There’s no question that the chocolate chip cookie is the most iconic American treat. While both crispy cookies and cakey ones have their place, we wanted a version reminiscent of the classic Toll House cookie, one with crisp edges and a chewy interior. But perhaps nostalgia has clouded our memory, because the Toll House recipe actually produces cookies that are a bit cakey and wan. We wanted a reliably moist and chewy cookie with crisp edges and deep butterscotch notes. The key ingredient was browned butter. Melting the butter made its water content readily available to interact with the flour, thus creating more gluten and a chewier texture. Continuing to cook the butter until it browned contributed deep caramel notes, as did dissolving the sugar in the melted butter. Using two egg yolks but only one white added richness without giving the cookies a cakey texture. Studded with gooey chocolate and boasting a complex toffee flavor, these are chocolate chip cookies, perfected. Light brown sugar can be used in place of the dark, but the cookies won’t be as full-flavored.
- Yield: 16 Cookies
- 1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
- 1¼ cups (7½ ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in bowl.
- Melt 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Continue to cook, swirling skillet constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer browned butter to large bowl and stir in remaining 4 tablespoons butter until melted. Whisk in brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until incorporated. Whisk in egg and yolk until smooth and no lumps remain, about 30 seconds.
- Let mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if using.
- Working with 3 tablespoons dough at a time, roll into balls and space them 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. (Dough balls can be frozen for up to 1 month; bake frozen dough balls in 300-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.)
- Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until golden brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft and puffy, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.