I accept your challenge...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"You did it! Congratulations! World's best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody! It's great to be here." - Buddy the Elf

Ahhh...one of my favorite movies! If you've seen it, surely you remember this hysterical scene that emphasizes just how naive Buddy is. I mean, just because the sign says it, he really believes that they have the world's best cup of coffee! We, of course, know better. But I do have to admit that depending on the marketing of a particular item, I can be just as gullible, and the results are not always good.

For example, Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen recipes. They test everything to come up with the best way to do things, right? So their recipes must be perfect! And of course, I'll be able to duplicate them with ease. Well, I've realized that sometimes that's true, and other times, not so much... My faves are their Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese, Skillet Pastitsio, and Classic Apple Pie. They're all hands-down the best ever. But their Giant Cinnamon Rolls that I was supposed to bring to Easter brunch this past year? Noooo. To be fair, it was most likely inexperience with things like getting the dough to rise that screwed me more than the recipe being bad, but nonetheless, despite my best efforts {2 attempts, my husband's input and my entire Saturday}, we ended up eating the ready-to-bake cinnamon buns from Whole Foods...which turned out to be delicious actually!

Blah blah blah...point being, when I received my weekly email from ATK stating that they had achieved the "Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies" {CCC's}, my first thought was, "yeah right, Jackie..." {inside joke for any Wake Up with Taylor on Cosmo Radio listeners...sorry!}. But seriously, doesn't everybody think they have the best CCC's? And typically, I bite into it and think..."hmm, not awful but really not worth the calories"...as I look for a trash can to discreetly slip it into. Hubs loves CCC's and wishes I would make them more than the oatmeal version I love so much from Big Girls, Small Kitchen:
But most recipes don't provide the texture and flavor that we want.

So on Sunday night {despite my pregnancy exhaustion & backaches}, I decided I'd test their theory. I mean, they laid out an excellent case on how to perfect the standard Tollhouse recipe that I grew up on. Their main goals were to attain a toffee flavor in the dough as well as a crispy edge and chewy center. Toffee, crispy & chewy were, frankly, all I needed to hear. And I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures along the way! What was I thinking? Here's the finished product:
Not the greatest pic, but trust me. The claims are true. These are absolutely the best CCC's that I can remember. It smells like when you walk by a Mrs Fields at the mall, but the cookie tastes so much better!

How did they do it? Well, they melted the butter, reduced the flour, and removed an egg white to enhance the chewy factor. Also, the key to getting a delicious toffee flavor is browning the butter rather than creaming it, which made sense to me because that's how I get my Kraft Mac 'n Cheese to taste so much better than other people's {seriously - ask anyone who knows me - it really does taste better}, and decreasing the white sugar while increasing the brown sugar {dark & fresh recommended}. They also recommended whisking the sugar into the butter and allowing it to sit and dissolve for 10 minutes. Finally, each ball of dough is 3 TBSP rather than 1 TBSP, and they must be cooked 8 at a time turning halfway through. The size was perfect to allow for the chewy center and crispy edge. The only bummer is that it only makes 16 cookies. Not nearly enough for either of us to bring into work! Not a problem... Now that I know they're worth it, I'll just double or triple the recipe.

Recipe here courtesy of Cook's Illustrated.

{All pics are my own with the exception of the cinnamon rolls, which was obtained from the link above.}


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