This chocolate cookie recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen. Like so many of their recipes, unfortunately, it’s been reprinted a few times. I’m finding it in the issue “Best Recipes and Reviews 2010.” Thankfully, I’ve tried it and I love it. It’s one of the best cookie recipes for several different reasons:
1. The technique of leaving the chocolate chunks large equals perfectly melted pockets of lovely chocolate throughout the cookie.
2. They cook perfectly right out of the freezer.
3. They eat perfectly right out of the freezer.
4. The texture is wonderful and flavor is hard to beat.
I love chocolate. It sounds really cliché, and I’m certainly not alone in my love but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of my favorite things to put in my mouth. There are certainly people who love chocolate better than I do (and by better I mean they know what good chocolate is supposed to taste like, but I’m learning). I’ve only recently started to understand chocolate and its idiosyncrasies, much thanks to Matt Caputo and his chocolate tasting courses. I’ve recently been given an invitation from Art Pollard of Amano chocolate to tour their facility and I’m extremely excited to take him up on the offer.
Here’s the recipe:
2 1/3 oz of granulated sugar, plus more for coating
7½ oz unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup dark corn syrup
1 large egg white
12 tablespoon (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/3 oz dark brown sugar
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopping into ½ inch pieces
Note about the ingredients: Weighing things for baking is so much more accurate and having the weights on the list of ingredients adds more credibility in my eyes. This recipe has about half and half. The recipe also called for “dutch-process cocoa powder.” I have since learned that there are greener pastures. I used a Valrhona cocoa powder that I bought at Tony Caputo’s in addition to Valrhona chocolate chunks for the bittersweet chocolate requirement. They sincerely added a whole new level of flavor to the cookie. The recipe also called for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. I omitted this simply because I didn’t want something else competing with the chocolate. I’ve come to learn that vanilla is the #1 major flavor component in most mass-produced chocolate out there. Meaning, I taste more vanilla than chocolate when I bite into a bar of Symphony “chocolate” for example.
1. Whisk together:
- cocoa powder
- baking soda
2. In another bowl whisk together:
- corn syrup
- egg white
3. In another bowl (lots of bowls) beat the following until light and fluffy, using medium speed, 3-6 minutes. I use this hand mixer.
- brown sugar
- granulated sugar
4. Beat in corn syrup egg white mixture into the butter sugar mixture until fully incorporated, 20 seconds.
5. Reduce speed to low and add:
- flour mixture
- chopped chocolate
6. Mix until JUST incorporated, about 30 seconds.
7. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula, scrape down the sides, and make sure there are no big pockets of flour, a few tiny ones are ok, but don’t over mix it.
8. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes, but no longer or you’ll have to wait while it warms again. The point of this is to get a good consistency so that you can handle it, roll it into balls, roll it around in sugar, and have it hold it’s shape.
Now comes the easy part.
9. Prepare a shallow dish (like a pie plate) with granulated sugar in it.
10. Grab a portion of the dough (about 2 tablespoons worth) and roll into a ball in your hands. After doing this, drop it into the shallow sugar dish. Grab another portion of dough of the same size and repeat. Continue until you have a few balls of dough in the sugar dish. If at any time during this process the dough becomes too sticky (warm) for you to handle, pop it back in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.
11. Roll the dough balls around and coat them in sugar.
12. Place on a baking sheet.
13. Repeat with the remaining dough until it’s all been formed into balls.
Be sure to leave a little extra for when you scrape out the bowl, that’s the best part.
14. Place baking sheet inside freezer. You may have to make room. Or figure out some other way to freeze them. Just make sure they don’t touch during the freezing process.
15. Once frozen, place dough balls into a zip-lock bag, or Tupperware, and freeze until you want to use them.
At this point, feel free to take them out of the freezer whenever you want and eat them. They are lovely. If you’re worried about salmonella, don’t eat the dough and be sure to write your congressmen who just accepted money from the food lobbyist in order to pass that new law that allows Wright County Egg to continue to be “profitable” at the expense of our health.
16. Position oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions.
17. Preheat oven to 375.
18. Place the unfrozen or frozen dough balls onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Be sure to give them space to expand. Each cookie will be about 3-4 inches in diameter.
19. Bake for about 8 minutes if they are thawed, 10 minutes if they are frozen. Check them to see if they are done to your liking. If they have cracked, they are probably done. An undercooked cookie is better than an overcooked one.
20. Remove from the oven, allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Or don’t. Warm cookies are always good.
Enjoy…with a glass of milk
Be sure to track down “Best Recipes and Reviews 2010” of The Best of America’s Test Kitchen. It has a much more detailed instruction for the cookies and a whole back story of why this recipe is so great in true America’s Test Kitchen style.
Update: I just found out that this recipe can be found in Cook’s Illustrated’s iOS app. So for those of you lucky enough to an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, the app is free. Just search for “Chocolate Cookie” once within.