Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 16 large cookies.
Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored.
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
Note: Don't Bake in Batches Baking two trays at a time may be convenient, but it leads to uneven cooking. The cookies on the top tray are often browner around the edges than those on the bottom, even when rotated halfway through cooking.
Creating a New Classic Here's how we improved on the Toll House classic to create an even better cookie.
TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: Equal Amounts Brown and White Sugar - A 1-1 ratio of brown to white sugar creates a cookie that's neither crisp nor chewy.
TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: Creamed Solid Butter - Creaming butter creates a cakier texture in cookies.
TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: 2 Whole Eggs - Whole eggs contribute to a drier texture.
TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: Beat and Bake - Baking the dough immediately after mixing doesn't allow the sugar to dissolve as fully as possible.
TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: Less Dough - The smaller the cookie, the more uniform its texture.
Measure It Right Even a tablespoon too much or too little flour can have an impact on cookies. Here's how to measure accurately.
PREFERRED: WEIGH FLOUR
SECOND-BEST: DIP AND SWEEP