You are here because you, like me, are on a mission. A mission to find the best chocolate chip cookie ever created. In this month’s edition, you will learn of a truly stupendous chocolate chip cookie.
This month’s recipe comes from Serious Eats, a website that pretty much epitomizes everything good about the food writing world. These guys are definitely obsessed with chocolate chip cookies. There are tons of recipes on their website, as well as a seriously (no pun intended) comprehensive taste test of the best chocolate chip cookies in New York.
This particular recipe is in the Serious Eats book, ”A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are.”
Darn straight. All the recipes in the book were written by culinary god and chief creative officer of Serious Eats, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. Obviously with the help of the rest of the staff. The recipe employs the best elements of several “best chocolate chip cookies”, in order to create a super cookie. Their goal? Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, perfect proportion of chocolate chips to cookie, and present but not overpoweringly strong butter and salt tastes.
I think this is a good time to point out that I am not very good in the kitchen. Seldom in my life have I succeeded in creating a truly delicious baked good…But this, my friends, was truly delicious. SERIOUSLY delicious! (get it? Because it’s SERIOUS eats?)
The cookies ended up being about two and a half inches long, and an inch wide. (3 tablespoons of dough per cookie). They were big enough to fulfill 99% of your craving, yet not too large that you didn’t yearn for another one after.
The tricks that make it extra delicious?
The chocolate- Rather than chocolate chips, they suggest that you use four ounce bars of high quality bittersweet chocolate. This is good planning. I have previously explained my chunk vs. chip theory, and Serious Eats does it even better, by adding a third and even better category, “chopped”
The fridge- As I mentioned before, I don’t have a lot of skills in the kitchen. Many of the cookies I have baked have come out of a bright yellow tube, so I don’t know if this is normal; but this recipe required that the dough be refrigerated for between at least an hour or even overnight. I looked it up, and apparently, there are a few reasons why this is beneficial. First of all, if you put warm dough in the oven, the cookies will flatten too early, and often melt into each other. Secondly, refrigerating the dough gives the gluten time to relax. If gluten isn’t relaxed, it becomes tough and rubbery, but if it is relaxed, the cookies will be soft and crunchy. Lastly, refrigerating the dough gives the flour more time to absorb liquid, allowing the final product to have a better consistency. Hmm.. fascinating.
The salt- There is no doubt in my mind that salt is the best ingredient of this recipe. Everybody knows that adding a little salt to a sweet thing does wonders to the flavor. Nobody knows this better than the folks at Serious Eats. The recipe calls for one and a half teaspoons of course sea salt, plus additional salt for sprinkling lightly on the cookies. The whole thing is rounded out by the baking instructions. You put two racks on the upper middle and lower middle positions of your oven, bake your cookies there for about eight minutes (till they’re completely spread out), take them out, sprinkle salt on them, then put them back in facing the opposite directions and on the opposite racks for another 8 minutes. GENIUS!
After their three minute cooling time, these cookies were ready to eat. They were SO good. Crunchy, gooey, perfectly butter, wonderfully chocolatey, and brilliantly salty.
Also, for the record, my sister and I took some of the extra dough and made a half blondie half chocolate cake, and the recipe was equally exceptional in blondie form.
Because I REALLY want all of you to buy this book, I’m not going to post the recipe. But seriously guys, it’s worth it. This is only one of the amazing recipes inside!
These Serious Eats cookies set the bar dangerously high, but stay tuned for next month when the cookie hunter strikes again. This time with Erin Kelly’s “best chocolate chip cookies”
Let the journey continue!