Monday, April 4, 2011

Alton Brown's Chocolate Chip Cookies...sort of

Alton Brown's Chocolate Chip Cookies - made April 3, 11 from Kate's Kitchen Trial and Error blog

You'd think at some point I would stop trying out chocolate chip cookie recipes.  I've tried dozens, maybe hundreds, of recipes trying to find THE chocolate chip cookie so spectacular I'm willing to forsake all others and stop my love affair with the search for THE chocolate chip cookie.  Someday.  But not today.

This was linked up to Sweets for a Saturday that I participate in every week as do many others.  That's the great thing about all those links - so many other foodie blogs to discover and new recipes to keep trying.  Since I have made so many different chocolate chip recipes, I look for something a little extra or different to induce me to try out yet another one.  What caught my eye about this one is the use of bread flour, something I've never used in a cookie recipe before.  According to Alton Brown, that's supposed to make it chewy.  Hmm, okay, I'll give it a shot, although none of my cookies last for a couple of days long enough to test it out but only because I keep cookie dough in the freezer and only bake off exactly what I need with no leftovers.  Kate also mentioned how her other go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies from Cook's Illustrated calls for browned butter.  That's intriguing to me too so I decided to try this recipe with browned butter and see how it would turn out.

Browned butter is what it sounds like: instead of merely melting the butter to liquid, you keep heating it until the milk solids in the butter turn brown and take on an aromatic nutty flavor.  Be careful when you brown the butter and don't use too small of a saucepan as it does bubble up and you don't want it to spillover.  Keep stirring it as you want it to brown, not burn and the bubbling of the butter may keep you from seeing how brown the liquid underneath is getting.  You'll know when it's done by the fragrance - nothing smells as good as browned butter.  It will also be, appropriately enough, brown.  Once you've browned the butter, let it cool until it's lukewarm.  You don't want to make the dough while the butter is still too hot.  It might cook the eggs before you completely incorporate them or melt your chocolate chips.

I needed the cookies to serve at my afternoon dessert party for my cousins and their families but one of my 6-year-old guests doesn't like chocolate.  But he will eat white chocolate (I call it "vanilla chips" when I talk to him but they're really white chocolate, shhh) so I split the cookie dough in half before I added white chocolate chunks to one half of the dough and milk chocolate chips to the other half.  I've included the modifications I've made to the recipe below.  If you want the original one, please click back on the title of this post to take you to the recipe on Kate's blog.  I will say that the cookie dough smelled really good so if you're the type to snitch cookie dough, this might tempt you and not leave enough dough to be baked.  Fortunately I don't believe in eating raw cookie dough so all I did was sniff and inhale.

The cookies turned out pretty well.  They stayed thick and baked up nicely chewy in the middle and a little crisp at the edges.  The browned butter taste didn't quite come through like I had hoped but it was still pretty good.  I don't think I'd give up my quest for THE chocolate chip cookie just yet but this is a nice addition to my repertoire of "how many different chocolate chip cookies can I make?".

On a completely separate note, one of my online fitness friends said she met Alton Brown in person and that he was really a nice guy.  Love hearing that.  Thanks for the cookie recipe, Alton.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet, milk or white chocolate chips or any combination (your choice)
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and keep stirring/cooking until butter has turned brown and has a nutty fragrance.  Pour in a large mixing bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer) and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside.
  3. Add the sugar and brown sugar to the melted butter and cream on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, milk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Portion into cookie dough balls using an ice cream scoop and chill the dough balls at least two hours or overnight.
  6. When your dough is chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Place dough balls on the cookie sheet, leaving ample room between them, as they spread while baking.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.


  1. Those cookies look good. Alton Brown definitely knows his stuff. Thanks for linking this up. I know what you mean about the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie recipe. For me, I already have my go-to recipe but I guess trying a few others couldn't hurt.

  2. This really looks delicious. I'm definitely craving for a plate of that right now. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. This is definitely a must do recipe this weekend since I got my Alcohol Training.