Chocolate chip cookies remind me of trolling the mall as a young teenager. When all us girls in the neighborhood were 11 or 12, we suddenly became of age and gained all sorts of a couple new privileges. The best of all of them being we could go to the mall ourselves. Kinda. Okay, so it started out we could walk around ourselves for a little while as long as someone’s mom was in the mall somewhere. After about a year of that, I think the moms gave up and just dropped us because we girls wanted to go to the mall A LOT. It seemed like at least once or twice a week in the summertime. Us girls love to shop! (;) isn’t that right??)
What in the world could a couple of 12 year old girls do in the mall all that time? We had no money, of course. Five dollars here, maybe ten, if we were lucky. That’s about it. We only spent it on a couple things anyway: Earrings, candy, useless trinkets and junk like glow in the dark stars for our bedroom ceilings, and, of course, MRS. FIELDS COOKIES! That was a given….where else were you going to find a soft, doughy, melty chocolate chip cookie? Had to get to the mall to get our fix.
After we’d blown our pennies and gotten our cookies, we’d usually just sit in the center court area for a while and people watch until we found a boy we thought was cute. Then we’d proceed to follow him around, giggling and darting into storefronts when we thought he was on to us. What else were we supposed to do? We had no money left at that point! We quit doing that after we were totally busted by one such boy we followed into the McDonald’s one afternoon. He proceeded to leave us an angry expletive-filled message on the table– carefully spelled out with none other than….his leftover French fries. Hee. Apparently, he did not appreciate our shenanigans affections. Oh, Shakespeare of the Spud, on behalf of myself and the other neighborhood girls, please accept our sincerest apologies for ruining your lunch with our staring and giggling. We were not making fun of you, we just thought you were, like, totally and cute and stuff.
Anyway, my trips to the mall are a lot different now, as I don’t think I’ve spent my money on glow and the dark stars and cookies for quite some time and I CERTAINLY don’t trail around after boys anymore either. I still can’t help but think about those days when I pass by the Mrs. Fields Cookies stand. Now, when I’m privileged enough to actually get this wonderful mall of my youth (the mall where we live now is useless), I wander around and drool over shoes and handbags I can’t afford and leave feeling rather depressed. LOL. So depressed, in fact, that only a bit of chocolate will make the situation better. If I can’t afford that absolutely killer BCBG dress at Nordstrom, I can certainly work toward plumping myself up enough so that I wouldn’t be able to fit into it anyway. And rather than spend my hard earned dollars on cookies that are just so-so, I’ll just make my own.
But….why make plain, old, boring chocolate chip cookies when there are so many other fun and surprising varieties to entice the taste buds? I rarely make chocolate chip cookies – not that I don’t like them but – YAWN – I’d rather spice it up a bit.
I think that’s about to change. The reason I never make chocolate chip cookies is simply I had never made THESE chocolate chip cookies! Ah, the ever popular Chewy – perfected by the King of Food Science, Mr. Alton Brown. He hit the ball out of the park with these bad boys. The best thing about them is the recipe is still simple, they don’t take any longer to put together than your normal Toll House variety (other than setting aside time for chilling the dough, which I have been doing with all drop cookies for a while now anyway) and they are absolutely phenomenal! Just be sure to follow the recipe…use the bread flour, don’t sub all-purpose. I think that’s part of the reason why the texture of these cookies are so different (in a good way) than your traditional cookie recipe. Don’t skip the chilling, it’s important. You’ll notice the recipe calls for melted butter. If you put these in the oven without chilling, you will end up with cookie pancakes. The warm butter will make them spread. And you will be sad. Sure, they will probably still be tasty but don’t you want them to be pretty too? Of course!
I presented these to Eric and he said, and I quote, “These are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had.”
I have to agree. Even days after baking, these guys had a fresh from the oven taste and chew. I made these quite a few weeks ago with the intention of keeping dough balls in the freezer to bake off at a later date and I just couldn’t stop myself from popping a couple in the oven every few days. They are gone already – like a 12 year old girl’s mall money. Ooooops. :p This will be my go-to CCC recipe from now on. And what fun it will be to sub out the chocolate chips for other tasty goodies like peanut butter cups, chocolate covered raisins, M&Ms, and butterscotch chips. Mmmm….the possibilities are endless!
One Year Ago: I broke in my KA ice cream maker attachment with Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream. YUM!
THE CHEWY (Recipe Source: Alton Brown, FoodNetwork.com)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheets
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
- Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.