Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
Since Nestlé first began printing the recipe for Toll House cookies on the back of chocolate chip bags in 1939, generations of bakers have packed chocolate chip cookies into lunches and taken them to potlucks. But after a few samples, we wondered if this was really the best that a chocolate chip cookie could be. We wanted to refine this recipe to create a moist and chewy chocolate chip cookie with crisp edges and deep notes of toffee and butterscotch to balance its sweetness—in short, a more sophisticated cookie than the standard bake-sale offering.  Melting a generous amount of butter before combining it with other ingredients gave us the chewy texture we wanted. Since we were melting butter, we browned a portion of it to add nutty flavor. Using a bit more brown sugar than white sugar enhanced chewiness, while a combination of one egg and one egg yolk gave us supremely moist cookies. For the crisp edges and deep toffee flavor, we allowed the sugar to dissolve and rest in the melted butter. We baked the cookies until golden brown and just set, but still soft in the center. The resulting cookies were crisp and chewy and gooey with chocolate, and boasted a complex medley of sweet, buttery, caramel, and toffee flavors.

ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
MAKE S  ABOUT  16 LARGE COOKIES
 

Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is sufficiently browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar, as hardened brown sugar will make the cookies too dry.  This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored.

  • 1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) dark
  • brown sugar
  • ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
  • 1¼ cups (7½ ounces) semisweet
  • chocolate chips or chunks
  • ¾ cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Melt 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl.  Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter and stir until completely melted.

3. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla to melted butter; whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and egg yolk; whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.  Let mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny.  Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if using.  Give dough final stir to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
 

4. Working with 3 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
 

5. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; let cookies cool to room temperature.
 

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