Make-ahead Chocolate Chip Cookies

Given that I’ve just whipped up the fourth batch of these in practically as many days, I figure it’s high time I shared the joy of these cookies with anyone reading.

These simple, delicious, and really easy chocolate chip cookies come out of the Milk Bar Life cookbook by Christina Tosi. My brother gave me the book for Christmas, and while I’ve already tried some other, more peculiar, recipes that I’ll share with you later (Molasses Rye Cookies and Banana Cookies), these suckers are outstanding. You can also make the dough in about 10 minutes in 1 bowl, so they get the award for easy-as-all-get-out (pie is hard, people).

The key to the ease of these cookies is that the butter is melted. So you can mix everything by hand and then pop the dough in the fridge for a bit before baking.

That being said, Tosi explains in the book that pretty much any cookie dough can be frozen and then baked whenever you’re in need of a fresh cookie. Due to various holiday-related circumstances, I actually tried baking these both ways: slightly chilled in the fridge, and straight out of the freezer. In either case, they spread out a fair bit, but more so with “fresh”/close to room temperature dough.

15-12-24 Chocolate Chip 2

Though either way is delicious, I preferred the result when they came out of the freezer. Probably because of science, the frozen dough yielded a crispy outside with soft center. i.e. my fantasy of the perfect cookie. So, basically, I plan to always have some of these suckers in my freezer to whip out for… any occasion ever.

A couple of key things I also learned from her/this recipe: greasing the pan with leftover butter wrappers, and letting the cookies cool completely on the pan.

15-12-24 Chocolate Chip 3

Chocolate Chip Cookies from Milk Bar Life (by Christina Tosi)

Grade: A++ (as in, these are going in my arsenal of amazing cookies)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted but not hot
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 Tbs nonfat milk powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 (12 oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips (though I actually only use about 4/5 of the bag ’cause the chip to dough ratio seems unwieldy with the whole bag)

I recommend making the dough (as follows), shaping it into balls, freezing the dough balls (and storing in an airtight container), then pulling out a pan’s worth whenever you’re in the mood for cookies.

When you’re ready to bake them, load up a greased cookie sheet with frozen cookie balls, leaving room for spreading, then turn the oven on to 375°F.

To make the dough:

With a wooden spoon or spatula, mix together the butter and sugars in a large bowl until homogenous (about 1 minute). Add the egg and vanilla and stir until combined (another minute).

Mix in the flour, milk powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until just combined (30 seconds or so). Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed (another 30 seconds or so).

If the dough is super-wet & gooey, it’s probably because the butter was too hot. Either way, throw it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up, then pull it back out, and scoop the dough into heaping spoonfuls and roll them into balls. Place the pre-formed dough onto a cookie sheet and stick it in the freezer for at least an hour.

When ready to bake load up a cookie sheet with frozen dough balls, then turn on the oven. You want to give the dough about 10 minutes or so to partially thaw.

Once in the oven, bake for 9-12 minutes (depending on the size of your balls – ha!). Look for golden brown edges but a center that doesn’t look quite done. Pull them out and allow to cool completely on the pan.

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