“What I dream of is an art of balance.” -Henri Matisse
These cookies are an art of balance.
Soft and perfectly chewy insides, golden brown crispy edges.
Thick but not cakey.
Sweet with just a hint of salt and plenty of caramel-y brown sugar/molasses flavor.
And just the right amount of chocolate.
I’ve been testing chocolate chip cookie recipes for years (it’s a rough job but somebody’s gotta do it 😉 ), trying to find the elusive perfect cookie of my dreams. Yes, I daydream about cookies. Don’t you?
I tested countless recipes titled “Perfect”, “Extraordinary”, “The Best”, etc… and while they were all good, none were truly what I would call perfection. Finally, I took elements from some of my favorite recipes plus my own knowledge and experience, and created my own unique recipe. I tried it out, and it was really good. But it wasn’t perfect. So I made some tweaks and tried again. Then I made more changes and did it again. And again.
I learned the importance of letting the dough rest in the fridge for a day or two.
I thought I’d found perfection when I tasted one of these babies fresh from the oven:
But by the next day (when this photo was taken) they were no longer soft and chewy. They were a bit too cakey and hard. So I reduced the flour by half a cup and reduced the baking time by a minute. And there they were. The cookies of my dreams.
And now I will share that dream with you.
But first, for my Harry Potter D.R.A.G.O.N.S., I have to share something I read about Harry’s dreams.
Did you know that on Harry’s first night at Hogwarts, he had a dream that, had he (or we, the readers) been able to interpret it properly, foreshadowed the whole series?!
“Perhaps Harry had eaten a bit too much, because he had a very strange dream. He was wearing Professor Quirrell’s turban, which kept talking to him, telling him he had to transfer to Slytherin at once, because it was his destiny. Harry told the turban he did not want to be in Slytherin; it got heavier and heavier; he tried to pull it off but it tightened painfully – and there was Malfoy, laughing at him as he struggled with it – then Malfoy turned into the hook-nosed teacher, Snape, whose laugh became high and cold–there was a burst of green light and Harry awoke, sweating and shaking. He rolled over and fell asleep again, and when he woke the next day, he didn’t remember the dream at all.” (1.130) It’s too bad Harry forgets the dream, because it accurately reveals his ultimate challenge in this book and throughout the series: To defeat this malevolent lineage of characters from Slytherin, one of the four houses at Hogwarts, infamous for its attraction to dark magic. Draco Malfoy, Harry’s bitter rival and classmate, is a member of Slytherin house and Professor Snape, Harry’s least favorite teacher, is Slytherin house master. Though Harry does not know it yet, the high, cold laugh and the voice talking from Professor Quirrell’s turban come from his arch-enemy, the dark wizard known as Lord Voldemort (himself a former Slytherin student). The burst of green light shows Harry what a killing curse looks like — something he has seen once before, ten years earlier, when Voldemort murdered his parents. None of this registers consciously for Harry, but it’s all laid out for readers in his first-night-at-Hogwarts dream. The talking turban directly foreshadows the climactic discovery at the end of this book that Voldemort (a tiny, shriveled being at this point) is controlling Quirrell by hiding inside the back of his turban. More broadly, the fact that Harry himself is wearing the turban anticipates a series-long struggle with his “inner Voldemort,” a struggle in which his lightning-scarred head is the primary battleground.
from http://kellybulkeley.com/dreams-nightmares-harry-potter/ (go read the rest of that article, it’s fascinating!)
I can’t guarantee that eating these cookies will give you psychic dreams like Harry’s, but perhaps it will give you some insight into your future: a beautiful future in which you bake and eat lots of delicious cookies.
If this recipe does not match your cookie preferences, I recommend taking a look at The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies by Handle the Heat, to find the ingredients for your personal dream cookie. It is really enlightening, and I only wish I’d found it before I did all of that testing!
Dreamy Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses*
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl, set aside.
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add molasses and vanilla, then eggs and egg yolk (one at a time, mixing well after each addition), and mix until smooth.
Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and distribute through batter.
Refrigerate overnight or up to three days. Form balls of dough (using a cookie scoop or heaping tablespoons of dough) and place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Now, you can either bake them immediately or freeze them in a sealed plastic freezer bag.
Bake at 350º for about 11-12 minutes (12-14 if frozen) or until cookies are golden around the edges but still look slightly undercooked in the center. Let cool on baking sheets for at least 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Once cookies have cooled completely, store in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag. They should stay soft and chewy for several days. If storing for more than 3 days (if they last that long I applaud you), placing a piece of bread in the container/bag can help keep them extra soft.
*Note: If you don’t have molasses, you can leave it out and use 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar.