Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello! It's been a while since I've served up a recipe, hasn't it? Summer has come on in full strength and with it brought a number of life changes. I'm excited about all of them, and eager to begin to share them with you. It's funny - the older I get, the less likely I am to share things immediately. There are some things in life that are just nice to keep to yourself for a while, then decide to share when the time is right. One of the pieces of news I can spill is that I'm no longer working at Four Eleven York, which probably will come as a surprise to many of you.

"Wait - I thought you loved it?!?"
I did! My year working as a pastry chef in the upscale restaurant world was an incredible incredible experience. I am positive it'll take me years to realize just how much it changed me. I'm immensely grateful for a year in culinary "boot-camp," learning so many things and rapidly expanding from a fairly good home cook to an able, professional pastry person. As much as I love the restaurant and the adrenaline rush of tackling an impossible prep-list or private party or busy dinner service, I know that working in a restaurant is not where I belong long-term. In the food world? 100% yes. In the restaurant world? It's not my end-game. 
New ideas and goals I had put into sleeper-mode for a year or more began to percolate, inspired and upheld by the things I was learning. So as I reached the full year mark at the end of June, I turned in my bittersweet notice. It's one of the hardest decisions to make, to leave one certainly good thing for another, less certain (but also good) thing. But the time was right. I knew it was. Time to pull back, reset, launch into the next step toward my long-term dreams. I'm so excited. God's been really good to guide me in these last few weeks and reveal a portion of those upcoming things and I am full of joyful anticipation for things ahead.

July has been about simplifying and cherishing. I've been able to enjoy a slower pace, restore some life-rhythms, re-calibrate to adjust back to the schedule of the rest of the world which is so different from that of a restaurant. Weekends? I have the same weekend as other people again? What is this sorcery? All joking aside, it's been a gentle descent out of the somewhat isolated and intense world of a professional kitchen back into the rest of the world. Of course normal life comes with its own brand of intensity, but July has been a sweet lull. Not mad about it.

Today's recipe has almost reached the blog a number of times: as a classic, simple chocolate chip cookie it could've fit in many, many times before. Yet somehow I always shelved it at the back of the recipe closet and never brought it out. Till now. I feel like it's the best, most obvious recipe to represent what's going on in my life these days! Not to mention this recipe has been my go-to for the last four years and has never once failed me. Gone are the days of cookies that spread so thin you can see through them, or are so cake-y they're more like eating a muffin. Bon Appetit recently spent an entire podcast arguing about the best possible chocolate chip cookie: are they crispy? chewy? Should you use a.p. flour or bread flour? Overnight rest or bake immediately? And by the end of the episode, even if the B.A. team thinks they've come to a consensus the reality is this: "the best" in chocolate chip cookies is really entirely subjective, much like falling in love. In the end it comes down to your preferences and predilections, and then choosing that person above all other people. I choose this cookie and its straight-forward, classic ingredients combined together with no fuss in one bowl. Heck, you don't even need a stand mixer because you don't have to cream together the butter and sugar. Simplicity. It's the theme of July. I choose you, little cookie boy. And because I choose you, you are now my idea of "the best."

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes app. 18 large cookies

120 g. granulated sugar
240 g. brown sugar
170 g. butter, melted

2 eggs (1 egg, 1 egg yolk)
10 g. vanilla extract
312 g. all purpose flour
5 g. salt
5 g. baking soda
300 g. chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer or mixing by hand, beat the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended, 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix to thoroughly combine. Add chocolate chips last. 
  4. Roll a scant ¼ cup of the dough into a ball. Break the dough ball in half, rotate the pieces and smash them back together to make "craggy tops" to the cookies. Space them 6 to a tray - don't overcrowd or they might mesh together!
  5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown yet the centers are still soft, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the trays, them move to a platter or rack. Store in an airtight container for up to one week, or freeze!

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