Off-the-Chart Ridiculously Great Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Aug

I’m having a great food week.  I just finished an elaborate crêpe breakfast with my sister, I’m looking at a rack of chocolate cookies I made yesterday, and I’ve got homemade yoghurt congealing on the buffet.

Yesterday I made some amazing kimchi stir fry noodles and my mom made shrimp and papaya for dinner.

The day before that?  Eating out around the Lower East Side and the brilliant Italian place in my town.

And so in the spirit of good eating, I offer this chocolate chip cookie recipe to end all chocolate chip cookie recipes.  Seriously.  I’ve compiled a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes, so I like to think I’m speaking with some authority here.

Naturally, we all have Top With Cinnamon to thank.  She created these ridiculous cookies using basil + verbena infused brown butter.  I can only imagine.  How fucking epic that must taste.

I had neither basil nor verbena, but I did have chili pepper.  I am firm believer that everything in the world can be improved with the addition of some kind of chili.

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(Side note: I have Mexican Chili Chocolate ice cream, which is AMAZING, further supporting this theory of the power of the chili.)

If you don’t like spicy food you will definitely still like this cookie.  Trust me.  It doesn’t taste like chili.  It just has this subtle heat, a hint of spice, that make the dough that much better than your average, blasé, sugary cookie dough.  It’s divine.  Just have faith.

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And so, with minor adaptation from the lovely TWC, I give you chili-pepper-infused brown butter chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 10 tbsp butter, cubed
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • chocolate chips; I don’t like to include measurements because I think it’s largely a matter of taste and also I have a tendency to use entire bags oops

Recipe:

In a small saucepan, brown the butter with the chili pepper.  You’ll know it’s browned when it starts to foam and smell nutty and delicious, which should happen fairly soon after the butter completely melts.  BE CAREFUL because it goes from brown to burnt very quickly.  As soon as it’s browned, pour into a small bowl and set aside.

While the butter is browning, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, both sugars, and the salt in a large bowl.  When the butter has cooled, pour into the flour mixture and mix until well-combined.  Mix in the egg and then the chocolate chips.

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TWC warns not to stir for too long.

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With a 1/4 cup measuring spoon, scoop the cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets.  Interestingly TWC is adamant about using a spoon with a 1/4 cup measure.

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Apparently she has experimented with size and found a noticeable advantage to the 1/4 cup.  Trust.

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Space the cookies 3 inches apart and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

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I now have whole slew of books to recommend in the coming weeks (I have a lot of recipes to share, so get doubly excited), but I’ll start with a really excellent I read while in Rhode Island.

Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper is Fuchsia Dunlop’s memoirs of eating around China, beginning with her introduction to China and Chinese cooking in Chengdu, Sichuan and following her food-writing career to Hunan, Hong Kong, Fujian, Beijing, and other provinces and places.  She’s had a really remarkable career, exposing the world to so many previously unknown parts of various Chinese cuisines.  She’s fearless and bold, eating literally anything that can be eaten and forging a path through as many Chinese kitchens as she can.  Her memoirs are really lovely and funny and bizarre and completely absorbing.

My favorite thing about this book is that, while it’s about Chinese cooking and Dunlop’s life, it doesn’t ignore politics and social issues, it addresses environmental concerns that come hand-in-hand with Chinese haute cuisine, and it shows (I think) the ever-present danger to foreigners of forgetting that they are not, in fact, actually Chinese.  If you have any interest in China, culinary anthropology, or seriously crazy but endearing stories, you should read this.

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4 Responses to “Off-the-Chart Ridiculously Great Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Ada ~ More Food, Please 02/08/2013 at 8:28 pm #

    These cookies look scrumptious! I like the addition of chili powder :)

    • thedancingtoast 08/08/2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Thank you! It’s amazing how much a dash of pepper can really shake things up.

  2. ecm5420 03/08/2013 at 8:37 am #

    Your dad needs these cookies!

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