First, a little backstory:
A few months ago, I was out getting a manicure when the front door of the salon swung open and in walked the chocolate chip cookies that would change my life.
Well…the cookies themselves didn’t walk in. Cookies can’t walk. Obviously. But maybe they should walk…maybe they should run, actually. Straight away from me.
But, I digress.
Back to the salon. So this sweet teenage girl walks in and she’s selling these to-die-for crispy, yet chewy, chocolate chip cookies. It might sound weird that a girl would just walk in to a salon peddling her cookies, but it totally wasn’t. All of the stylists knew her and I guess she and her mom have been baking for years, and every week the girl takes her baked goods around to businesses and the money that she makes puts her through private school. How cool is that?
Anyway, the chocolate chip cookies she was selling that day were awesome. They were really thin and crispy at the edges, but the centers were still soft and they were really buttery and delicious. And I thought to myself, “How would I go about making these cookies?” And the only answer I could come up with is, “I haven’t got the SLIGHTEST idea.”
Fast forward a few months.
I was laying in bed a couple of Saturday mornings ago watching Pioneer Woman on Food Network…and about 4 shows later, Barefoot Contessa comes on. I really love Ina. She’s so great. I think I would like to adopt her as my aunt or something. Anyway, her episode was all about cookies. And she started off with these “crispy chocolate chunk cookies”. I saw those babies on the television screen and I sat up in bed and screeched “IT’s THE COOKIES!” Literally. It was sort of pathetic.
And later that day I went and highjacked Mom’s Kitchen Aid mixer and whipped up a batch.
Here is how I did it!
Your tools for success:
- 1/2 lb (2 sticks) of butter at room temperature
- 1 cup of brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, also room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- a bag or two of chocolate chunks
- walnuts if you so desire
First, put your two sticks of room temperature butter, the brown sugar and the regular sugar in the mixing bowl. “Cream” it together. For those of you that are, umm, not very experienced bakers (like me), “to cream” apparently just means “mix together”. Who knew?
Apparently if your butter starts out at room temperature (not softened, but really room temperature—you’ll have to plan ahead an hour or two) and you beat it long enough, little pockets of air form to make it light and fluffy. Pretty neat.
Anyway, while your butter and sugar is creaming, you can sift together your dry ingredients: The flour, baking soda and salt. Ina says that sifting your ingredients ensures that they’re well mixed.
When your butter/sugar mixture looks light and fluffy—this is probably a relative term but, you know—add 2 tsp. of vanilla extract and two eggs, also room temperature.
Ina says that the vanilla extract is important because it’s the only thing that actually flavors the batter itself. Also, the eggs have to be room temperature because if you add cold eggs, you’ve basically ruined your creamed butter/sugar.
Once the vanilla and eggs are beaten in, start adding your dry ingredients a little at a time.
Here is the finished batter! All that’s left is adding your chocolate chunks and nuts, if you want nuts.
I added a whole bag of chocolate chunks and then some. Probably about one-and-a-quarter bags.
Just go ahead and fold these in my hand.
Then use a cookie scoop to scoop out equal sized ball of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I went out and bought a cookie scoop especially for this. And parchment paper. And a couple of new cookie sheets. It was serious business, after all. (But if you don’t have a cookie scoop you could use a spoon obviously.)
Oh, and also…space the cookies out a little more than you normally would. These cookies spread out and you don’t want to end up with just one giant cookie, right?
Err, you don’t need to answer that.
Once the dough is scooped, wet your fingers and press each dough ball down a little bit.
Helps with the spreading, I think.
Then pop them in the oven for exactly 15 minutes, and VOILA! COOKIES!
The edges on these cookies look to be a tad overdone but trust me. They aren’t. They are crispy and buttery and delicious. And each chocolate chunk is like a little mountain of chocolate on a flat buttery plain that just explodes with chocolateyness in your mouth.
These are my new favorite cookies. They will be yours, too.
The next day I took a to-go container of these cookies to church and gave them to my BFF Pepper. She took them home and shared them with her boyfriend. And then I got this text message. From her boyfriend.
Apparently, when it’s time for me to seduce my own boyfriend, these cookies are the way to do it.
Good to know.