Sunday, March 14, 2010

Caramel-scented Chocolate Chip Cookies

Seriously. These cookies smell like caramel, and they are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever taste. Throw out all those other recipes. Don't bother trying other news ones. This is it.

I have made this recipe twice in the span of 5 days. Clearly they are a hit. The first batch I made larger cookies, which ended up about about 3-4 inches in diameter after baking, I probably got about 20-25. These I baked for about 13 minutes. Some of them were a little too gooey in the middle for my liking, and so I baked them a little bit more, and then got really nice and chewy, not brittle/crispy, which I liked.

The second batch I made smaller cookies, using my little scooper (one that can also be used as a melon baller). These cookies baked to about 2-3 inches in diameter, and I got about 35-40 cookies. I baked these for about 10-11 minutes. Some of them turned out a little crisp for my liking, but still tasty.

Also, be forewarned that the molasses and brown sugar in the recipe CAN yield a cookie that looks very dark in color as it bakes. It is in no way burnt though. Just full of a wonderful butterscotch/caramel aroma.

Lastly, silly me!, the second time I used baking powder by accident instead of baking soda, and realized my mistake earlier enough, so I just increased the amount to 1 tsp baking powder, and the cookies turned out just fine.

Bouchon Bakery style chocolate chip cookies
adapted from a Serious Eats recipe

1 cup plus 3 tbsps all purpose flour
*½ tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
9 tbsps (1 stick plus 1 tbsps) salted butter, softened
1 tbsp molasses (I used Grandma’s Original unsulfured)
½ cup packed brown sugar (I used light, although the original recipe suggests dark)
¼ cup plus 1 tbsps granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla sugar)
1 egg
sufficient amount of bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s, and I think you can really add as many or as few chips as you want)

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil (I used the Release kind), or use those handy silica/silicon baking sheets
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and molasses until combined
  • Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy
  • Add the vanilla extract and egg and beat until combined.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. (If desired, you can sift the dry ingredients together beforehand, but I find that a waste of time, plus it adds to the things you have to wash afterwards. Measuring out the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stirring with a fork is good enough)
  • Stir in the chocolate chips (If you are a nut person, this recipe all works great with finely chopped almonds or pecans)
  • Refrigerate overnight. This allows the egg to be absorbed by the flour and for the flavors to really develop. If you plan on baking these cookies much later, you can also freeze the dough. Using the cold dough also helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much as they bake
  • Shape the dough into balls and space them about 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies on the center rack of the oven for 10-15 minutes. (See note above about size)
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then remove them and cool completely on a wire rack/in containers (if you’re lazy about washing the wire racks).