probably never stop tweaking and playing… why should I??
I want to acknowledge 3 very delicious other Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes that have inspired me over the years and from which I gleaned some important techniques: Tara O’Brady, who taught me to melt butter — slowly! Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog, who taught me to add water to the batter and a little more granulated sugar for crispier edges, and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats who taught me to tear each ball of cookie dough in half once it is set and stick the 2 halves back together, craggy sides facing out for a gloriously individual, crunchy edged, chewy center cookie!
Servings: 15 BIG cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoons water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces (2 bars) 72% dark chocolate or other chocolate of your choice
•Gently melt the butter over a low heat, being careful not to allow it to come to a bubble or froth. We want to avoid as much liquid evaporation as possible.While the butter is melting, add both sugars to a large bowl. Pour the melted butter overtop and then whisk together to combine, 1 minute. Add the egg and whisk another minute. Add water and vanilla and whisk another 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the surface of your wet ingredients, then sprinkle baking powder, baking soda and salt over top. Use your fingers or a fork to lightly mix dry ingredients together before using a spatula or wooden spoon to combine all ingredients together until a dough forms. Use a sharp chef’s knife to roughly chop your chocolate bars — smaller shards will melt and speckle the dough, larger pieces will puddle into little chocolate pools in your cookies. Stir chocolate into your cookie dough and set aside for 15 minutes to hydrate. At this point, you can wrap and refrigerate or freeze to use later as you desire, or cook immediately.
•When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 325-350F depending on your oven. I usually start at 325 and then will crank it a little higher at the end if I want them a bit darker. Portion palm-sized balls (roughly 1/2 cup each) and loosely pack before arranging 6 on a cookie sheet. This recipe typically makes 9-12 cookies depending on how large you make your cookies and how much dough was eaten along the way.
•Place cookie tray into the oven and bake until cookies have risen and begin to spread. Remove tray from oven and drop it flatly on the open door of the oven to “bang” the cookies. This will deflate the initial rise and create a ripple along the edge that gives and amazing toffee crackle and crunch. Place the tray back in the oven and they will rise again — bang then one more time. This process gives you maximum crunch at the edges and chewy, fudgy, molten centers. Divine!
•Remove the cookies from the oven just shy of desired doneness, usually around that 16 minute mark, and let cool on tray 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool another 5 minutes before enjoying.
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