Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe rewind)

July 17, 2011

Brown butter has to be is one of the best things in the entire world. It makes me happy just thinking about it, it makes other people happy when they smell it from another room, and it's the best thing to happen to a cookie since the invention of chocolate.

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 caramel-y, nutty substance, with a fragrance that's equally bewitching. When you combine this elixir with chocolate chip cookie dough, silly things ensue; attempts at phyllo dough, believing you'll meet your celebrity crush, and holding onto the idea that three cookies will be enough.

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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  1. These cookies look perfect for my family's picnic in the park..Thank you for sharing them with me (us).

  2. What perfect cookies! They could be sold in a bakery.

    Like you, I love British TV shows (I'm half English, mind you so that's kind of understandable... ;-P)



  3. I don't watch Law and Order. But if one of its stars can be compared to brown butter, then sign me up.

  4. I agree, cookies fix everything.

  5. Oh girl, I'm a huge Jamie Bamber fan - and love him in Law and Order!! :-) Finished the first season and it was fabulous. :-)

  6. I love Law & Order and I love these cookies!

  7. I'm not surprised these cookies disappear so quickly! They look amazing.

  8. Great looking cookies and I bet they taste so good. Have a fun weekend.

  9. Realmente maravillosas esas cookies!! Yo también adoro el azúcar moreno, es delicioso!! Un besito:)

  10. Ive never had complete success with chocolate chip cookies, but have also never tried brown butter, therefore I think these might be a good starting point for renewing my quest for 'the one' :)

    ps I live in the UK and have never really watched the Office (traitorous i know!) but all my friends lovveee it, must give it a shot sometime!

  11. For a chocolate chip cookie, these have style.

  12. @ The Procrastobaker, The Office is hilarious, so hopefully you'll enjoy it too. :-)

  13. yum! I love brown (browned?) butter too! Gorgeous cookies, and I can see why they are often requested. I am away from my kitchen for 2 months, and posts like this make me miss it terribly.

  14. Those cookies looks absolutely awesome. Gorgeous pictures! I will bet they were delicious.

    I loved "Mr. Bean" too. Rowan Atkinson cracks me up! :)

  15. Oh My. I am craving chocolate chip cookies right now, and I think I found my recipe!! Found you via FoodGawker--thanks for sharing!

  16. I just made these, and while I may have got the butter just a touch too brown, they spread out very, very wide. I think refrigerating them overnight or until chilled is probably a must. Being that they spread out so much, they cooked quicker. I cooked them for 10 minutes, and they got a little too brown, but not burnt. However, they're very good! My husband hasn't met a cookie he doesn't like. =)

  17. Hi Jenn,
    You're right about the butter, I don't think that browning it too much would have much effect on the baking. I'm not sure what kind of weather you're having right now, but I've noticed during the summer, my cookie doughs are always on the soft side, which can cause them to spread too much.
    Even when it's not mentioned in a recipe, chocolate chip cookie dough should almost always be refrigerated...I hesitate to say 'must', only because I know how hard it is to resist the urge to bake them immediately, plus having a bowl of cookie dough in the fridge is just dangerous. :D

    As far as baking time, I usually take chocolate chip cookies out while their middles still look a bit under-baked. They will firm up after a while and have that nice chewy texture. But I'm glad to hear that you and your husband still enjoyed them!

    Thanks for visiting. :-)

  18. I made these tonight and they were wonderful! The first batch cooked a bit too long because I was distracted, but the second batch was absolutely amazing! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  19. Hi Desha, I'm so glad you like them! Thanks for letting me know. :)

  20. Wow! Those look out of this world delicious! I can't wait to try these babies out! Thanks!!

    New to your blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  21. These cookies are fantastic! I made a batch this morning, and while I don't think I browned the butter enough they still tasted amazing. Thanks for sharing and please keep up the good work. =)

  22. Hi Sarah,
    The first time I browned butter, I ended up burning it. It takes a bit of practice. :-)

    I'm so happy to hear that you liked the cookies!

  23. I have made numerous chocolate chip cookies, and this is by far the best of the lot..and after this i'd be doodling them on my recipe pad for future CC cookie cravings, requests, etc..(these were a hit with my family). thanks to food gawker i found your blog, and will definitely try your other recipes..thanks for sharing

  24. Hi Christine,
    This recipe does make all other c.c.cookies literally pale in comparison! :D
    Thanks for visiting!

  25. These are baking away as i type... hopig they are as awesome as they smell! I also wanted to let you know I shared your NKOTB obsession. First real band crush I ever had. Good times :)

  26. @Anon, Good times indeed. :D Hope you enjoy the cookies!

  27. Best cookies I have ever made. So awesome and glad I found this.

  28. I've been reading about this newer version of the CI recipe that calls for slightly less sugar & flour than their former recipe, the brown sugar is dark not light, and the butter is browned and of everyone Ive seen make them, yours are just...stunning! I want to inhale them! I love the classic CI recipe but need to try this one. Also want to try the NYT recipe but your pics are selling me on these, first!

  29. @Averie, It's so hard to pick a favorite c.c. cookie recipe! But I always come back to CI's. :)

  30. This is THE sexiest looking cookie that I've ever seen.
    I'm going to double this recipe and take it to a music festival this weekend. This is how we make friends.

  31. @Libby Marie, Cookies are excellent ice breakers, especially when they're sexy. :D


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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