There are easily hundreds of chocolate chip cookie recipes. For years my go-to recipe was the one on the Nestle’s chocolate chip bag. While it’s absolutely delicious, I decided to see if I could improve on it.
Let me just say, there really is no such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie. BUT, some are definitely better than others. As usual, I started with an America’s Test Kitchen recipe, tweaking it to suit my taste.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES – makes about 21, depending on size
- 6 T butter, divided, cut into 1 T pieces
- 2 + 3/4 oz (1/2 cup) shortening (I use Crisco)
- 4 + 1/4 oz (3/4 cup) dark brown sugar
- 3 + 1/4 oz (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 yolk
- 8 + 3/8 oz (1¾ cup + 2 T) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 4 + 3/4 oz (1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet)
- 2 + 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Nestle’s)
- 2 + 1/2 oz (3/4 cup) pecans, chopped and lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 375º Fahrenheit.
In a small light colored skillet (so you can see the color change – I used an aluminium pan), melt 4 T of the butter over medium/high heat. It will begin bubbling.Start swirling pan until butter is browned (turns reddish/amber) – it happens fast, so don’t leave unattended! (You may need to turn down the heat a bit or raise the pan off the flame.) Immediately pour into large mixing bowl of your electric mixer. Add in the remaining 2 T butter and stir until melted. (This will cool down the butter.) Let melted butter cool at least 15 minutes. (You don’t want to melt the shortening.)
Add in Crisco and, on low speed, beat until shortening is incorporated. (It can be a little lumpy – don’t worry, it will become creamy soon.) Add in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Don’t shortchange the 2 minutes – it aerates the batter. Add in whole egg and yolk and beat on low for 30 seconds. Let rest 3 minutes. USE A TIMER! (You’ll be doing this for a total of 3 times.) Beat on low for 30 seconds, then let rest another 3 minutes. Finally, beat on low for 30 seconds (this is the LAST time, I promise!) and let set 3 minutes.
Add in the flour and baking soda. Mix on low until flour is almost incorporated (don’t overmix). Add in the chips and pecans, and mix on low until they are evenly disbursed and all the flour is incorporated. Line cookie sheets with parchment or grease. Use a 3 T ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup filling it 3/4 full. Drop dough onto cookie sheet, spacing them far apart – you should get no more than 9 per sheet. Bake in a preheated 375º F oven 8-11 minutes. (Check at the 8 minute mark – they cook faster on a dark sheet.) You want the edges to look done, but not the center (unless you like crispier cookies). The cookies will continue to bake on the hot sheet. Remove from oven and let set on the hot cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Slide onto a wire rack to finish cooling.It’s tempting to eat them right away, but try and resist. The flavor improves as they cool and firm up.