Friday, February 26, 2010

alton brown's "the chewy" - my cockiness was no match to these cookies

alton brown's "the chewy" chocolate chip cookie - 19So, believe it or not, but I know my boyfriend better than he knows himself. For years he has been stuck in his stubborn routine ways, believing that he likes/dislikes certain things, when in fact it is the total opposite. Months ago we had our little chocolate chip cookie throwdown, where my boyfriend proudly asserted his favorite cookie was the cook's illustrated cookie. Ever since then, I have been slaving away over the oven every week baking him these now boring cookies. So after all this, I thought it would be time for a little change, wouldn't you think so? (insert evil laugh here).

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The results from the cookie throwdown placed Alton Brown's "The Chewy" in the middle at #3. I could not cope with the fact that my man AB did not produce an overly-awesome cookie. So, to quell my distress, I decided to do a little swap out on my cookie dough and see what my unknowing boyfriend would think.

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Half semi-sweet chocolate chips and half white chocolate chips, per usual, so my picky-eater wouldn't notice any discrepancies.

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Since the last time I baked these cookies, many things have changed- For starters, I now like to consider myself an "unofficial cookie professional & specialist" (yes I just made that up right now), concentrating on the production and assemblage of chocolate chip cookies. I followed all cookie dough rules and regulations (example: correct butter temperature, correct mixing equipment), and most importantly- I left the dough to blossom in the refrigerator for no less than 48 hours.

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Also, I followed Mr. Brown's instructions precisely, and even googled how big a #20 ice cream scooper would be, so that I could accurately form the correct size dough balls. The size of the cookie dough balls were much larger than I typically make, creating these unfamiliar and ginormous chocolate chip cookies.

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My boyfriend, who is ever so keen, noticed the difference (size being the obvious dead giveaway) and so I divulged my intended plan to him.

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Before he took his first bite into this mysterious cookie, I gave him the usual rules- Describe everything, tell me what is especially good about these cookies, tell me what I should have done differently, and most importantly- if this was a better tasting cookie than his Cook's Illustrated.

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Hmm... I can't say I'm surprised at all. He chose these over his old favorite. All those times I wanted to try new chocolate chip cookie recipes and he wouldn't dare let me now seem ironic.

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See, the thing was that I knew there would be better cookie recipes out there that he'd like even more... I just knew it. Only after proving it to him could I rub all that crap into his face about me knowing more than him. Unfortunately, he really didn't give a shit that I was right (and thinking about it now, I'm sure he knew it himself from the beginning); quite honestly, all he cared about was that he had freshly baked deliciously gooey semi-sweet and white chocolate chip cookies in front of him.

Taken from Alton Brown.

2 sticks unsalted butter
2+1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1+1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1+1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat (or microwave it like I did). Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
3. Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Chill the dough (I would recommend at least 24 hours), then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

About 2+1/2 dozen cookies.

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