Alice Medrich’s “My Chocolate Chip Cookies”
Makes about 60 cookies
A true American classic, buttery and irresistible, with crisp caramelized edges and rich chewy centers, lots of chocolate and fresh, crunchy nuts. What makes these chocolate chip cookies so good? Melted butter, well-rested dough, cookie sheets without paper liners, and just the right temperature.
2 1/4 cups (10.125 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips or chunks or hand-chopped chocolate
1 cup (3.5 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
Cookie sheets, ungreased or lined with foil, dull side up
Combine the flour and baking soda in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
In a large bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugars, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the eggs. Stir in the flour mixture just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
If possible, let the dough stand for 1 or 2 hours, or (better still) overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
If necessary, remove the dough from the refrigerator to soften. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and place them 3 inches apart on the ungreased or lined cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and no longer look wet on top. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and let the cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. For unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks to cool; for lined pans, set the pans or just the liners on racks. Cool completely before storing or stacking. May be kept in an airtight container for several days.
Nibby Nut and Raisin Cookies: Substitute 2/3 cup (2.67 ounces) roasted cacao nibs and 1 cup (5 ounces) currants or raisins for the chocolate chips.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies: Whole wheat pastry flour is made with soft wheat, so it contains less protein than regular whole wheat flour. It contributes the lovely flavor of the grain without compromising the buttery tenderness that we want in a chocolate chip cookie. | Substitute an equal measure of whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose flour and increase the nuts to 1 1/2 cups (5.25 ounces).
Whole Wheat Walnut or Pecan Cookies: I especially love this version with twice the nuts and no chips at all. | Substitute an equal measure of whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose flour. Omit the chocolate chips and increase the nuts to 2 1/2 or 3 cups (8.75 or 10.5 ounces). Add a handful of healthy seeds such as sesame, hulled hemp seeds, flax meal (ground flaxseed), or any combination if you like.
Credit: Excerpted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books), Copyright 2010. Photographs by Deborah Jones