This chocolate chip cookie is divine. That’s because the good folks over at America’s Test Kitchen have deconstructed and reconstructed what was likely already a perfect chocolate chip cookie and made it even better. How you ask?
By browning the butter and three rounds of whisking/resting the butter and sugar to dissolve the two kinds of perfectly measured sugar. It’s worth the extra effort, plus you can tidy up the kitchen during this 10-minute process. But what transforms these cookies from the perfect chocolate chip cookie to The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in the Whole World is the addition of Steph McVox’s homemade vanilla and her homemade vanilla salt. Sublime. -bvox
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in the Whole World
Or the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie by Cook’s Illustrated
1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8¾ ounces)
½ teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (7 ounces or 1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large (18×12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.
3. Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling the pan constantly until the butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer the browned butter to a large heatproof bowl. Stir the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into the hot browned butter until completely melted. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
4. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to the bowl with the butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk until the mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the process of resting and whisking 2 more times until the mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips and give the dough a final stir to ensure there are no hidden flour pockets. Note: I used my shiny red KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment the whole time.
5. Scoop the dough into 16 even portions, each about 3 tablespoons, and arrange them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
6. Bake the cookies 1 tray at a time until the cookies are golden brown but still puffy, and the edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes (11 minutes in Vancouver), rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheet to wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely before serving. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.