I don't think you'd be surprised to find out that we spend a lot of time eating and talking about it at Serious Eats world headquarters. Baked goods, chocolate, and ice cream are consumed in copious quantities in the course of many days. Of course I try to convince myself that, if I just eat a little bit at a time, I can still eat what I love and still control my weight. I was doing pretty well lately until Robyn brought in these chocolate chip cookies. As she walked into the office yesterday morning she had a big smile on her face. "I brought baked goods this morning, chocolate chip cookies to be exact," she chirped.
She then went around to our desks and handed each of us one big, fat chocolate chip cookie that had been ever so carefully placed in a small plastic bag. It was 10 a.m., I had already had a bialy for breakfast, but there was no way I wasn't taking a small bite of that cookie. It turned out to be an amazing big fat chocolate chip cookie, a-chocolate-chip -cookie-hall-of-fame-level cookiesoftish, chewy, with just a hint of crunch, not too sweet, and the perfect chocolate-tocookie dough ratio. That is, you got at least the merest hint of chocolate in every bite, and about every third bite, you got a concentrated hit of bittersweet chocolate deliciousness. I thought to myself, OK, I'm just going to nibble on this cookie for the rest of the day. That wouldn't kill my diet.
I'm afraid my strategy failed. By 11 a.m. that sucker was gone.
I asked her for the recipe, which she adapted from one she found on Allrecipes. Then I remembered that our friend Meg Hourihan had embarked on a search for the perfect chocolate cookie recipe on her blog, Megnut. How did Robyn's recipe compare with Meg's ultimate "mean chocolate chip cookie" winner? (You must click through. This is one of my favorite food blog posts of all time.) See below. Make them both and decide for yourself. Or throw your own recipe into the ring. Of course I should make both and see which one I prefer. But maybe I can see if Meg and Robyn would participate in a bake-off for charity. I would insist on being the only judge.
- Robyn Lee's Killer Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies:
- 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
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks chopped from a Green & Black's organic bittersweet chocolate bar (any high-quality bar like Vahlrona or Sharffenberger's would do)
- Meg Hourihan's Extremely Precise Mean Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- 2.04 cups all-purpose flour
- 0.79 teaspoon salt
- 0.79 teaspoon baking soda
- 0.805 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 0.2737 stick unsalted butter, cold
- 0.5313 stick unsalted butter, melted (1 US stick = 8 tablespoons = 1/4 lb.)
- 0.84 cups light brown sugar
- 0.10 cups dark brown sugar
- 0.54 cups white sugar
- 1.33 eggs
- 0.33 egg yolk
- 1.46 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 0.17 tablespoon water
- 0.25 tablepoon milk
- 1.53 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Robyn's cookies: Preheat the oven to 335 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
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. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 23 minutes 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.
Meg's cookies: Preheat oven to 354.17°F, or as close as you can get.
Sift flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl. Set aside.
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla, water, milk and eggs. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and blend until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
Cover and chill dough in the refrigerator for 25 minutes.
Place parchment paper on one-third of cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto sheet. Some cookies will be on parchment, others off.
Bake for 13.04 minutes.