Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Pratically Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently my ward had an Enrichment Night. There was a twist to it- this Enrichment Night was for husbands while the wives kicked back at home. The husbands were to go and learn how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie from a brother in the ward who has perfected the art. My husband enjoyed enrichment and we enjoyed the cookie dough he came home with (it was so good it never made it into the oven. :)

This recipe was published by Consumer Reports in 1984. Here are the prefacing remarks to the article:

"We wanted a cookie with a chewy interior, crunchy edges, and well-blended flavor. Above all, we wanted a cookie with a high overall chocolate impact to give a sensuous rush to the chocoholic. After much experimentation and perhaps a few cumulative inches to staffers' waistlines, we created a cookie with all those assets. Our recipe makes 40 medium-sized cookies."

2 1/4 cups flour
1 level teaspoon baking soda
1 level teaspoon salt
3/4 cup each white and packed dark brown sugar
2 sticks (1/2 pound) sweet butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12-ounce package Nestle semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Use a stand-type electric mixer to mix the two sugars briefly at low speed.
Add the butter in small gobbets, mixing first at low speed and then at high. Beat the mixture until it's pale, light, and very fluffy.
Add the vanilla at the mixer's lowest speed, then beat at high speed for a few seconds.
Add the eggs, again at the lowest speed, switching to high speed for the final second or so. The eggs should be well beaten in, and the mix should look creamed, not curdled.
Add the flour mixture, a half cup at a time, mixing at low speed for about one minute, then at high speed for a few seconds.
Scrape down the bowl's sides with a spatula, add the chocolate chips, and mix at low speed for about 10 seconds. If need be, scrape the bowl's sides again and mix for a few more seconds.
Put tablespoons of the mix on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake until the cookies are pale golden brown (nine minutes in an electric oven, 10 to 11 minutes in a gas one). Remove and let cool on a rack.
Makes about 40 medium cookies.

Bro. Steve's secrets for perfect results every time:
  • Always use "real" ingredients. Real butter, real eggs, real vanilla extract, real sugar, and real Nestle chocolate chips.
  • Butter should be softened. It is best to use butter at room temperature, which requires setting out the butter about one hour before preparing the mix. If the butter must come straight out of the refrigerator, soften the two sticks of butter together in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
  • Increase the amount of chocolate chips used by as much as 50%. This greatly improves the "chocolate" sensation and flavor impact of the cookies.
  • Use a quality cookie sheet. Cheap cookie sheets do not cook evenly, and the results are inferior.
  • Follow the directions precisely and in order. Use the mixer to beat the mixture as recommended during each step of the procedure. If you do not follow the instructions precisely, don't expect to get the best results.
  • Use a small sized food scoop (like a small ice cream scoop) to spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet. This results in cookies that are round and all the same size.
  • I like to use a simple 3/4 cup measuring cup for all measurements.
  • Gather the kids or grandkids around when making the dough. Let them lick the beater and spatula. If there are more kids, give them small spoonfuls of the dough. They love it, and my grown kids still have fond memories of this from when they were young.

Note: My husband combined the brown sugar with the "dry" ingredients. He was promptly lectured and his mix was thrown out. These are some serious cookies.

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