Before further experimentation on my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I decided to follow the Cook’s Illustrated recipe since they baked about a bazillion batches and recorded the results. Their technique is unlike any cookie recipe I’ve made before: the butter is melted and browned, then mixed with the sugars and egg until it basically makes a caramel sauce (it tasted just like what would go on caramel corn). Then the flour and chips are mixed in.
The cookies came out somewhat flat, flatter than I want, but the flavor is spectacular. They have a rich, caramel flavor and are chewy. The whole wheat flour worked great — they don’t taste wheat-y to me at all, probably because of all of the sugar and butter.
With this leap forward in flavor, next time I’ll try replacing baking soda with baking powder, adding a bit more flour to beef the cookies up a bit, and a chilling period in the refrigerator.
Cook's Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
- 8 ¾ ounces freshly-milled hard white whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ½ ounces granulated sugar
- 5 ¼ ounces dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ¼ cups extra dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375° and place a rack in the middle. Line baking sheets with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.
- In a regular skillet (not nonstick), melt 10 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s dark golden brown. It’s ready when it starts to smell nutty, after about 2-4 minutes.
- When it’s ready, pour the browned butter into a large heat-proof bowl (the rest of the mixing will be done in this bowl by hand). Stir in the rest of the butter until melted.
- Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla to the butter, and whisk well. Then whisk in the egg and egg yolk until smooth.
- Let the mixture rest for 3 minutes. Whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the resting and whisking cycle two more times. It will be like a caramel sauce.
- Add in the flour mixture, lightly combining and not over-mixing, then the chips. The mixture is much stickier than typical chocolate chip cookie dough.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the baking sheets, leaving two inches between each cookie.
- For the most even baking, put just one of the baking sheets into the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the sheet and continue baking for 5 more minutes. Remove when the edges are set and the centers are soft, and cool on racks.
Chocolate chip cookie project posts
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 11 - The good butter flavor was sorely missed in this cookie that had canola oil instead
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 10 - A trial with cider vinegar, but too many flavors going on for my top chocolate chip cookie choice
- Soft and Gooey Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pizza Cookie - The secret to a thick chocolate chip cookie that's soft in the middle and crisp on the edges is apparently to bake it in a pan.
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 9 - Cook's Illustrated recipe modified with less butter and more flour
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 8 - Thick and cakey, with less butter and adjusted sugar
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 7 - Classic Toll House with half butter/half shortening
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 6 - Lots of additions to make soft and thick cookies
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 5 - The classic Toll House flavor, with baking modifications to make them thicker after baking
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 4 - Thick and cakey but not sweet and rich
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 3 - Cook's Illustrated adaptation, decadently rich flavor and texture, but not thick
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 2 - Thick, but questionable flavor (highly experimental recipe)
- Chocolate chip cookie project, part 1 - Not thick, but surprisingly delicious and rich considering I forgot half of the butter