Best cookie ever

All your bases are belong to usWhen Consumer Reports Magazine set out to rate commercial chocolate chip cookies against each other, they needed a benchmark. To that end they hired professional bakers to optimize a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Because the cookie itself was a cultural convention, it was perhaps no surprise that reverse engineering backed them into the conventional Tollhouse Cookie recipe. But with a couple twists.

First, the use of dark brown sugar as opposed to regular, second, the addition of vanilla extract, third, unsalted sweet butter, and fourth, particular care in mixing the ingredients.

It wasn’t as simple as throwing everything into the bowl. Each addition would be mixed at slow speed for a specified time with a high speed burst at the end. Texture seemed to make the critical distinction. If you’re going to start now, you’ll have to wait until the butter is room temperature.

What follows is the CONSUMER REPORTS recipe, first published in 1982.

We wanted a cookie with a chewy interior, crunchy edges, well-blended flavor, and a high overall chocolate impact . –Consumer Reports Magazine

2-1/4 Cups Flour
1 level Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 level Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup White Sugar
3/4 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
2 sticks (1/2 pound) Sweet Butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
12-ounce Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Use a stand-type electric mixer to mix the two sugars briefly at low speed.

Add the butter in small gobbets, mixing first at low speed and then at high. Beat the mixture until it’s pale, light, and very fluffy. Add the vanilla at the mixer’s lowest speed, then beat at high speed for a few seconds.

Add the eggs, again at the lowest speed, switching to high speed for the final second or so. The eggs should be well beaten in, and the mix should look creamed, not curdled.

Add the flour mixture, a half cup at a time, mixing at low speed for about one minute, then at high speed for a few seconds.

Scrape down the bowl’s sides with a spatula, add the chocolate chips, and mix at low speed for about 10 seconds. If need be, scrape the bowl’s sides again and mix for a few more seconds.

Put tablespoons of the mix on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake until the cookies are pale golden brown (nine minutes in an electric oven, 10 to 11 minutes in a gas one).

Remove and let cool on a rack.

Makes about 30 medium cookies.

3 thoughts on “Best cookie ever

  1. AvatarThe 13th

    Great recipe, Eric!

    Now is the time to get that dough out of the freezer.

    Pour it into your churn with sugar and spice and everything nice. Be sure to add the eggs, cream and the ice!

    And voila!, you’ve turned a cold winter’s bake into a cool summer chill, and desert.

    Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!

  2. Avatarjonah

    that called out the specter of Martha actually eating her heart, after recording a show in which she details the herbs and spices one would need to …

    oh never mind. I have to get some coffee in me before making smart alecky observations.

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