There are a lot of types of baking and desserts that, while technically more difficult, always seem easier to me than cookies. I think that it's largely due to the fact that cookies are so common, so prevalent, so ensconced in our childhoods - and we all have that one cookie in our memory that we hold up as the perfect one. Is yours soft and chewy? Crisp? Do you like it soft on the inside? Fresh out of the oven?
This is mine. What I like out of a cookie is something crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Browning the butter is a slightly annoying extra step but hugely rewards with a complex, nutty flavor that deepens the interest in what looks like a simple chocolate chip cookie. The sprinkle of a coarse sea salt on top is all you need to take it to the next level.
225 g butter
300 g all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 g) coarse sea salt (this is my favorite brand)
198 g packed light brown sugar
99 g granulated sugar
2 large eggs, whisked
2 teaspoons (10 g) vanilla extract
350 g semisweet chocolate chips
flaked sea salt, for sprinkling
1) In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Once it begins to bowl, swirl constantly until mixture reaches a consistent nutty amber color. Remove from heat, pour into a separate container, and allow to cool to room temperature.
2) Preheat oven to 350 F/176 C and line two sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpats. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low with the paddle attachment. Slowly add flour mixture and butter in alternating pattern until fully incorporated. Add chocolate chips and beat until just mixed.
4) Drop cookie batter with a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop on the parchment-lined trays. Allow about 2 inches of space between each cookie to accommodate for baking spread. Top with additional chocolate chips and sprinkle with sea salt.
5) Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges of cookies have just browned. Remove from oven (cookies will still be soft to touch) and allow to cool.
Makes about 25-30 cookies.