Did You Know? In 1937, Ruth Wakefield (owner of the Toll House Inn) was making butter cookies, and thought she would make them all chocolate instead. She cut a bar of Nestle chocolate into tiny pieces and added them to the cookie dough. When the cookies came out of the oven, the chocolate hadn't melted at all! Instead, the "chocolate chips" had kept their form. Ruth decided to go to Nestle with her recipe for "Chocolate Crunch Cookies." Nestle liked the idea, and they got permission from Ruth to put her recipe on the back of their chocolate bars. In return, she got all the chocolate she wanted to keep on baking those cookies.
Two popular cookie recipes have been circulating the internet for quite some time, and ever since hearing of both of them, I've been wanting to taste what all the hype was about. Unfortunately, I had no bread flour left at my house, and no car to drive to the store to get some - which doesn't mean I didn't make cookies, but that my original taste teste would have to wait. I went with Alton Brown's recipe this time, substituting all-purpose flour for the bread flour, and throwing in some chopped pecans and walnuts.
Coincidentally, Caitlin also had cookies on the mind, and baked up her own batch of "Chewies" while my Mom and I made ours. But unlike my version, Cait had read the ingredient list beforehand, and made sure her kitchen was stocked. I was just pumped I would be able to try the real deal, bread flour and all.
The batch I made with all-purpose flour were really good, but in my opinion, no where near as tasty as Cait's. The all-purpose flour turned the supposedly "chewy" cookie into a much more cake like treat. Cait's bread flour creation was everything the name had implied: chewy, chocolately, and definitely the best cookie I have ever eaten. She even sprinkled the tops with sea salt, which always makes for the best dessert. There's nothing like sweet and salty when the craving strikes. So if you like a cakey cookie, swap out the bread flour for all-purpose. But if you're looking for a chewy one, go with Alton's word, just throw in some pecans for good measure. Thanks Cait!
Adapted from Alton Brown's "The Chewy"
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (Original recipe calls for bread flour)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Original recipe calls for 2 cups)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (I threw in some chopped walnuts, too)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Chill the dough (I did for 30 minutes, but I hear 4 hours is called for), then scoop onto baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet (I did 12). Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.