Sunday, February 13, 2011
I suppose calling these the world's best cookies is a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, I have some other pretty good cookie recipes (like these, these, and these). But, for dramatic effect, I'm going to stick with my claim. I believe in the power of embellishment.
I actually made these a few weeks ago. In fact, I posted about them a long time ago, probably before any of you read this blog. But I didn't include the recipe. So I thought maybe I could squeak by with a repeat.
Plus, I haven't cooked that many new things recently to merit blog posts. We've been eating out a lot, hitting some of our favorite spots multiple times over the last few weeks (like Starbelly, Out the Door, and Nopalito). I guess right now, being out is a little more comforting than being in.
We've also been very busy, and shopping for groceries has taken a back seat. What we have we been doing? you ask. Well, planning a trip, my friends.
Toward the end of Frances's life, we were worried about taking an international trip and being far away in case something happened with her health. I'm sure any of you who are parents to either humans or animals might relate. No one can convince you that anyone could take as good care of your loved one as you. But now that things have changed, we are finally taking a long postponed trip to Europe: two weeks, split between Paris and Barcelona.
Since we're going in April, we've been scurrying to get things in order, like plane tickets and reservations and passports. It's been lots of fun. We're constantly buzzing about what we want to do, whether or not the amount we plan to walk will justify the amount we plan to eat, what to wear so that we don't stand out as tacky tourists, how quickly one of us can get a handle on some basic Catalan (this is largely in the husband's court as he knows Spanish. They're similar...right?). I can hardly wait to get there and unleash my terrible high school French on any number of horrified Parisians.
So if you have any recommendations on where to go or what to eat in either of those cities, please share them. We welcome any and all recommendations.
In the meantime, I give you (one of the) world's best cookie recipes. They really are the perfect chocolate chip cookie--sweet but not too, chewy, and packed with chocolate. And if you can bear to take a few extra minutes to follow the assembly instructions, you won't regret it. They produce the most attractive chocolate chip cookies I've ever seen.
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Baking Illustrated
Makes about 18 large cookies.
2 c. plus 2 T. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
12 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to warm
1 c. packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 t. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick spray.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined. Stir in the chips to taste.
Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into two equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough's uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.
Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from back to front and top to bottom halfway through. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a wide metal spatula.