Thursday, June 16, 2011

America's Test Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies


Next up: America's Test Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies (i.e. Cook's Illustrated)

Since so many bloggers tout this as being the BEST chocolate chip cookie they've ever tasted, I knew that I had to give these a try as well. The one thing that sets this recipe apart from most others is that it uses browned butter. I've heard a lot of good things when it comes to browned butter. But, the problem was that I had never tried making it myself before and I've heard that it's quite a tricky process. Apparently, just a matter of seconds can turn your butter from "browned" to "blackened and burnt." Yikes!!! Who wouldn't be intimidated by that? But, I did find some tips that helped me immensely. Here they are:
  • Don't use butter straight out of the fridge. Let it come to room temperature first (that means just enough to take the chill off, not to actually soften it).
  • Slice the butter into one tablespoon pieces so that they'll all melt at the same rate.
  • Once the butter is melted, it should then take about 2-3 minutes to reach the point of being browned.
  • During those 2-3 minutes, swirl that pan like your life depends on it.
  • When the butter gets that nutty smell, it's ready. Immediately pour it into a cool bowl to stop the cooking process.

Tada - the browned butter was a success!!! That lovely nutty smell just wafted up from the bowl and hinted of the flavor that it would bestow on the cookies.

The only change I made was to use some chopped up Hershey's milk chocolate kisses in place of some of the semisweet chocolate chips. What can I say? After making so many batches of cookies, it was only a matter of time before I ran out of chocolate chips, again. So, I figured a little improvisation couldn't hurt.


The dough does spread in the oven, but the cookies still keep a little thickness to them. The cookies were a nice light color overall and had crispy edges and chewy middles. But, it is the taste that will impress you. This is not your average chocolate chip cookie. The browned butter gives it an elegant undertone of flavor that infuses every bite, making this a truly adult-ish chocolate chip cookie. Oh browned butter, where have you been all my life? I think it's my new best friend.

By the way, have you heard of the Fairy Hobmother? The Fairy, who comes from this SITE, goes around to different blogs granting wishes to those who have left a comment. It just so happens that the Fairy visited me and gifted me with an Amazon gift card which I then used to buy a couple of cookbooks that I've had my eye on for a LONG time.

If you live in the US or the UK, leave a comment on this post and you never know. The Fairy Hobmother could visit YOU!!!

America's Test Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Cook's Illustrated)

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
1 tsp. table salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

Heat 10 Tbsp. butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 min. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1-3 min. Remove skillet from heat and, using heat proof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 Tbsp. butter into the hot butter until completely melted.

Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand for 3 min., then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 min. Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake at 375F until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 min., rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Recipe found HERE

Great CCC Quest of 2011:
Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
BAKED Chocolate Chip Cookies
Allrecipes' Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Soft Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ultimate Chewy and Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Joanne Chang's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sugar Plum's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is linked to:
CCC Round-Up

44 comments:

  1. Sounds like a "must-try" CCC recipe! Hm...I've never made browned butter before, so, thanks for the tips. They would be great help. :)

    Wow, how nice you've got a visit from Fairy Hobmother! I heard about it before and has been waiting for her visit since then. Keeping my fingers crossed! ;)

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  3. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm All of your cookies always look so tasty. NumNum!

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  4. I found that chilling the ATK dough for 24-48 hours makes the cookies even better! And it prevents spreading, so you end up with nice, thick cookies. :)

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  5. Lovely cookies, thanks for the tips for browned butter. Can't wait to try this!

    Simply Sweet 'n Savory

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  6. Ya know, I usually LOVE everything from America's Test Kitchen, but when I see browned butter, I run! That's one ingredient I can live without! Who knows why!!?? The cookies do look great though.....

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  7. I have made browned butter countless times for pastas and sauces, but never for cookies! I think I will just have to give these a whirl! LOVING your search for the best CCC- super fun!!

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  8. I've made brown butter for a number of recipes, including cookies, but never chocolate chip. I'll have to try that.

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  9. Cookies look delicious! Hi Fairy Hobmother! :)

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  10. They sounds delicious! I would love to try these using white chocolate chips!

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  11. I've never used brown butter before. I'm loving this series, I think I'm going to try about all the cookies you've posted!

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  12. These cookies look awesome!! Definitely going to give them a try!

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  13. I've been making America's Test Kitcehn's CCC recipe for a few years now. It is delicious!

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  14. I love to chop up Hershey Kisses to use in chocolate chip cookies - it's better than using chips :).

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  15. These cookies sound great. I have zero experience with browned butter. I'm missing out obviously. This recipe is a great excuse to try my hand at it. Yummy! Such a generous lil fairy. Haha!

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  16. Yea,theses cookies are one of my faves--so good!

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  17. Is there really such a thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie, lol. Fairy Hobmother, what a nice little fairy.
    -Gina-

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  18. They look fantastic. I need to have a few of those with a tall glass of cold milk!

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  19. I'll be interested to see which cookie is the winner. The browne butter sounds yummy!

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  20. I'd never heard of using browned butter in chocolate chip cookies. I'm intrigued and will try this recipe next time I bake a batch.

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  21. OMG. I would have gained 10 pounds already with all these yummy cookies. This one may be "it".

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  22. I don't know, I really don't love the super flat cookies like this one. I've heard wonderful things about this particular recipe, though.

    That's awesome about the gift card!

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

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  23. I am soooo loving this CCC series. More please :)! - Cares

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  24. I haven't tried the browned butter in cookies yet, but I loooove the taste in other things. I definitely think this recipe would be a winner in my book! Thanks for all of your selfless research for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. ;)

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  25. I am really loving all of these posts on the cookies you keep writing about. I had no idea that there were so many different variations to Chocolate Chip cookies. Maybe I just live in a really small world, haha! And Browned Butter, YUM! This might be one for me to try down the road :)

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  26. Lisa - I'm sooo happy you shared this. I love browned butter frosting, but don't believe I've ever used it in a choc chip cookie recipe. I LOVE all your cookies!

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  27. I tried browned butter chocolate chip cookies for the first time earlier this year and I loved them! These look great - I can't wait to see which recipe comes out on top!

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  28. hi!
    you said my twix bars got the #1 spot on your link party but i can't seem to find that post. could you send me the link to it, i'd like to take a look :)

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  29. absolutely yummy and delicious,look so profesionally made.hugs hugs.

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  30. I've made these before. They're delicious! And yours look great!

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  31. Hi Lisa, what deliciously sweet and satisfying cookies that you've baked. Hope you can stop by sometime and share them on my weekend foodie blog hop! Take care now!

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  32. Love that you made these cookies too!! =) We were definitely on the same wavelength!

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  33. I'm with you too! I am always searching for just the right chocolate chip cookie and haven't found exactly what I am looking for. I will have to give this one a try :)

    The Farm Girl

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  34. So many different chocolate chip cookie recipes! It's hard to find the perfect one, as they are all pretty good. I so far, have it down to 2 recipes that I like, but this one sounds too good not to try! What a nice person to be the Fairy Hobmother, everyone needs cheering up these days!!! Let us know which recipe is your favorite!

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  35. I know what you mean about browned butter! It is the best. I made pumpkin cookies with browned butter frosting and it makes all the difference.
    http://welcometolillyshome.blogspot.com/2010/10/pumpkin-cookies-with-browned-butter.html
    I never heard of the Fairy Hobmother but would love for a visit. I could really use a new stove!
    ~Lilly

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  36. I don't think there's a person in existence that didn't like cookies.

    -zane

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  37. I don't think there is a person in existence that didn't like cookies.

    -zane

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  38. I'm giving cookies as Christmas presents this year, and I think I will try these! I have to bake 250 cookies. Thank God I have access to a large oven (: wish me luck!! <3

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  39. How many cookies does this recipe make?

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  40. I'm giving cookies as Christmas presents this year, and I think I will try these! I have to bake 250 cookies. Thank God I have access to a large oven (: wish me luck!! <3

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  41. I read through the instructions word for word after getting out all my ingredients and I failed to put in the baking powder because it was not mentioned in the instructions. I know most people would remember to add it anyway, but I set it down behind my mixing bowl and it was out of sight out of mind I guess. The cookies turned out good still I think. They definitely taste similar to the way the "browned butter" smells.

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  42. I so can't wait to try this recipe. My family has been begging me to make chocolate chop cookies from scratch. So, I'm looking forward to diving in. Hopefully my cookies come out looking like yours. They look yummy!!!

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