One of my very first posts included a recipe for what I believe to be the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Now, I realize that there are a zillion chocolate chip cookie recipes out there. I also realize that everyone has their own particular style of cookie that they like.
But it doesn't matter. The Cooks Illustrated recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies is sheer perfection. They're a little crunchy around the edges and gooey and chewy as you work your way towards the center. A little something for every chocolate chip cookie lover out there.
So, imagine my surprise when I came across a slightly tweaked version of the best cookie ever on one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen. The slight alteration to the original recipe came in the form of an increase in the amount of vanilla. More vanilla? Funny, I never thought of that even though I have fancy homemade vanilla sitting right in my pantry. Pretty snazzy and very appealing.
So, despite my misgiving because I really didn't see any reason to play around with the original recipe, I gave the Smitten Kitchen version a whirl. I was a little bit curious. What can I say?
Well, I've got to tell you. The extra vanilla gave the cookies a punch of flavor that made them even better. Is it possible? Even better than perfect?
Yup. They are. These cookies are even better. Who knew that a tablespoon of vanilla (use the good stuff) could make all the difference in the world.
Recipe: Crispy, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes, Smitten Kitchen, and Cooks Illustrated)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time (for giant cookies) or a tablespoon at a time (for smaller cookies) onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
5. Bake larger cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or 10 to 12 minutes for smaller ones (check your cookies before they’re done; depending on your scoop size, your baking time will vary) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.