Munching on these soft and chewy cookies brings us back to a kitchen incident in which T and I still chuckle over. Clearly, two people working in the kitchen at the same time but for entirely different reasons could be quite a challenge. The chilled dough was ready to go in the oven and T was working on making dinner in front of the stove. The cookies were baked in four separate batches; after a batch was done, in goes another batch into the oven, and so on until all the cookie dough was baked. Between putting the news batches of dough into the oven and taking them out when the timer rings, I was in the room working on the computer. So focused on making dinner, I must say that T was probably quite oblivious to the fact that I was baking the cookies in several batches and that was why I was disappearing from and appearing again in the kitchen multiple times.
The timer rang for the last batch of cookies; they were ready. I opened the oven door and upon taking the baking sheet out of the oven I thought aloud, "This is very strange. Why are the cookies hardly done?" Upon hearing me, T came to a realization and exclaimed "Oh no, when I saw you taking out the previous batch from the oven I thought you were done with baking and had forgotten to turn the oven off so I turned it off! I didn't see the last batch of cookies going into the oven." Adding to the summer warmth, the heat from cooking in front of the stove as well as from the oven was getting to T so he thought he was helping out the "forgetful" me for "forgetting" to turn the oven off.
The first three batches before the oven incident were perfect; they were soft and chewy. The cookies are very sensitive to baking time in order to achieve the right level softness and chewiness. Over baking by two minutes can turn a chewy cookie into a crunchy one. As for the last batch of cookies with the oven incident, let's just say they came in pretty close. T felt terrible and said he would eat the cookies from the last batch. I made sure he ate the perfect and the less perfect ones.
Adapted from by David Lebovitz's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped into 1/4 - 1/2 inch chunks
4 oz bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped into 1/4 - 1/2 inch chunks
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped coarsely
1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars under medium speed until just smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture in three batches. Combine the chopped chocolate and nuts and stir until well combined.
3. On a slightly floured surface, divide the dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a log until about 9 inches in length. Tightly wrap the logs individually with parchment paper. Chill and let the logs sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours; they turn out best if you let them sit in the fridge for 24 hours. If during the first few hours you find the logs not holding its shape entirely, gently shape it back to a log. As the dough chills longer, the more firm it becomes and thus will hold its shape better.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position the oven racks so that they are on the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into disks about 3/4 inch thick. Place the disks 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the center is very lightly browned, for 10 minutes.
6. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle. Using a spatula, gently lift the cookies and transfer to a cooling rack.