Alton Brown’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Oh yes, the Chocolate Chip Cookie. I may have found my new Go-To recipe!!
Many bakers seem to be searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I too, have been searching for the ‘perfect chocolate chip cookie’ I do have a tried and true recipe that I fall back on that I know will not fail me but like many bakers, continue to seek out and try new versions of this classic. I have received almost a dozen emails from my blog readers requesting I try another chocolate chip cookie recipe and several have requested this recipe in particular. It comes from my beloved Alton Brown.

Several bloggers have already tried other versions of his chocolate chip cookie recipe so I decided to go with a recipe that I have had saved for over a months now. I was emailed the recipe by a friend and I do not own the book from which it originates, if my citing is wrong, please drop me a line and let me know.

I chose this recipe for a few reasons. It calls for no special ingredients,  it calls for an unusual method of mixing the ingredients and it implements the use of unconventional baking temperatures. Like my last cookie recipe, no mixer is needed to whip up this recipe, however, a little arm power is essential for adequatley mixing the chips into the dough. The dough came together in less than 15 minutes and after a short chilling in the fridge (the recipe does not require this but I feel it enhances the flavor of the baked cookie) these were ready to bake.  As stated before, unlike usual cookie recipes that call for one constant baking temperature, this one starts the cookies out at a higher temperature and then has you lower the temperature right after placing them into the oven to bake. I am asuming the higher initial temperature helps set the edges and the lowering of the temperature ensures consistent baking (no burnt bottoms and underbaked centers) producing a cookie with crisp edges and soft, chewy centers. What better combination in a cookie??

The texture of these cookies is great, everything I would look for in a cookie, phenomenal actually. They are slighlty crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the middles.  They taste great out of the oven (after cooling for 10 minutes). I can’t wait to try them after they cool completly.
The depth of the flavor is also phenomenal, the perfect combination of brown sugar and butter. I was surprised that the cookies came out as chewy as they were and that thebrown sugar flavor was as pronounced as it was, given I used equal proportions of white and brown sugar. Once again I used a combination of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips and found that proportion was just perfect in my opinion, sweet but not overly so.

I do have two complaints about this cookie. First, the finished cookies were too greasy in my opinion.  After realizing this with the first pan, I allowed the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then transferred to paper-towel lined cooling racks to cool completly. This seemed to help soak up a bit of the grease. Second, you really need to monitor the cookies closely while baking as you need to constantly increase and decrease the temperature of the oven. This was fine today as I was in the kitchen cleaning, however, these may not be ideal for those who are multi-tasking and want to bake up a batch of cookies quickly (it took my oven 5 minutes to reheat to 375 between baking the batches).

Overall I loved these cookies. So much so that I am going to make another batch tomorrow for a party. I will decrease the butter by a 1/2 stick to see if that helps with the greasiness of the baked cookies. If I can make these less greasy while maintaining the flavor these may be my new favorite cookie. If you try adapting this recipe with great results PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know!

One last thing, Alton also gives directions on how to bake the dough as one large pan cookie which would be perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and parties. I would love to try baking it this way and then decorating with a little buttercream frosting!

I rate these cookies an 8
Only because I thought they were too greasy in my opinion, these would be at least a 9 for flavor and texture alone

Chocolate Chip Cookie #10 
Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food Cookbook

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I only used 1/2 tsp and felt that was enough)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup un salted butter, melted and slightly cooled (I used salted butter, like always) **
2 cups chocolate chips (1 used 1 cup semi-sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees*.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the melted and cooled butter, sugars, egg yolks and vanilla until may-128combined. 

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the butter mixture and  fold the ingredients together just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and fold to combine. Do not overmix.
I chilled my dough for 2 hours because I always do, but Alton does not call for this step.

For individual cookies, use a spoon or a disher and dish out your cookies, 2 inches apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. *

Bake for 12-15 minutes (Mine were done in 12).
Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined counter top.

*As soon as you put the cookies or cookie cake into the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. Alton Brown swears by this initial temperature boost.

Alternate Option:
For a cookie cake, dump the dough into an ungreased pizza pan or whatever kind of pan you have and gently press down until the dough is evenly distributed around the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or light golden brown.

**UPDATE: 5/4/09:
I made these again, only this time I used only 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 TBS) and found the baked cookies to be less greasy without sacrificing the flavor. I did chill the dough overnight so that may help keep and enhance the flavor of these cookies. I highly recommend chilling the dough at least a few hours before baking.
I also allowed the cookies to cool on paper-towel lined cooling racks for about 5 minutes and then transferred them to a regular cooling rack to cool completley. I found the paper towels to help absorb any grease from the warm cookies while the regular cooling rack allowed the bottoms of the cookies to firm up alowing the edges to become crisp upon cooling achieving the texture I  desire.
All in all I would recommend this recipe and suggest you play around with butter amounts and cooking/cooling methods that suit your tastes and preferences. I can’t wait to make them again!

Toasted Pecan, White Chocolate and Toffee Chip Cookies

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Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I have tasted several cookies in my time. Let me tell ya, I have found my new favorite cookie. I have been craving my favorite blondies all week but was in the mood to make cookies. Not only because I did not want to end up eating the whole pan of blondies by myself (I have done this more times than I can count) but because I wanted needed to freeze some dough for later baking (or so the scale has told me). I decided to adapt my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe to include my all-time-hands-down- favorite blondie add-ins.

I pride myself in baking goodies that any home cook/baker/mom/dad/sister/brother can make. I am a firm believer that you don’t need super fancy or expensive ingredients to bake up mouth-watering, jaw dropping, family pleasing treats! I am proof of this. My recipes are usually straight forward, require few steps or fancy ingredients to pull off and no special equipment to make. These cookies are no exception. I took a basic recipe and kicked it up a notch by doing a few easy steps that anyone can do.

First, I toasted the pecans and allowed them to cool before adding them to my dough. Toasting the nuts creates a deeper and richer flavor which is noticable in baked goods, especially those with simple flavors. Secondly, I use dark brown sugar. There is more molasses added to dark brown sugar giving it a deeper and richer flavor and color than its lighter counterpart. Dark brown sugar will give the cookies a darker color after baking, which I also find more attractive visually. Lastly, I made my dough but chilled it overnight before baking. Allowing the dough to chill before baking further deepens the flavor profile of the dough and the finished cookie as documented in this article (though my grandma has been doing this for years!). These small, easy steps will take your cookie from good to great, by giving them a richer, deeper flavor and color.

So, back to my cookies. Let me tell you, these are phenomenal!  The white chocolate is creamy and smooth,  which compliments the flavors of the toffee pieces and toasted nuts all contained by a rich toffee flavored dough. I had a difficult time not eating all of the dough! The thing I love about this recipe is not just the fact that it taste rich and chewy just  like my blondie recipe but unlike my blondies, I was able to freeze several dough balls to bake later when my sweet tooth screams for a treat. YUM!

I rate this recipe a 9.5

Toasted Pecan, White Chocolate  and Toffee Chip Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2  cup Heath Toffee Pieces
3/4 cup Toasted Pecan Pieces
1  cup White Chocolate, chopped (I recommend using white baker’s chocolate, not white chips)

Toast the Nuts:
Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 350.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Spread nuts on a baking sheet.
Bake in oven, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Turn off oven.

Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.
With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter & sugars until thoroughly combined.
Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined.
Gently fold in toffee pieces, pecan pieces and white chocolate chunjanuary-035ks.

Cover bowl tightly and place in refrigerator until ready to bake (at least 12 hours but up to 72 hours).

When ready to bake allow dough to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a spoon or medium cookie scooper, place dough balls on prepared sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9-12 minuts until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft & puffy. Do NOT overbake!

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

*Instead of baking all of the dough at once you can drop dough balls onto a cookie sheet and chill until firm. Place in Freezer bag and freeze for later baking. Allow to come to room temp and bake as usual watching carefully not to overbake.

Coconut Cream Cheese Cookies

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I was hungry for some cookies but after paging through countless recipes I still was undecided as to which recipe to make. I wanted to bake up something simple, that tasted great and used up ingredients I already had on hand. Not having much time to bake, I did not want a recipe that was too labor intensive today, rather I needed a quick recipe that I could whip up and chill until I had to bake the cookies later.

I was so impressed by the results of my Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I decided to play around with it a bit. I really liked the chewiness and richness that the cream cheese added to my traditional cookie recipe, the changes in taste and texture were subtle yet noticable.  After diggin in my freezer, I decided that this would be the perfect time to use up my bag of coconut in some cookies.

I am very pleased with the results. These baked up rich and flavorful with a wonderful coconut flavor. They kept their shape well with a slightly crisp exterior that gives way to a soft and chewy interior. I highly recommend chilling the dough at least 30 minutes. The incorporation of cream cheese in the dough keeps it very soft unless chilled which will lead to cookies that spread while baking and thus resulting in thinner and possibly crisper cookies. If that is your thing then feel free to experiment with chilled vs. unchilled dough.

Next time I will add some toasted pecans and toffee pieces to the dough. I think that those ingredients will push these over the edge into greatness! I can’t wait to make these again.

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Coconut Cream Cheese  Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until room temp
5-6 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups coconut toasted

*I chilled the dough overnight before baking, which I recommend.

Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut evenly on baking sheet.

Once oven is preheated place coconut in oven. Bake for 10-20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes for even toasting. Remove from oven when light brown. Do NOT burn. Remove from oven. Allow to cool completely before adding to dough.

Re-line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.With electric mixer, or by hand.january-048
Mix butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until smooth. Add sugars and beat until thoroughly combined.
Beat in vanilla until combined.
Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in cooled coconut. Chill dough overnight. OR

Drop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are set and bottoms are light brown. Do NOT overbake!

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Lucky me, I have no food allergies that I know of making cooking and baking (and consuming all of that food) a breeze.
I got the idea for these cookies after a friend of mine asked me to bake some cookies for her son Jake’s  birthday party.  The only request she made was that they be egg free (I guess one of his cousin’s is allergic to them). Knowing that Jake loves my chocoalte chip cookies I really wanted to make them for his birthday. The only problem is that they contain eggs. Well, after reading some cookbooks at the library I discovered several cookie recipes that do not call for eggs but instead use cream cheese (not necassarily as a substitute).

I decided to give it a whirl and use cream cheese in place of the eggs in my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Eggs are usually used in a recipe to provide moisture (the yolk) and structure (the whites). The cream cheese adds the moisture and helps create the structure needed in the cookie without drying them out (as egg whites do).

The result? Wonderful! They came out much better than I ever could have expected. Just like the original, their texture is spot-on.  A slightly crisp outside gives way to a chewy interior that is far from cake-like.  They sport a paler color than their egg-using-counterparts making it very easy to overbake them. I removed mine from the oven when the bottoms began to tan and the edges were pale yet set. I noticed that the cookies had a somewhat shiny gloss to them after they had baked making them hard to resist! You could not taste the cream cheese at all but they did have a slightly different flavor than the original (not in a bad way).
These also stayed soft (with a slight crisp exterior) for two days in a covered container. They did not last after that but I am sure with the cream cheese in them, they would stay soft for several days.

I can’t wait to try substituting cream cheese for the eggs in a few more cookie recipes!

I rate this recipe an 8

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until room temp
5-6 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

*I chilled the dough overnight before baking, which I recommend.

Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. (Don’t do if chillindecember-0442g overnight)
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.With electric mixer, or by hand.
Mix butter and cream cheese together with a mixture until smooth. Add sugars and beat until thoroughly combined.
Beat in vanilla until combined.
Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chips. Chill dough overnight. OR

Drop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are set and bottoms are light brown. Do NOT overbake!

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

 

*Update: 12/26/08:
After a bit of searching on the internet, I found that someone else has tried this as well!