Monday, January 14, 2008

our favorite chocolate chip cookies

chocolate chip macro

I suppose there comes a point in every food blogger’s so-called “career” when she posts her favorite chocolate cookie recipe, but I’ve avoided this point for a long time because, does the internet actually need another chocolate chip cookie recipe? 130,000 times no. But, the thing is, I do have a favorite. And sometimes, sometimes when you’re making a heavy meal full of classics that I’ll get to one by one this week, you want to end on a simple–but not too subtle–note. See, this cookie has what we affectionately call “a lot of chocolate to very little dough,” in fact, when you’re folding all of the ingredients together, it seems impossible that so many chocolate and pecan chunks will fit in so little batter, and the best part is that they barely do.

chocolate chip cookies

Who is the crazed, handsome genius who brings us this masterpiece? No, not Alex, though he did bake the cookies while I washed dishes on Sunday (see how we switched it up there? cr-azy!). It is, and really just has to be, the famed David Lebovitz, from his Great Book of Chocolate. And yeah, I was like the last person on earth to buy this but I’ve made up for it by making these cookies more than twice. More than twice. You have no idea how few recipes get even one repeat performance in the smitten kitchen, twice means that you need to print (yup, it’s working again) this post and go make these right now. In 30 minutes, you’re going to be all “Schmoll House who?” and you’ll never look back.

chocolate chip doughmmm, dough

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies*
The Great Book of Chocolate

So, here’s my chocolate chip cookie thing. The nuts are always well-toasted and they’re always finely chopped–as in, some will be the size of petite peas but many will be more like powder. What this gets you is a cookie filled with all of the awesome flavor of nuts, as well as the extra crunch, without the nuts actually interrupting your chocolate chip experience. Nobody wants their chocolate experience interrupted. Half the people who try them will have no idea there are nuts at all in there–thus hushing the nut haters–but they will know that there is something undeniably better.

Makes 20 cookies, or more if you use one of these tiny cookie scoops.

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt or 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (Deb option)
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped

Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

* Hey, Deb, Didn’t These Cookies Used to Go By Another Name? Why, yes, they did! As was explained in the original post, in his book, David Lebovitz names these cookies after a now-shuttered cookie shop in Ghiradelli Square, who bequeathed the recipe to them. However, the name of that cookie shop is now trademarked by an apparently unrelated cookie company who sent this site a Nastygram for the “unauthorized” use of their brand name which caused confusion among their customers who might wrongly believe that the recipe belonged to them and accusing this site of “intentionally capitalizing on their goodwill of their trademark.” Thus, the title has been updated.

[P.S. to Food Companies: This could be a case study in How Not To Get Bloggers to Warm to Your Brand.]


[New here? You might want to check out the Comment Guidelines before chiming in.]