|Well-loved cookie recipe|
I think that the traditional way to write recipes is silly, so I'm going to write it the way I think is best. See, usually I think: "I've had a crap day. I want to make cookies." Then I get out the recipe and begin reading and mixing from top to bottom. Recipe writers, however, think that recipe readers are smart enough to read through the entire recipe first and then assemble their ingredients in cute little pre-measured bowls that are ready to add at the appropriate moment like TV cooking show hosts have. Not true. Doesn't happen. So, I'm going to write this in the order in which you need to know the information, and highlight important instructions and necessary ingredients so you know if it's OK to substitute.
For example, the most important thing you need to know — and the thing I've forgotten all fifty dozen times I've made this recipe — is that you'll need to allow at least 2-3 hours for the dough to chill so don't think you can just throw them in the oven. It's actually best if you can wait overnight, but 2-3 hours is adequate, especially if you chill it in batches as I describe below.
P.S. This recipe is for we landed gentry who have a stand mixer. The rest of you peons can adapt to suit whatever stone tools you have.
- So, get out a medium-sized bowl (not your mixer's bowl) and a sieve to go inside of it, if you want to.
- Scoop in 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons of cake flour, 1-2/3 cups bread flour, 1-1/4 tsp baking soda, 1-1/4 tsp baking powder, 1-1/2 tsp coarse salt. Sift ingredients together or just stir them around.
- Now, get your mixer's bowl and put in 2-1/2 sticks of softened unsalted butter, 1-1/4 cups light brown sugar, 1 cup plus 2 tblsp granulated sugar. Here's a tip to softening butter sticks quickly. Put them still in their wrappers in the microwave for about 30 seconds at 30 percent power. For two sticks, I had luck with 40 seconds at 30 percent power, then flipped them over and did another 20 seconds at 30 percent. Play around with it. Cream together butter and sugars with a paddle attachment until very light, about 5 minutes.
- While mixer is still stirring, add one large egg and then another (2 total), then 1 tblsp vanilla extract.
- Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients until just mixed (5-10 seconds).
- Remove paddle attachment and lick clean.
- Stir in one package of Ghirardelli 60 % cocoa chocolate chips until just combined.
- Here's the best part: this recipe makes A BUNCH of cookies. I scoop out a thick line of dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then roll into a tube like the kind you buy at the store. I freeze three batches (that usually end up eaten as-is by my husband...) and refrigerate the fourth for cookies later that day. If you don't do this and stick the whole batch in the fridge, you may have to chill the dough longer so that the inside is chilled. If you don't chill the dough, you end up with what we call "island cookies" that are thin and wafer-like and not thick and chewy like good cookies. Patience is a virtue.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat (it really is better than greasing it, but you can do that instead, if you have to).
- If you've done tubes of cookies, cut half-inch slices and put on sheet. Otherwise, drop spoonfuls.
- This is important: Sprinkle the top of dough with sea salt (it's soooo good).
- Bake until golden brown but still soft, about 13 minutes in my oven.
- Transfer to wire rack (again, makes for surprisingly better cookie, but you can transfer somewhere else or leave on the cookie sheet to cool if you really have to).
- Eat warm with a big glass of cold milk.
There you have it! The best recipe ever!