Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The fussiest cookie recipe I've ever followed: "The Thin" by AltonBrown.

Last weekend, Liam had a friend stay the night. Sometime after we sent them to bed but before they started wandering out to sneak paper and tape from the office and tell us about whatever it was they were doing (like NOT sleeping...), we decided to make cookies.

Always a good idea at 11:00 at night.

I looked up the Trader Joe's recipe online because I've used it before and the cookies turned out great. But we started improvising (like throwing in oats and coconut oil just because...) and, although the dough was fantastic, the cookies were just so-so. Actually, if I'm honest, they weren't good at all. They were sort of puffy and just tasted kind of meh. We still ate them, of course, but complained after every single bite. It was a damn shame.

(I'm so glad I had the foresight to the sneak a few spoonfuls of dough to Liam, "just in case it was the best part." Because it totally was.)

Needless to say, Bill's craving for chocolate chip cookies was not even kind of satisfied. So a few days later he announced he would be making another batch. This time, he did his research.

He decided on "The Chewy", one of three variations by The Food Network's Alton Brown. He remembered this episode from years and years ago when we had a TV in our room and would wile away the night watching sub-par cooking shows in bed. I remembered the episode too. Only I was pretty sure it was "The Thin" we were after, not The Chewy. Only one thing to do. To the Internet!

After the boys and I watched the entire episode, I was more convinced than ever that The Thin was the way to go. And since I was the one doing the baking, thin was in.
Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 ounces milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Hardware:
Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets
Mixer 
Directions
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Combine the egg, milk, and vanilla and bring to room temperature in another bowl. 
Cream the butter in the mixer's work bowl, starting on low speed to soften the butter. Add the sugars. Increase the speed, and cream the mixture until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the egg mixture slowly. Increase the speed and mix until well combined. 
Slowly add the flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for more even browning. 
Remove the cookies from the pans immediately. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.
We followed this recipe exactly (minus the parchment paper and ice cream scoop). I even mixed the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, something that usually seems like nothing more than a waste of dishes. The result? Totally worth it. I have been sick on cookies for two days and haven't complained about a single bite.

2 comments:

Caddie said...

I am impressed! I don't think I've ever mixed wet/dry ingredients in separate bowls. Maybe you could make the cookies again (for the sake of scientific research!) & do it all in one bowl - and please let us know if it makes any difference to the cookie quality....

Or I guess I could, but it'd be so much easier if you did it!!! ;-)

No Mommy Brain said...

might not be a bad idea - we polished off the last of them last night! so in that case, it might be a REALLY bad idea... how many cookies can one family eat in a week?! ; )