My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday. He earned major points by deciding that as an anniversary gift to each other, we would refinish the trellis we were married under and would secure it on the side of the house, surrounded by climbing rose bushes. His one other request for our celebration was for a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. (I might have accidentally planted this idea by stocking up on chocolate chips I recently found on sale... he just found the stash in the pantry!) I have to admit that I am normally the one reading the Toll House recipe off of the back of the bag of chips whenever making a traditional chocolate chip cookie. Don't get me wrong-- the reason I do this is because those cookies never fail! They are always delicious! For this occasion, however, I decided to try the recipe out of Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours cookbook. She completely converted me over! Dorie calls these cookies her 'best' and it is easy to see why. These were easy to throw together, as most chocolate chip cookies are, and they baked up within 10 minutes. I was a little cautious when I saw how much they spread in the oven. Be sure to leave plenty of room between your cookies when baking! By spreading so much, they got very thin and delicate and provided the perfect combination of chewy center with a crisp, crunchy shell. Each batch makes about 45 cookies... they are disappearing so quickly that I will probably have to double it next time! :)
(Another nice element of Dorie's recipe is that she gives tips for freezing dough balls for quick use later on. Really good information!)
My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon 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 chips* (I used semi-sweet)
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (I omitted)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Working with a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about a minute (or until smooth). Add the sguars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about a minute after adding each. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three stages, mixing each stage only until incorporated. On low speed, or by hand, mix in the chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon dough by slightly rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, and rotating the sheet midway through the baking time. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center. They might be a little soft in the center, and that is okay. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for about a 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 baking sheets between batches.
*Dorie recommends buying a better quality chocolate and creating your own chips if your time permits.
Source: Baking From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan