I am watching football as I write this.
That might be a bad idea.
I am reduced to multi-tasking because life has been just so hectic lately–as it is every October, really. Between various birthdays, annual autumnal celebrations, cleaning for my in-laws visiting, Halloween and, well, stuff, I seem to always be gasping for air in October. And I suppose it does not help that every Saturday everything must stop for me to watch my beloved Michigan Wolverines (honesty compels me to acknowledge that my husband would say hell no it doesn’t help. He is not a football fan.).
Right now the Michigan band is marching and I have preliminary goosebumps. When the players run out of the tunnel and jump to touch the GO BLUE banner, that is when I get really serious goosebumps. Weirdly, I was not such a huge fan when I attended Michigan. I went to the games, of course, but I was a diehard NFL fan and I lived and breathed the Cleveland Browns. But the Browns left for Baltimore, breaking my heart, and as I myself moved around (the northeastern quadrant of) the country, I discovered my alumnae loyalties traveled with me far more easily than did my loyalties to a city without a football team. By the time the Browns came back, all that remained was a loyalty to the Cleveland Indians, and I was completely and officially a big college football fan. And basketball. And (ice) hockey.
So forgive my distraction.
Some cookies are not photogenic. But some are and speak for themselves. Forgive me the lack of modesty, but I think these speak for themselves. Don’t you want to eat one? I do. Well executed– read crispy, chewy, thick and craggy– variations of chocolate chip cookies are my absolute favorite cookies ever, and much like those Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies, I have not been able to stop thinking about and craving these either. But in case the photos have not convinced you, maybe Alex can:
Alex helped me make the cookies. She cracks me up because ever since I taught her to be precise when measuring flour, she is determined to be that precise when measuring all ingredients. Including, for example, salt:
I think maybe she just likes leveling ingredients with a knife!
The browned butter is really delicious in these cookies. Somehow it grabs hold of the essence of what makes a chocolate chip cookie a chocolate chip cookie–that buttersctoch vanilla flavor–and just makes it more so. And if you let the cookie dough rest the texture is fantastic. I don’t care what the instructions say, always let a drop cookie dough rest before baking. At least an hour or so, but really preferably overnight. That’s how you get that fantastic crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, super thick cookie.
I should add here that I have several browned butter cookies coming up to share with you–this is the first–and with each cookie I have become better at browning the butter. I have decided the key is to whisk or stir constantly, which I did not do here. Don’t get me wrong, these cookies set a pretty low bar for the successful browning of the butter, i.e., they will be great even if you don’t do a perfect job. But I have learned to get the butter even more consistently reddish brown, with no dark brown spots, and the key is constant attention and whisking. Keep scraping those bits off the bottom of the pan!
As long as I am (kind of) on the topic of secrets to perfect cookies, in addition to letting the dough rest, do not overcrowd the pan. I know it is more work, as it takes more rounds in the oven, but I have decided 6 cookies per pan is (almost always) the perfect number. As is the size above, about 2-3 tablespoons worth of dough. Smaller than a giant 1/4 cup bakery style cookie, but big enough to have some heft, thickness and chew. And at 6 balls per pan, each cookie gets plenty of heat circulation above and around it.
Why do I have this niggling feeling you want me to shut up already and share this amazing recipe? I found the recipe at eat, live, run, and my only adaptations were as I described above, letting the dough rest and baking 6 cookies per sheet. And to sprinkle each cookie with coarse grey sea salt. I used Scharfen Berger’s semi sweet chocolate chunks.