Oh, how I love Alton Brown. What could be better than a little science mixed in with baking? (I'm a sci-fi junkie, so maybe this appeals more to me than to you. :) I watch Good Eats all the time and loved his show on chocolate chip cookies. He made three batches: The Chewy, The Thin, and The Puffy. I really only like chewy chocolate chip cookies, so I watched him, then read through his recipe, then "fixed" it to my tastes. I think the milk he adds is unnecessary if you decrease the butter and flour a bit. Plus, I always bake cookies at 325 degrees. It just works the best, I've found. So here's my recipe:
2 cups King Arthur (yes, it has to be King Arthur) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter (1.5 Smart Balance sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 T vanilla
1 egg yolk (makes a big difference, I promise)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (brand doesn't matter)
The Usual Suspects:
Cream butter and sugars until it looks like this:
About adding the egg yolk instead of the full egg...Alton Brown explained the reasons, but I just know it works. Seriously. Since we get our eggs from our sweet girls out back, I don't have the heart to throw away the extra white so I put it in a small baggie and save if for omlettes or something. (The larger egg on the left is courtesy of our Jersey Giant, Eragon.) Throw in the vanilla with the eggs and stir until fully incorporated.
Sure, you could sift your flour and baking soda into the mix. I don't sift. First, with King Arthur it is unnecessary. Second, my sifter broke...I think because I bought it at the dollar store. :) (Try King Arthur, really. It is so far superior that you will never, never go back to any old flour. You may need to add less flour if using a different brand. I've been using K.A. for a long time, but I seem to remember needing just a touch more of it when I first starting using it. It has a finer texture than most flours.) After adding the chocolate chips your end result will look like this:
Bake at 325 on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper) for 15-17 minutes. Don't wait until they are browning all over. Take them out at the first hint of slightly brown around the edges and let them set on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool. Taking them out before they look done will give you a cookie that is crisp at the edges and chewy and soft in the middle. Plus they will stay chewy the next day. BTW, uniformity means nothing to me when baking cookies. I just use a soup spoon and plop them on the cookie sheet. Homemade cookies should look homemade, I think. As far as measurements, I used slightly less than a 1/4 cup of dough per cookie. Makes about two and a half dozen. They came out like this:
After setting and cooling:
Oh, boy! The kids need to get home from school NOW.