Over the years I have tried countless recipes for chocolate chip cookies and each time declared one better than the one before. I don’t know why I do this but I’ll be happy with a recipe and then all of a sudden it will seem too sweet or too soft or a picture in a magazine looks way better. Well it’s about that time again and really this time I have the perfect chocolate chip cookie. A nice balance of sugar and chunky chocolate chips , crispy around the edges, soft and cake like at the center.
I didn’t grow up eating chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven, store-bought cookies either. My sweets consisted of the more homey types-pound cakes in every variety at church functions,bread pudding my mother would throw together from days old bread, and as we got older Entenmanns all butter pound cake, my moms favorite. But like all kids I craved that golden brown cookie with the chocolate chips even when the chips weren’t real chocolate. To this day my sister has a yen for Lindens chocolate chip cookies and orders them in bulk.
I’ve had good chocolate chip cookies and bad. Most chocolate chip cookies claiming to be fresh-baked from the oven,when eaten, taste like nothing more than sugar crumbling in your mouth. A good chocolate chip cookie smells of real vanilla and chocolate and tastes of butter or fresh cream.I know that seems like a tall order for a cookie as humble as a chocolate chip, but because they don’t require a lot of embellishments the ingredients need to be the best of the best.
As for the name, I call them cookie jar chocolate chip cookies because they look so pretty in neat little piles inside a glass cookie jar. Not that they make it to the jar too often,they barely stay on the cooling rack before they are snatched up. Hence,no pretty pictures of cookies in the jar. Next time my camera will have to be quicker than sneaky hands. The cookie dough does freeze beautifully so you can keep them in the freezer and have chocolate chip cookies whenever you feel like cranking up the oven.
So make these cookies, and quickly, because I’m sure it won’t be long before I find another perfect recipe.
Recipe: Semisweet chocolate chunk cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks)unsalted butter,cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
12 oz semisweet chocolate chunks
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Position oven racks to the upper third and lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl,whisk together the flour,salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater,beat the butter,and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy,about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix.
Add the vanilla,whole egg and egg yolk and beat until incorporated about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture and beat just until smooth,about 1 minute,stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.Using a rubber spatula stir in the chocolate chunks.
Shape the dough into 24 balls,each 2 tablespoons and place then inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Place 1 sheet on the top rack and one on the bottom. Bake until the cookies are golden brown 16-18 minutes,rotate the sheets about halfway through baking.
Transfer sheets to wire rack and cool 5 minutes,then remove the cookies from the sheets and put directly on racks to cool completely. Repeat to make remaining cookies.
Note: The cookie dough freezes very well. After forming dough into balls, place uncooked balls on a sheet pan and place pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Place the frozen dough balls in a freezer ziplock bag and return to freezer. Bake cookies directly from the freezer when you want them, no thawing is necessary, just allow a few extra minutes baking time.