Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies



You may wonder what on earth I've done to these cookies to enable myself to call them 'the best'. Brown butter. Yup. So I also thought that this was only what happened when you're too busy singing into your spatula, forget you're melting butter and proceeded to throw it away to replace with fresh un-browned butter, but no. The wonderful woman that is Joy the Baker has taught me some brilliant things about the caramelly, flavoursome, nutty taste that brown butter can bring to your baked goods. 

So I've taken Joy's recipe for the best cookies and have made a few changes. These were for my own preference and are superficial changes to what is fundamentally the backbone for the best cookie recipe. Ever. 




This cookie is gooey. It is also crispy. Chocolaty, nutty, rich, caramelly, salty....salt? Yes salt. Think salted caramel, milk chocolate with sea salt... the sweet and the salty coming together in perfect unison to make your taste buds cry out in ecstasy. So I may have tweaked the recipe for my personal pleasure but I would be sinning if I did not credit this recipe to the wonderful Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker. Thank you Joy.

Also in case you're wondering, cause I know you're wondering, yes. THEY STAY CHEWY.



Chocolate chip cookies with brown butter and Himalayan salt

Quantities: about 24 large ones
Timings: 1 hour 15 mins including dough chillin’ and cookie cooking (Only about 20 mins action)
Kitchen Stuff: baking parchment, baking tray, had or stand mixer helps (but strength and a wooden spoon will suffice)

Ingredients:

250g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
215g (1 cup) light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp Demerara (dark brown sugar)
100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
280g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
200g (1 large cup) chocolate chunks (I used giant chocolate buttons and green and black milk choc chunks, green and black were much superior. Use dark choc if you like)
Sprinkles of coarse Himalayan salt (it looks pretty and is more mild than sea salt but please feel free to use lovely sea salt if you wish) 



Method:

Get your ingredients ready, a few small bowls and line two baking sheets with baking paper. Or one if you only have one (I only have one).

1. BROWN BUTTER: Put half the butter (125g) in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Slowly melt the butter, swirling the pan occasionally. The butter will froth and foam with some snap, crackle and pop, but don’t worry, this is normal. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the butter and keep swirling regularly. The butter will start smelling nutty and brown sticky bits will start to form at the bottom of the pan. Once these bits are a deep amber (about 2 minutes after the crackling stops), remove the butter form the heat and immediately pour into a little bowl with all the bits to stop the cooking. Allow to cool for 20 mins or so.

2. BEAT BUTTER & SUGAR: Beat the remaining butter with the light brown sugar for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is very smooth. Add the vanilla extract and Demerara and beat until incorporated. Pour in the cooled brown butter and the granulated sugar. Beat for another 2 minutes or so until the mixture is smooth, pale and fluffy.

3. EGGS & FLOUR: Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for another minute. Add the flour, salt and baking soda to the mixture. Beat on a low speed until everything is just incorporated, you don’t want to over-beat.  Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chunks and to finish mixing in all the dry bits.

4. DOUGH CHILLIN’: Plonk the dough onto a piece of baking paper or cling film and flatten slightly into a thick disk. Wrap it and pop in your fridge for at least 30 mins. This helps all the ingredients get friendly with each other. 

15 mins before you want to bake your cookies, turn the oven on to 170° C (350°F) and put the racks in the centre of the top third of your oven.



5. COOKIE DOUGH: Try not to eat it all. Scoop the dough into roughly 2 tablespoon-sized balls and pop onto the lined baking sheet. Leave about two inches between cookies so they don’t touch when they spread out during baking. Sprinkle on a little Himalaya or sea salt.

6. BAKE: Bake in the hot oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Keep a close eye and if you have a very hot oven (like mine) 10-11 mins might even be enough. Remove them from the oven and leave to rest for at least five mins before moving them, otherwise they will fall apart in your hands (that’s from experience).

Lovely warm or totally cool. Store them in an airtight container at room temp for a few days or wrap well and freeze them. If there are any left. Gobble.