Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Best. Cookies. Ever.

I have spent the last two years of my life deliberately researching, tweaking, and tinkering with chocolate chip cookie recipes to try to find one that sticks with me. Because it's my husband's favorite cookie, I feel that, as his domestic partner for life, I simply must possess the ability to create and wield a powerful-good batch of these cookies.

My quest had been on hiatus until last Saturday night. We were lounging on the couch watching Mallrats...

Okay, time-out. No, we do not live in fabulous New York City and spend our weekends watching obscure mid-nineties comedies on HBO. Occasionally we spend a mere fraction of our weekends doing this, but only after a fabulous evening stroll to Bar Boulud, where we had a fabulous meal with some fabulous wine, then walked our fabulous-selves across the street to the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Concert Series for some fabulous musical ambiance.

Where was I? Ah yes. Mallrats.

There is a scene in Mallrats where the two protagonist mall-goers visit the "new" cookie stand (or store, or whatever) in the mall. During that scene, my husband and I think, out loud, simultaneously, how great a warm, chewy, chocolate chip cookie sounds. The next day, in some place I don't remember, there was another reference to warm chocolate chip cookies. I don't remember where we saw it because all I remember is throwing my hands up and saying, "That's it. I'm making cookies. Now."

Prior to Sunday's batch, my cookies have always turned out too light, too dark; too fat, too thin. Too sweet, not sweet enough. Too cakey, too crispy. Etc. I finally went to the right source for guidance. Using Emily Luchetti's recipe for chocolate cookies, making very few of my own substitutions, I fell in love at last with the results.

Recipe for Best. Cookies. Ever. (Based on Emily Luchetti's recipe for chocolate chip cookies):
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 10 tbsp cold butter
  • 6 tbsp cold Crisco
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (or one bag) of chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and Crisco with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the sugars and beat again until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg. Mix in the vanilla. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and fold in the dry ingredients until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Put the dough in the fridge to chill while you heat the oven to 350 degrees. When the oven is hot, roll the dough into tbsp-sized balls and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for about 13-15 minutes (depending on size and your preference for gooeyness). Serve warm!


Anonymous said...

Hey, wait a minute. What do you mean- shortening? Butter? Lard? Crisco? Margarine? I can't wait to make these but ya gotta tell me about the shortening. Going out now for cold milk.
Love, Mom

Veronica said...

Oops, I always thought "shortening" was a universally-known cute way of saying Crisco. I guess it encompasses butter, too. I changed the recipe to "Crisco" to be more specific. Thanks for being my editor mom!

Anonymous said...

I made these cookies YUM YUM YUM. You're right, they are the best. Thanks for the update on the Crisco!
Love you...

Veronica said...

Glad you like 'em! How was the walnut addition?

Michelle said...

Angie Lanigan showed me your blog, and I am hooked! You're a great writer. I always make cookies on the first day of school and have always just used the Tollhouse Chocolate Chip recipe, but I'm going to try these this year. Thanks!


Veronica said...

Wow, thanks Michelle! :)