I am so addicted to the Food Network. One of my current favorite shows is The Best Thing I Ever Made. I love that after watching the show, you can turn around and make your favorite Food Network star’s best dish at home. The other day I was watching the show on Sweet Endings (perfect for me right?) and Elizabeth Falkner, of Citizen Cake Fame, chose her best to be her chocolate chip cookies. I was intrigued. Elizabeth has been on Top Chef Masters, she was runner up in the Next Iron Chef, she is a highly regarded pastry chef and the best thing she ever made was a chocolate chip cookie? Well, these must be some cookies! So, of course, I had to make them immediately. The cookies have a higher brown sugar to sugar ratio for chewiness and use dark brown sugar to amp up the butterscotch flavor. There is a pinch of baking powder to puff them up a touch and chopped chocolate instead of chips to provide maximum melted chocolate gooeyness. The taste and texture of these cookies reminds me of the brown sugar cookies I made awhile back, but even better with the addition of chocolate chunks. The taste is much more complex, gourmet if you will, than your average chocolate chip cookie. Well done, Ms. Falkner, well done.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Straight Up
Yield: 3 dozen, but I only got 2 dozen
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, softened but still cool like Play-Doh
3/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg (1 1/2 ounces by weight)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped the size of chocolate chips, or bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups) I used Callebaut Semi-Sweet.
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped walnuts, optional I omitted
In a large bowl, with a wooden spoon, cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, but not over mixed. (Or use a stand mixer with a paddle or a handheld mixer, beating on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl before continuing.) Add the egg, vanilla and salt. Stir just until combined.
Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir gently just until combined. Add the chocolate and nuts (if using). Stir just until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (On the show she says 24 to 48 hours, but I was impatient and did 12 hours.) Note: This dough is drier than most chocolate chip cookie doughs I have worked with.
Position the racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop up 1-inch balls of the dough with a spoon or mini scoop and set them 2 inches apart on the prepared pans. Bake the cookies, rotating the pans after 7 to 9 minutes, for 13 to 17 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. If you like a very soft cookie, bake them for 13 minutes. If you like a crisp cookie, bake them for 17 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool.
Storage: Best the day they are baked, but you can store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Source: Food Network- Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake