A pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkling of salt amplify the butterscotch-y flavor of chocolate chip cookies, while a blend of milk and dark chocolate chunks provides alternating bites of creamy sweetness and bitter intensity. You can bake the cookies until they're golden brown and crunchy, but I prefer to pull them while they're still a wee bit pale so they stay soft and fudgy, crisp only around the very edges.
Reprinted from BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts with permission from W. W. Norton.
Why It Works
- The cocoa butter in chopped chocolate flavors and thickens this dough, which won't behave the same with mass-produced morsels.
- Nutmeg deepens the natural flavor of butter.
- A cold egg keeps the dough cool, limiting spread in the oven.
- Yield:Makes 32 (3-inch) cookies
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 14 ounces assorted dark, milk, or white chocolate (not commercial chips), roughly chopped (2 1/2 cups; 395g)
- 12 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (2 3/4 cups, spooned; 355g), such as Gold Medal
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks; 225g), soft but cool, about 65°F (18°C)
- 7 1/4 ounces white sugar (1 cup; 205g)
- 8 ounces light brown sugar (1 cup, gently packed; 225g)
- 1/2 ounce vanilla extract (1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 2 teaspoons (8g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 large egg (about 1 3/4 ounces; 50g), straight from the fridge
Make the Dough: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Set aside a handful of chopped chocolate (about 2 ounces; 55g) and place the remainder in a medium bowl. Sift flour on top and toss together. Combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low to moisten, then increase to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With mixer running, add egg and continue beating only until smooth. Reduce speed to low, add flour/chocolate all at once, and mix to form a stiff dough.
Portion the Dough: Divide in 2-tablespoon portions (about 1 1/2 ounces or 40g each) and round each one into a smooth ball. (If you like, portioned dough can be refrigerated in a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag up to 1 week, or frozen 6 months. Stand at room temperature until quite soft, about 70°F or 21°C, and proceed as directed.)
To Bake: Arrange portions on a parchment-lined half sheet pan, leaving 2 inches between cookies to account for spread. Garnish each with reserved chocolate and a pinch of kosher salt. Bake until puffed and pale gold around the edges but steamy in the middle, about 15 minutes. For crunchy cookies, continue baking until golden, 3 to 5 minutes more. Cool directly on baking sheet until crumb is set, about 5 minutes. Enjoy warm or store in an airtight container up to 2 days at room temperature.