March 28, 2009

Improved Tollhouse Cookies?

The quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie seems neverending. Periodically, you'll see a new recipe and nearly every food blogger will give it a try to see if it will be "the one". I've been pretty happy with the recipe Martha has in her Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share cookbook. I've also made the Nestle Tollhouse cookie many, many times.

When I received the May/June issue of Cook's Illustrated I noticed that they had decided to try to perfect the Tollhouse cookie recipe. They took the usual methodical approach to making changes to the recipe and I think some of the changes actually made an impact on the cookies.

From Family, Friends and Food
Melting the butter and browning it really added a new dimension to these cookies. A nutty, almost toffee flavor, which coincidentally was what the author of the article was trying to accomplish. Now, I opted to make my cookies the traditional size - 1 tablespoon drop cookies. The recipe suggests increasing them to 3 tablespoon drop cookies. The purpose is to create the crisp edges and maintain the moist and soft center of the cookies.

The extra step of browning the butter and allowing the sugars to dissolve into the liquids is worth it. The cookies still had crisp edges and chewy, moist centers even though I made them smaller. I made these while My Boys were having play dates at our house. The 4 boys all enjoyed the cookies and somehow convinced me to let them each have a second cookie.

I got permission from Deborah at Cook's Illustrated to share the recipe here, so please do give it a try. I think that you'll enjoy this version of the perfect chocolate chip cookie as much as we did.



Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Cook's Illustrated May/June 2009

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspooons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)


Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1-3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
  3. 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 minutes, then whish 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 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), givign dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
  4. Divide dough into 16 ortions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use a #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
  5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

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29 comments:

Maria said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe! I can't wait to try them. I am a cookie fanatic!! They look oh so good!

Megan said...

Thumbs up on this recipe! This is one recipe I would like to try!

Mary said...

Thanks for the recommendation!

Melanie said...

I saw this recipe in my recent Cook's Illustrated and can't wait to try it. It's great to see your review of it already!

Tiff said...

Wow. Couldn't be better timing. I'm doing my first baking for the troops and I hear chocolate chip cookies are the favorite. I was looking for a really special recipe. I think this is the winner. They say moist works best, so I'm glad to hear they aren't crisp. If I hear back from him, I'll let you know the review. Thanks for sharing!

LaDue & Crew said...

I am crazy about browned butter! I can't wait to try these!

Jenny said...

MMMMM Patsy, these look incredible. I am a chocolate chip cookie fanatic. I gotta try that brown butter thing! Great post!

Steph said...

You ahve no idea how happpy you just made me!! Thank you so much for getting permission. I can't wait to try these.

Steph said...

Patsy, do they explain why you should wait 3 minutes and then whisk the mixture again for 30 seconds?

Dawn said...

I would love to try this recipe. A TnT recipe is always the best in my mind. Plus CI is one of my reliable sources.

Patsyk said...

Glad I could share the recipe. It was really simple to get permission from them.

The reason for letting the sugars "rest" is to allow the sugars to dissolve... this allows the cookie to have the toffee like taste.

finsmom said...

Ive never tried browned butter in a cookie, but it sounds like a great fit! Thanks for sharing!

Katrina said...

Awesome, thanks. Can't wait to try these.

bakingblonde said...

Thanks for posting, I never get tired of trying new chocolate chip cookie recipes!

Chef E said...

I love seeing pics of chocolate chip cookies! Hubby just ask me to make something like this last night...

Maggie said...

So many good things in this issue of Cook's Illustrated! I just don't know which to make first!

Natalie said...

Those look great... browning the butter first - what a great idea.

Stacey said...

What a great idea to brown the butter! You can bet I will be trying these very soon.

Sarah Caron said...

What an interesting take on cookies -- the idea of using brown butter. Yum. Those really look delish.

Baking and Mistaking said...

I'm definitely going to try these soon!

Christy said...

Oh my these cookies look fabulous!! I'm certainly going to bake these for my kiddos. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Deborah said...

The tollhouse recipe is my favorite, so I just may have to try this!

Dragon said...

These sound perfect. Great job!

Girl Japan said...

It has been a very, very long time since having or tasting tollhouse, Nestle yes...thank you for bringing back the good days of baking.. BTW it looks fabulous.

Audrey said...

Just made these cookies and they were incredible! A tiny bit burned on the bottoms but I think that's due to the intolerable awfulness of my cookie tin, rather than any issue with the recipe. The extra time on browning the butter and letting it stand was absolutely worth it! Thank you!

bychoice said...

I just made these cookies and loved them. The best part is that CI included the weight of the flour and sugar in the recipe. I have found that this makes for a significantly more reliable cookie. Thanks for going through all the trouble to get permission to post it!

Jennifer said...

These cookies were amazing! I have never browned butter before, so I think I removed the butter from the too soon. I was afraid it would burn! I think my first batch spread a little too much, so I put the next batch of loaded cookie sheets in the fridge for about 5 minutes before sticking them in the oven. This could have just been because my house has been pretty warm lately! Thank you so much for this great recipe - this is the first time I've made chocolate chips cookies and have actually loved them and then raved about them to others.

Jess said...

Thanks for posting this. They were some of the best cookies I've made.

Mrs. Biscuit said...

Just took the first batch out of the oven... They smell incredible, I can't wait to taste them! Thanks for the recipe!!!


<3 MuffinLovesBiscuit

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