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Thursday, April 22, 2010

"The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie" says The Dessert Bible

While browsing through the newest addition to my cookbook library, The Amish Cook's Baking Book ($17.50 w/ free shipping... gotta love Amazon.com), I received a random text from my mom asking for chocolate chip cookies. I'll accept any excuse to bake, but when someone makes a specific request, it really gets me going! To my surprise, there wasn't a CCC recipe in my new book. I turned to a book I've had for a while but never used, The Dessert Bible by Chris Kimball(which I stole for $8.32 from Amazon.com). While I do believe the folks of Cook's Illustrated are sometimes snooty about their recipes, they usually produce really good results.

This recipe is a bit iffy for me. When I baked the cookies exactly as the recipe states, I got mound-shaped cookies with light brown tops and dark bottoms. Before I put my second pan in, I reduced the oven temp to 350, I moved an oven rack to the upper-middle position (to correct the uneven browning issue), and I slightly flattened my scoops of cookie dough with the palm of my hand. This batch took about 3 minutes longer to bake, but the shape and browning both improved. The only other slight change I made was to double the salt because I'm a firm believer that a pinch of salt in a cookie recipe will never suffice!

After making the changes, I am very pleased with how these cookies turned out. I loved biting into a big hunk of chocolate here and there. They still could've used more salt, but that's my preference. They are crisp on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside, and most importantly, Mom was happy! Two thumbs up for The Dessert Bible's "Best Chocolate Chip Cookie."
*Taste best when made while listening to Delta Blues tag radio on Last.fm, guaranteed! ;D

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie (from The Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball)
Makes 20 large cookies (I got 2 dozen cookies using a #30 scoop)

1/4 cup Crisco
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (Anyone else surprised by the measurement being given in cups instead of weight? So unlike Mr. Kimball!)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 oz. chocolate chunks (I used three different kinds of semi-sweet/dark chocolate. Next time I'll use a mix of milk and semi-sweet chocolate.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees*. In a medium bowl beat the Crisco and butter until fairly smooth. It’s okay if there are some bigger chunks. Add the sugars and stir until well blended. Add the egg, egg white, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix together until smooth. Add the chocolate and mix until just combined.

For large cookies, place heaping tablespoons of dough on the paper with 1 1/2 inches between the outer edges of the balls of dough. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned. Rotate pan front to back halfway through baking; do not overcook. Repeat until all the dough has been baked.

*My recommendation is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position. (If you only have 3 positions in your oven, use the middle rack.) When I baked my first pan on the middle rack, the bottoms browned much faster than the tops. I also suggest slightly flattening the scoops of dough before they go into the oven. At 350 degrees, these cookies will bake in 14-15 minutes.


Larie said...

I'm not a chocolate fan, but I will occasionally eat a CCC. I recently had an ice cream sandwich on a CCC at one of my favorite local restaurants, and there were black sesame seeds incorporated into the cookie dough, which gave it that slightly salty, nutty edge (without the yucky nuts, haha)...I thought it was delicious!

slightlyawkward said...

Hmmm, I'll have to try these! I've never come across a chocolate chip cookie recipe involving Crisco, so that's pretty interesting! I love, love, LOVE how you give suggestions to improve the recipe...That is amazingly helpful. I usually end up tweaking recipes too!

hannah! said...

i'd do anything to have a CCC. b:
by the way, did you use baking chocolate or just regular chocolate? i saw you used Dove (:

Treehouse Chef said...

Those do look delicious! It is always fun searching for the perfect cookie recipes. I have not gotten around to finding the perfect or best chocolate chip cookie. I will try this recipe when I do.

Jelli Bean said...

These look good to me! Dove chocolate is my favorite North American chocolate, and oh, how I wish it was sold here. Great work with the cookies. I nearly always find myself having to adjust cookies and cakes to suit my oven. No 2 are alike, I'm convinced.

frances said...

Chocolate Chip Cookies are only as good as the chocolate that you use. I recently took an online course about chocolate and I learned some new and interesting ways to use and appreciate chocolate. This was very in depth course because I am an experienced baker so I was very impressed.

Sweet Sins said...

These look great! I love Dove chocolate! especially Dove Dark! Iti so silky... I have been on a mission for the perfect CCC for a few years now and I still haven't found it so I will have to try this out!

Jade said...

Hi:) I'm glad I've found another advocate for extra salt in recipes! Can't do without it

Uri & Tamar said...

I think someone should start a petition for CI and ATK to start incorporating weight of all dry ingredients and butter! they do that 2 cups and 2 tablespoon think a lot and it's completely silly and really annoying.

Steph said...

I made these before, but I think the NYT is still the best recipe! I loved that you used Dove chocolate.

fried blue said...

they look absolutely delicious. ccc rocks!

Natalie... said...

Ooooh wow this looks delicious, I love how the chocolate chip is melting slightly nummm!

Pen Pen said...

I want the Cake Bible!!
...and a cookie! :)

Arshia said...

i think i was satisfied with the recipe overall, but its not my 'go-to' chocolate chip cookie recipe :p i tried adding a little milk to the recipe and they still came out kinda blob like! i thought they would have spread some, but all is well. yumm.

Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy said...

Does Christopher Kimball often give measurements in weight? I've got a lot of Cook's Illustrated cookbooks and magazines and I don't recall there being a ton of weight measurements...

I know that's more of the European (aka 'right') way of measuring, but I've always felt Christopher Kimball and Co. are very accommodating to the home cook/baker.

Maria said...

I need a glass a milk and a dozen cookies please:)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I love the picture of that melted chocolate!! :) Cookies look great!

Valerie said...

It's always a treat for a baker when someone actually specifies what they want. I hate it I ask and the only response is 'Make whatever is easier." Grrrr.

These cookies look perfect. Almost like a Cooks Illustrated/Torres hybrid. :D

Pinky said...

I had the same "mounding" problem with these cookies. Dessert bible is often my starting point for recipes do to it's handy comparisons, but I agree they need more salt too. I hate when baked goods are dull from lack of salt