Monday, August 14, 2006

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some home bakers will tell you that the secret to a good cookie is using brown sugar instead of white. I don't think that this is actually any kind of secret at all, but I will agree that brown sugar can add a unique flavor to a cookie.
Brown sugar is basically white sugar that has had some molasses added back to it. This gives it a deeper flavor, and consequently produces more flavorful cookies. Molasses also helps to keep the cookies moist, so a cookie made with brown sugar will be slightly chewier than one made with white sugar.
I would not say that these cookies are particularly chewy, though they do remaining soft in the center even after a couple of days in the (airtight) cookie jar. I would describe them as being an excellent example of what homemade cookies should taste like. They are simple, flavorful, slightly crisp on the edges and soft in the center. They are about 1 1/2 - 2 inches across and packed with chocolate chips.
I initially thought that I would put milk chocolate chips in these cookies, but while the cookies are not overly sweet at all, even the batter tasted too sweet with milk chocolate. Try using semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips in them for a good contrast.
These won't spread out as much as you might expect, so you can fit quite a few on a sheet if you leave about an inch between each cookie.

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and egg until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in all the flour mixture, stopping when the dough has just come together and no streaks of flour remain.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Place slightly rounded tablespoons of dough on baking sheet.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until just golden around the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 dozen.