Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ray-Ray's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

What can I say about my chocolate chip cookies? For the longest time I never wanted to share this recipe because I wanted to be the girl who made the best chocolate chip cookies. But then I started to fear that that was all that I was known for, heck all that I was liked for, and realized that I was being silly hording the recipe. Besides, half the magic of baking is in the baker him/herself.

Many people claim to have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I find that hard to believe. Part of the problem is that there seem to be three camps of chocolate chip cookie lovers (kind of like different camps of brownie lovers, which I'll have to cover later): crunchy/crispy, cakey, and chewy. I'm very much a chewy girl. I've never been into much of anything crunchy, and if I want cakey I''l have cake. Chewy, however, can only be found in the perfect cookie. It is the perfect combination of salty, buttery smoothness and sweet chocolate.

I have made this recipe for at least 7 years now (wow, I've known these cookies for 7 years?!), and have shared them with friends and family. Everyone who has tasted one of these cookies has raved about how awesome they are. I've even made them for friends' birthdays, because what better gift than a home-baked batch of goodness?

I must say that this recipe requires a keen attention to detail. The slightest change to the recipe will make an entirely different cookie. Even the temperature in the kitchen has an effect on the outcome. If you want to make the cookies just as I make them, you will have to follow this recipe to a T. Trust me, it's worth it.

The Chewy
from Alton Brown

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp whole milk (must be whole- the fat is needed)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Ice cream scooper (#20 disher- mine is an Oxo)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets
Stand Mixer with paddle attachment

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat. On a piece of parchment paper, sift together flour, slat, and baking soda and set aside (the piece of parchment can be used for one of the baking pans and will save you from having to clean another bowl).

Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tbsp milk, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes (at least- maybe longer if your kitchen is warm).

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using the medium (size 20) ice cream scoop, scoop the dough onto the parchment lined baking pan (I recommend baking one sheet at the time and putting the dough back in the fridge while one batch is baking), 6 cookies per sheet. The cookies will be big, so give them room to spread. Bake until golden brown along the edges, but still a little raw in the center (my oven takes 7 or 8 minutes, depending on the humidity in the kitchen). The key is to not overcook them. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Special note: There is one ingredient, a special ingredient, that is not listed but should always be included when baking: love. That's what my friends tell me makes these cookies so good.

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