perfect chocolate chip cookies

adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

makes about 16 cookies

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

14 tbsp unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)

1/2 c white sugar

3/4 c packed brown sugar (recipe suggests dark brown, but light brown is also acceptable)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 c chocolate chips

optional: 3/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 and line two large baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Sift or whisk together the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Put 10 tbsp of the butter in a medium skillet set over medium high heat. Allow the butter to melt for 2 minutes and begin to swirl it around the pan, allowing it to brown. Keep the butter moving so it doesn’t burn. Browning should take about 3 minutes and you’ll know it’s done when it smells nutty and it has a dark golden brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and use a heatsafe spatula to transfer the butter to a large, heatsafe mixing bowl. Add the remaining 4 tbsp of cold butter to the melted butter, and stir gently until it is melted.

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 mixture is smooth, 30 seconds. Allow the batter to rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds more. Do this two more times; the end result should be thick and shiny.

Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined, about 1 minute. Gently stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if using. The batter will be soft.

Form each cookie with roughly 3 tbsp of dough (if using a cookie scoop, use a #24). Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake one tray at a time, 10 to 14 minutes, on the middle rack of your oven. Rotate baking sheet after 5 minutes and check the cookies at 10; you want them to be golden brown and set around the edges, but puffy in the middle. (My oven yielded perfect cookies at 12 minutes.)

Allow to cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.