When my mom retired about 5 years ago, I bought her the "Barefoot Contessa: Parties" cook book, because she was excited to finally have some free time to start doing more of the things she loves. She likes to host dinner parties for their friends, and often times, she'll call me to ask me for suggestions about what to make, or for a recipe. I thought the book would be the perfect gift for her and when I gave it to her, it truly was with the best of intentions. However, I must admit that I have borrowed the book from her on many occasions, (sometimes for weeks at a time). And truthfully, if I'm being honest, I'd have to say that I've benefited more from the book than she has. The book is 'currently' located at her house, and so when I decided I wanted to make cookies, and that the cookies I wanted to make happened to be in her cook book, I had to ask her to email me this recipe. And, true to form, my mom pulled through for me. I received her email first thing this morning and my day was set! Thank you mom!
Everyone has their own idea about what makes the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie. My prerequisites include a buttery, full-flavored batter that is not over shadowed with too much chocolate, good quality milk chocolate chunks are my preference (semi-sweet chips have their place but we're talking about perfection), a crispy edge, chewy middle, and not too thick. I HATE thick, dry, or cakey CCC. And I feel very strongly that cinnamon and nuts have no place in a perfect CCC. Sorry, but there are no exceptions.
I halved this recipe because, surprisingly, I had never tried it before. I wish I had made the full recipe because now I'm just going to have to make more. These cookies are delicious and buttery and as close to what I consider perfection as I've ever come.
Recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies:
by Ina Garten
1 c. unsalted butter at room temp.
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. white sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. kosher salt (don't substitute table salt here)
1 1/4 lb chocolate chunks (I used less)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar till fluffy.
(remember I halved the recipe so my batter doesn't look as fluffy)
Add vanilla and then the eggs one at a time. Mix well. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Add to butter mixture with the mixer on low, mixing only until combined. Fold in chocolate chunks.
I couldn't get to my favorite chocolate store (Bernard Callebaut), so I bought 3 milk chocolate bars from Purdy's. I still consider these a splurge, their milk chocolate is delicious. I think that next time, though, I will cut the chunks larger.
Drop the dough on parchment lined baking sheets using a rounded tablespoon.
For my second sheet of cookies, I added three chunks to the tops, as I didn't think one was quite enough.
FINALLY...the recipe says bake for "exactly 15 minutes" and that they may seem underdone, but that's what you want. Well...when I checked my first batch at 13 minutes, they looked very done. Not ruined...but certainly not underdone as the book says.
And then, for reasons unknown to me, my second batch needed the full 15 minutes to achieve the golden color I like.
The cookies on the left are my first batch done at 13 minutes and the on the right the second batch done at 15. I think they look better...they have more chocolate showing.
Now, I really struggled over whether I should share these next two pictures with you... I would think it's fairly obvious why. But in the end, I couldn't resist.
My husband took the kids shopping on Saturday morning for a helmet for my daughter who just got her first pair of skates. Dylan tried this shark helmet on at the store and hasn't taken it off since. (Well, except for bed, but first thing this morning, he put it back on.) Sigh.