Friday, June 13, 2008

Quite Possibly the Best Cookie Recipe on the Planet

Chris and I are HUGE fans of America's Test Kitchen on PBS. A few weeks ago I saw an episode that they did on cookies and I was totally intrigued with a recipe they had for Brown Sugar Cookies. When I say "intrigued," I mean I thought about them every day, they appeared a few evenings in my dreams, and at certain times if I was plopping an Oreo in my mouth I would stop and say, "Well, I could be eating A Brown Sugar Cookie if I would just get off my butt and make them!!"

Well, I finally did. One word to describe the finished cookie? AWESOME. No, make that SPECTACULAR. No, how about SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS!!!!

I am in LOVE with this cookie. Can you tell???

Next time (like when I make another batch tomorrow) I would take them out of the oven one or two minutes earlier than the recipe calls for. Other than that, these are the type of cookies that make you think about opening your own cookie shop, on some tree-lined little town's Main Street. Seriously folks, they are THAT STINKING GOOD.

Here's the recipe. I'm headed back to the cookie jar to get myself another one.

* * * * *

Brown Sugar Cookies
from the Episode: Cookie Jar Favorites

The most efficient way to bake these cookies is to portion and bake half of the dough. While the first batch is in the oven, the remaining dough can be prepared for baking. Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter. The dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is sufficiently browned. Use fresh brown sugar, as older (read: harder and drier) brown sugar will make the cookies too dry.

Makes 2 Dozen Cookies
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (14 ounces)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.

3. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.

4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but it will take 3 batches.)

5. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone; see photo below), 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake.

6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.


Kim said...

Those look yummy!

Jerolyn said...

C is for cookie and cookie is for ME!!!

blackbird said...

I think I just might try these!

- and I appreciate the recipe as I am tired of paying $3 to be "allowed" to see them on their site.

Redhead in Vegas said...

can you make some of these when we get the kids together????

Allison said...

Of course! I just made another batch last night . . .