I love British television, from Absolutely Fabulous, to Mr. Bean, to The Office. My latest addiction is Law and Order: UK. And even though Jamie's smile and occasional eyebrow arch may have a bit to do with my appreciation for the show, the writing and story-lines are quite riveting as well. It's inspired from the classic Law and Order series but stands tall on it's own and offers a unique twist on the original...much like this chocolate chip cookie recipe. (See, I was going somewhere with this.)
Per request(s), I've made these cookies several times, and each time they're literally inhaled in a matter of hours. What makes them so sensational is the magical substance known as brown butter (or beurre noisette, for the fancy pants).
Butter is a beautiful thing, but when it's browned, it turns into an intoxicating caramely, nutty substance, with a fragrance that's equally bewitching. When you combine this elixir with chocolate chip cookie dough, silly things such as unsuccessful attempts at phyllo dough, or knowing that you'll probably never meet your celebrity crush, are not that big a deal. Cookies fix everything. :D
Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe from Cook's Illustrated magazine)
1 3/4 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon of baking Soda
14 Tablespoons of butter ( that's 1 and 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon of table salt ( I used 1 1/2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups of semi sweet chips or chunks (I used Ghirardelli's bittersweet chips)
3/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking Soda. Set is aside.
Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
*Even though it wasn't in the recipe,I refrigerated my dough overnight. The dough is a little bit greasy, and chilling it seemed to help them bake-up into a fatter cookie*
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
Makes 16 cookies
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