Saturday, January 15, 2011

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Please stop whatever you are doing and go make these cookies right now.  I have had a lot of chocolate chip cookies in my life, and these are pretty close to number one.  I'll have to eat a few more before I can make a final decision.  One of my classic go-to chocolate chip cookie recipes is a bar cookie recipe, and is super quick to make.  (I will share the recipe some time soon.)  But it is well worth the extra time and effort to make these ones.

This recipe is adapted from one I found over at Eat, Live, Run - a blog written by a woman named Jenna.  This is someone who I probably won't ever meet, but have learned so much about through her stories and recipes.  Check it out sometime.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

14 T. butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1/2 c. white sugar
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/4 c. mix of milk chocolate and white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  I use the silicone baking sheets and love them! They are a little pricey, but they pay for themselves pretty quick when you think about the parchment paper (or no-stick spray) you save. 
2. Put 10 T. of butter into a medium skillet set over medium heat.  Allow the butter to melt, about 3 minutes.  Continue to cook over medium heat, until the butter begins to brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  The butter will start to foam, but after about 5 minutes, you will notice the browning, and the sweet smell of caramel.
3.  Please focus at this point, and do not faint from the delicious aroma that is now filling your kitchen... it will only get better when you start to bake the cookies.
4. Once the butter is browned, remove from the heat, and transfer the butter to a large, heat-safe mixing bowl.  Add the remaining 4 T of cold butter to the melted butter and stir gently until it is melted.
5. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt to the butter and whisk the ingredients together.  Add the egg and egg yolk, and whisk again until the mixture is smooth.
6. Allow the batter to rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again for 30 seconds more.  Repeat this two more times.
7. Add the flour mixture, and stir until just combined.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips.  The batter will be soft.
8. Form the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and place them 2" apart on the baking sheet.  This comes out to 8 cookies to a sheet instead of the typical 12 - the cookies spread quite a bit and you need to give them room.  Once you have the balls on the baking sheet, flatten each one slightly with the palm of your hand.
9. Bake cookies one tray at a time on the middle rack of the oven for 10-14 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets after 5 minutes. Make sure you check the cookies at 10 minutes the first time you make them, you don't want them to overcook.  They should be golden brown and set around the edges, and still soft in the middle.
10. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.  And please make sure you treat yourself to one while they are still warm.

And it would probably be a good idea to have some milk handy when you eat them!


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