Since then, I have been told that my cookies "can stop traffic", and one man even said that he "knew what they were going to taste like before he even bit into it" and that they were even better than he dreamed. They are everything a chocolate chip cookie should be... puffy, crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They are perfect.
I've baked these cookies by request for numerous birthday parties, Bat/Bar Mitzvahs and other gatherings. Each time, the reactions are the same. People just go crazy over them. I've been questioned, grilled and practically accosted for this recipe. So here it is.
I have to say, these cookies have become quite famous and I guess if my only legacy is that I baked a damn good cookie, so be it.
How to avoid a flat chocolate chip cookie? Here's a professional baking secret...the key to baking a puffy cookie that keeps its shape is to freeze your cookie dough (at least four hours, and preferably overnight) and the cookie trays before popping them into fully a hot oven (preheat for at least 30 minutes). Also, make sure your baking soda is fresh to avoid a flat cookie. Give yourself at least five hours before serving to allow for freezing time. I like to use Muscovado brown sugars and Plugra, which is a European butter with a higher fat content. Forget expensive chocolate, I find that the best is Trader Joe's Belgian milk chocolate, which comes in a convenient 17.6 ounce jumbo bar. It's extra creamy and delicious!
© Pauline Rhoads and The Better Crumb, 2012.
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Makes About Two Dozen Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
18 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/2 inch chunks (or 17.6 oz. if using Trader Joe's large bar)
Place 3-4 cookie trays, lined with parchment paper in the freezer.
In a medium sized bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, mix sugars together. Then add the cold butter. Mix for two minutes or so on medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add one egg at a time, using a spatula in between to scrape sides. Mix egg in thoroughly and add vanilla. Add dry flour mixture and mix until combined. Add chocolate chunks and mix.
Form into balls 1 1/2" to 2", depending on how large you want your cookies and freeze dough for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Place 6-8 cookie dough balls on a frozen tray and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until cookies are medium brown around the edges and puffy and lightly browned and caramel colored on top. Let cool on wired racks.