You know what’s a good time? Cookies.
Is there anything more delightful, more soul-satisfying than a freshly baked cookie? IS THERE? Because if there is, I want to hear about it. My cookie habit is getting out of control.
I spent a very enjoyable afternoon the other day researching cookie science. And since then I have baked no less than three test batches of cookies. If you’re as fascinated by this stuff as I am, may I recommend this article by Serious Eats, this one by Baker Bettie, this one from NPR for the gifs alone, and of course this one from the NY Times.
Cookie research is my idea of academic bliss. I dream of one day starting a Cookie University. In fact, I think I already made Cindy the Dean – she has the cookie skillz to pay the billz.
After my long, delicious research session was over, this was the recipe that I landed on as my ultimate. It’s The One. Is it the world’s greatest cookie? Well, I haven’t met every cookie in the world. But is it my dream cookie? Yes, friends. Yes it is.
It’s crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. It’s got crunch from hazelnuts, and rich, bitter notes from two kinds of chocolate. The brown butter lends everything a toasty note, and brings out a butterscotch baseline in the dough. Top it all off with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, and I’m in love. This is my cookie boyfriend.
What’s your perfect cookie like? Same as this guy? Or TOTALLY different? I know a lot of people like a crispy cookie, but I have to have the chew. A warm, chewy cookie is my nirvana.
I would go out on a limb and say that a freshly baked, still warm cookie is possibly my favourite baked good of all time. Imagine if someone served that up for dessert after dinner! Marriage proposals for sure.
- 8 oz (225g) salted butter
- 5 oz (140g) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 5 oz (140g) brown sugar
- 10 oz (285g) plain flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 4 oz (110g) milk chocolate
- 4 oz (110g) dark chocolate
- 4 oz (110g) skinned hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- First, brown the butter. Place the butter into a wide and deep pan and place over a medium heat, swirling the pan regularly. Once the butter begins to smell nutty and turns a golden brown colour (about 5 minutes) remove it from the heat and immediately pour into a small bowl. Place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes
- Place the caster sugar, eggs and vanilla paste into a freestanding mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip for about 4 minutes, or until pale and forming thick ribbons.
- Switch to the paddle attachment and add the now cooled butter (it should be cold to the touch, but still liquid) and the brown sugar and mix until just combined.
- Add a big pinch of salt, and then sift the flour and baking powder. Mix for a short burst, until almost combined, but with some flour still visible.
- Add the chocolates and nuts, and mix for another short burst or until everything is just combined.
- Refrigerate the dough at least overnight, and up to 72 hours.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F/170C, and line a pan with baking paper.
- Scoop out 3tbsp sized balls of dough onto the pan, with plenty of space in between and sprinkle them generously with sea salt.
- Bake for 13 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
- Leave them to cool on the tray for about 3 minutes, and then transfer them to a cooling rack, or just eat them all warm, standing up in the kitchen. Your call!
Adapted, very lightly, from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s AMAZING recipe.