I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and I could mostly live without chocolate, but every now and then I get a hankering for cookies.  Nothing fits the bill like this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, May 1, 2009.  It’s their improvement on traditional Toll House cookies.  I’ve made these several times and have never been disappointed.  Highly recommended, even if you don’t have a sweet tooth.  It is to swoon.

Perfect chocolate chip cookies

1 3/4 c. AP flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

14 Tbsp. butter (1 3/4 sticks)

1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar (packed)

1 tsp. iodized salt

2 tsp. good vanilla extract

1 egg

1 yolk

1 1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips/chunks (I swear by Ghirardelli for cookies, but it’s up to you)

3/4 c. nuts, chopped and toasted (optional)

Set a rack in the middle of your oven and git ‘er up to 375ºF.  While we’re waiting for that to happen, whisk the flour and baking soda together.

Okay, now put ten tablespoons of the butter in a largish (10″ or so) pan, let it melt, and then swirl it around and let it cook for a while.  It should get light brown and smell downright nutty–two or three minutes.  Keep it swirling the whole time, lest it burn.  Pour the nutty butter into a pretty big bowl, add the rest of the butter, and stir it around until it’s all melted together.

Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla to the butter, and whisk them all around until they’re quite familiar.  Add the egg and the yolk and whisk all that until it’s nice and smooth–no lumps.  That’ll probably take thirty seconds or so.  Let it sit for half an hour, and then whisk it for another thirty seconds.  Repeat that wait/whisk thing twice more, and you should wind up with something thick, smooth, and shiny.  Use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to stir in the flour mix, just until they’re combined–about a minute.  Stir in the chips/chunks and the nuts (if you’ve opted that way) and give the dough one last really good stir to make sure that there aren’t any lingering pockets of flour.

Divide the dough up into sixteen bits, each one about three tablespoons (or you can use a #24 cookie scoop, if you’re that kind of person).  Plonk them about two inches apart onto a sprayed cookie sheet, parchment, or a Silpat™.  You can only fit eight onto a standard half sheet pan, so you might have to do it in batches.

Bake one pan at a time–don’t try to double-up in the oven.  They’ll take about twelve minutes, give or take–you want them to be golden brown and puffy, setting around the edges but still soft at the center.  Turn the pan around halfway through, so that they bake evenly.

When they’re done, put them on a wire rack and let them cool for a while.

Trust me:  They are so good when they’re fresh and still warm.

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