Chocolate Chunk Cookies (adapted from Fresh Food Underground‘s Levain Bakery Copycat recipe)
I have been on a search for what I deem the “perfect” chocolate chip cookie for quite sometime. Nestle Tollhouse’s recipe just hasn’t cut it for me for a long time. Nothing against them, but I just believed that there was more to making a fantastic chocolate chip cookie than the version they had to offer. So, for the past few years, I have made quite a few recipes all of which had their own merits, but none of them were “the” chocolate chip cookie to end all cookies.
I have read many reports of Levain Bakery in NYC as making the BEST cookies, hands down. Now, I have not yet had the opportunity to try any of them, but just look at the pictures on their site. Can you even imagine how amazing they must be? Thick and soft, yet crisp on the edges, they look like a cookie lover’s dream. Many copycat recipes abound on the internet and I chose the above recipe and altered it slightly for my own tastes.
I browned 1.5 sticks of the butter to add a nutty caramel flavor to the dough. I can’t tell you how incredible brown butter is in baking. Out. of. this. world. Rich, yet mellow, the dough is nothing short of tantalizing (and this is even before it bakes!). I also changed the ratio of white to brown sugars – 1 cup of brown to 1/2 cup of white. I like the flavor and chewy texture that a higher amount of brown sugar brings to the party…not to mention how wonderfully brown sugar complements brown butter. An added splash of vanilla was my finishing touch. As if these cookies weren’t already decadent enough, I used two kinds of dark chocolate chunks, courtesy of some Trader Joe’s chocolate bars I had lying around – 60% and 72%.
These cookies freeze beautifully. I’ve been baking them straight from the freezer for about 10-11 minutes and they are just under baked enough to satisfy my love of cookie dough and soft cookies, but has lightly crisp edges. I may never give up trying new chocolate chip cookie recipes, but I can say that these are definitely a permanent fixture in my arsenal and will make repeat appearances.