published Sunday, January 31st, 2010

My favorite chocolate chip cookies

By Kate Shatzkin

The Baltimore Sun

Every mom has to have a great chocolate chip cookie in her repertoire. This is my all-time favorite, courtesy of the great Dorie Greenspan. I like it because it’s an exceptionally tidy, beautiful chocolate chip cookie — beloved by kids, but decidedly grown up.

First of all, it uses not chocolate chips but chocolate chunks, which allows the baker to indulge in better chocolate than you might typically find in chip form. (I made this recipe recently because I needed to use up some good-quality milk chocolate bars—not normally so great for baking—and I found they were great mixed in with bittersweet chunks.) Secondly, the well-creamed dough turns out a nice, thin cookie that’s in great control of itself, as you can see from how easily the cookies stacked up for the picture. I like to make them without nuts, to keep the lines prettier, but they’d be good with nuts as well.

Here’s the recipe:

My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 45 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt (1 1/4 teaspoons if you really like salt)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks (a mixture of bittersweet and milk chocolate works surprisingly well, I found)

1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts, if using.

Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden at the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that’s just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for one minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

From “Baking: From My Home to Yours,” by Dorie Greenspan

Per cookie: 126 calories, 8 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 1 gram protein, 16 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 77 milligrams sodium. Analysis by registered dietitian Jodie Shield.

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