Friday, February 8, 2008
The Case of the Mysteriously Disappearing Cookies
There I was, browsing through my precariously stacked pantry, when a bag of dried cherries forceably ejected themselves from the shelf at me. Normally, I would just get mad and shove the offending item back in, willy-nilly, practically asking for it to fall out again. But inspiration struck (it helped that I was hungry), and I pulled out my block of Trader Joe's Pound Plus chocolate as well - time for cookies!
This recipe is based on an old Cooks Illustrated recipe, and it truly is the best chocolate chip cookie out there. There is no need for any other recipe. A few changes - there was originally an additional 1/8 cup of flour, but I'm lazy and didn't want to dirty another measuring spoon ;) Also, the recipe calls for 2 cups of semisweet chips, but I prefer chopping my own chocolate because you get an interesting mix of shapes and sizes - some large chunks, some shavings, and everything in between. By adding the cherries, I gave the cookies some depth so they weren't all chocolate, all the time (not bad in a brownie, but cookies need a little variety) without being overly fruity.
When I brought the cookies into work (because I would have eaten them all had they remained in my apartment), they vanished faster than I could say "Hey, there are cookies up at my desk." Glad to know my baking is appreciated ;)
The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You'll Ever Need
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 325°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
Mix the sugars and butter just until thoroughly mixed, then add egg, yolk and vanilla and mix until creamy. Add the sifted ingredients and mix until just blended.
Stir in the chocolate and cherries, then drop dough in heaping tablespoons on a cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 15-17 minutes until golden and puffed. Slide the sheet of parchment off the cookie sheets and let the cookies cool without disturbing them for a few minutes. Once they have cooled slightly, move the cookies to a cooling rack.