Cookies are supposed to be the most super basic thing to bake ever, but I’ve only actually learned how to properly make them within the last year or so. The thing with cookies is I don’t have a mixer, and I’ve had a tough time finding a recipe that’s suitable to mix by hand. Cookies also must be taken out of the oven just a minute or two before they get overdone, to achieve the perfect soft and chewiness, and I’ve had trouble with that before.
But I was looking through my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook one day, and there it was, in front of me all along: the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. These cookies haven’t failed me since, which is more than I can say about most people/things in life. I’m miserably ill and having a shitty week. I feel like a giant pile of fail. But these cookies turned out just right, and so a little tiny part of this year just got saved.
Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (12 oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in one bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, use a whisk to beat butter and sugars together until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Slowly mix in flour mixture, about a cup at a time. Once dough is nicely formed, fold in chocolate chips and/or nuts.
Use a spoon to drop about 1/4 cup of dough for each cookie, and space about 2 1/2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, rotate, and then bake another 8 minutes or so. Take cookies out when edges are browned but the top, if poked, still yields a little bit. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve with a glass of milk.