Thursday, January 6, 2011

The easiest chocolate chip cookies on earth.

Alright, readers, I need your recommendations! I'm headed off on a business trip (*ahem*, in academia, that means giving talks at conferences) to Pittsburgh and New York City for the next while, and there's a very important question on my mind:

Where should I eat?

Please tell me what your favorite eateries in Pittsburgh and NYC are in the comments below!


It just so happens that I'll be in Pittsburgh at the same time as one of my good friends from college, Nate, who's located there now, has his birthday.  When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said that he wanted a cookie recipe, and when I asked him what kind of cookie recipe he wanted, this is the reply I got: "I want something dead simple and quick. My usual chocolate chip cookie recipe takes more effort than I'm willing to put in."  My initial reaction to this was something along the lines of "Wait, wait, WHAAAAA?!  How can it *get* any simpler than chocolate chip cookies?!?"  But then I got to work and arrived at this recipe: the simplest chocolate chip cookie known to man and yet, so incredibly flavorful, perfectly chewy and toothy in the center, with just the slightest hint of crunch on the outer rim.  The first batch of these that I pulled out of the oven disappeared within an hour.


Here's how dead-simple these babies are.  There are only seven ingredients: butter, vanilla, salt, brown sugar, eggs, flour, and chocolate chips.  (The secret to the extra kick of flavor is letting the butter brown while melting it.)   All that's required is one pot, one half-cup measuring cup, and one half-teaspoon measuring spoon.  (Read: super simple clean-up).  There's no annoying creaming of room-temperature butter with sugar-- just melt the butter in the pot and then stir everything in.  This recipe makes six to eight large sized cookies that all fit on one baking sheet, meaning no waiting around for numerous batches, and all you have to do is plop the dough down with a spoon (no shaping of cookies required!) and they will spread themselves out to the perfect round shape.  I dare to you try to make a chocolate chip cookie recipe that tastes better and is simpler to make than this!


One final thing: every year at one of the conferences I'm attending, the American Dialect Society votes on Words of the Year.  This year, several of us foodie linguists have launched a campaign for "nom" to be voted a Word of the Year because we believe that it's finally time this word be recognized!  The nomination process just took place today, and "nom" is a candidate in the running for Word of the Year: Most Useful Word.  The vote is tomorrow (Friday), so all of you who are on twitter and believe in the power of "nom," please retweet this message:


I'm not sure if they'll count virtual votes, but it will at least send the message that "nom" is alive and thriving!  If you're interested in what other words have been nominated for 2010, the list should go up here sometime soon.

Go "nom"!  (which, incidentally, is the perfect word for describing these cookies...)



Read on for the recipe...




Nate's Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 6-8 large cookies

1 stick (4 oz./8 Tbspn) butter
1 scant cup light brown sugar
1/2 tspn salt
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup AP flour
1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
2. In a light-colored saucepan, melt the butter. Cook on medium heat until the solids drop to the bottom and just begin to brown and the butter smells nutty. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in the light brown sugar until combined, followed by the salt and vanilla extract.
4. Stir in the egg until thoroughly combined.
5. Finally stir in the flour, and once that is thoroughly combined, let cool briefly before stirring in the chocolate chips.
6. Spoon six to eight heaps of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave a good amount of space between each cookie.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges just start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack before enjoying.

Tip: All ingredients can be measured using a 1/2 cup measuring cup and a 1/2 tspn measuring spoon.  If doubling the recipe, use a 1 cup measuring cup and a 1 tspn measuring spoon instead.


Enjoy!

40 comments:

  1. Well, I can tell where to get some good cookies in NYC: (1) Jacques Torres for the chocolate chip and mudslide cookies, (2) Levain Bakery for the chocolate chip, double chocolate and oatmeal raisin cookies, and (3) Bouchon Bakery for the "nutter butter" peanut butter sandwich cookies. I'm sure there are a ton of other amazing places, but those are a good start!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those cookies are fantastic. I hope to have enough time this weekent to taste this recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't wait to try out your recipe! I recently made a batch of cookies but they turned out crispy and not chewy like how I wanted. Hopefully I will end up with chewy cookies next time :)

    I haven't been to Shake Shack in NYC, but I really want to try their burgers, they look sublime!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the way the chips look in these pictures. They look kind of like they're straight out of a cartoon - an I mean that in a good way!

    I don't know anything about Pittsburgh, but you HAVE to go to Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC. I wasn't crazy about the attached Ssam bar, but you might like it, so check out the menu if you do stop by. I liked Shake Shack, but it's a bit cold for one of their concretes and if the line is as long as it was when I was there, I don't know that waiting for a burger is worth it. They're yummy, but... I dunno. I guess I'm just more likely to wait in line for a sweet thing than a savory one ;)

    I hope you have a wonderful time, even if you are there to work. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ahh i just posted the longest food suggestion comment but it didn't work - so this one is shorter and less thought out! sorry!

    Agree with: Levain, shake shack, momofuku milk bar (for their cereal cookie)
    Suggestions: momofuku noodle bar to warm up with some ramen; lucali or motorino or lil frankies for pizza; frank or frankies sputino for pasta; prime meats for steak.

    if you have another cuisine that you want restaurant suggestions for just let me know!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nom! Cookies! Love the ease of this recipe and I'll definitely have to give it a try!

    If you are looking for some delicious mac n cheese in NYC, head to S'mac at 1st ave & 12th. So good! Or Risotteria on Bleecker!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yum! easy or not, anything with brown butter is perfect in my book! this look so cute and perfect, thanks!

    -Amalia http://buttersweetmelody.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yummy! Can't wait to bake up a batch!

    ReplyDelete
  9. http://www.primantibrothers.com/ in PIT

    Baked in Brooklyn NYC, Ferrara s Bakery , in Little Italy,
    Tasty Noodle in China town

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow....this really is a simple cookie recip.....could probably even do it with my eyes closed....teheeee! Beautiful pictures as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  11. You HAVE to go the Halal Food Cart on the corner of 53rd and 6th in NY for the best lamb/chicken and rice plate in your life. They're only open from like 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. During the day, there's an imposter food cart on the same corner so don't be fooled! Safe travels, Steph!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ditto to Primanti Bro's in Pittsburgh. You HAVE to go. It's an experience. Now that I live in AZ, I try to make my own Primanti sandwiches here at home. :) I actually can't recommend anything in NYC, but have oodles of fave spots in Pittsburgh! Lulu's Noodles in Oakland is very popular. Italian Village pizza has awesome cheese pizza ... that's in Squirrel Hill on the corner of Forbes & Shady. Pamela's is great for breakfast food & huge fish sandwiches. Wholley's Fish Market ... they serve food there, but a great place to pick up fresh seafood to make at home. If you are Pitt on the weekend, check out the Strip District near downtown.

    ReplyDelete
  13. In your recipe you have 1 stick (4 Tbl.) butter. One stick is 8 Tbl. Do you mean 1 stick OR 4 Tbl.? Enjoying hearing everyone's recommendations for restaurants. My son in college is studying this semester in NYC and is always interested in good places to eat! Well, good places that aren't too expensive. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great photos! You should post your recipe and images to dishfolio.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'll start with Lower East Side because this is one of my favorite parts of the City.
    You probably have heard of Babycakes, a really cute gluten-free bakery. I think it's worth visiting and trying something but what I like more is Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery where you'll find awesome cupcakes for 1,50$ each.
    On the same street is Economy Candy Market, a store full of candies from around the world and lots of american oldshcool ones too.
    If you feel like beginning your day with a bagel instead of a cupcake, head to Russ & Daughters. This jewish shop has been open and run by the same family since 1914! I love their bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon/ lox.
    If you have never had pastrami sandwich at Katz's, well, it's a must. The size of it is enormous but if you share one with someone you'll be fine;).
    Dessert? Across the street from Katz's is Il Laboratorio del Gelato with great ice creams and some interesting flavors.

    Other places around NYC that you could read about more:

    Eataly- italian market/ restaurants, everything in one building

    The Spotted Pig- british restaurant, burgers, good quality local ingridients

    Cafe Habana- famous for their grilled mexican corn but they have good in general

    Locanda Verde- they serve cute and delicious mini burgers

    Someone above mentioned Shake Shack. Their burgers are good, fries and desserts also but the place is always packed. Anyway, you can check it out;).

    If you're craving for Asian food, you could visit Ktown in Midtown. I like Madangsui a lot, a Korean restaurant.
    St Marks in East Village tends to be a NYC Japantown but to me that place is a little too commercial. Anyways, you can find there lots of cheap Asian food and a lot of places are definitely fine.


    Best places for breakfast/brunch:
    - Five Points
    - Clinton St. Baking Company


    Brooklyn:
    - Eat- local, organic, cheap, amazing food and one of my favorite places in NY
    - Saltie- sandwiches
    - Four & Twenty Blackbirds- pies

    Ok, that's it, i'm sure other readers will give you some more tips:).

    Enjoy your trip and I'm looking forward to read your posts after visiting NYC!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ooooerr NYC...so so jealous.

    Like Ula said, definitely check out Eataly. My other favorites are:
    Mud Cafe in East Village, awesome coffee but also has delicious real food/drinks too.
    Lombardis in Little Italy, first real pizzeria in America... totally amazing.
    B Bar, perfect for brunch with amazing mimosas and complimentary homemade banana bread and butter while you wait

    Have so much fun, can't wait to see what you pick!

    (Slash your cookies look delicious).

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh and also Doughnut Plant!!!! Fancy donuts are the best :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you all so much for your comments and suggestions so far! I can't wait to try everything and report back. :-) Nom!

    @Anonymous: thanks for catching the Tbspn typo--it's fixed now!

    @astheroshe and frolicking night owl: went to Primanti's as soon as my flight got in! It was yum, but I'll have to go again and try some of their other things, too. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. In New York: I second the laboratorio del gelato, close to that is Porchetta (try the sandwich. DO try the sandwich) and btw the Tenement Museum in the same street as the icecream is really worthwile. The Doughnut plant: I liked it for its wide choice, but in the end they were..doughnuts (sorry guys, maybe that has to do with the fact I'm not american :-) ) The China Town Ice Cream Factory is fantastic!! Shake shack a great experience, I love the Union Square Cafe to splurge for lunch after a morning at the Farmers market. There's so much, ENJOY!!! (David Lebovitz wrote a lot on NY food in aug '10 on his blog and @ Chocolate and Zucchini you'll also find lots of tips from readers when you search on new york in the blog) Have SO much fun, NY is great!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm a purist when it comes to cookies... my saliva glands started working over-time just looking at your photos. Guess that means some home-style baking tonight - thanks for the recipe !

    ReplyDelete
  21. Go have breakfast at Penelope in Murray Hill - Lexington & 30th (ish). I loved it!
    http://www.foodiefootnotes.com/archives/3309

    or on the south edge of Central Park, head to Sarabeths: http://www.foodiefootnotes.com/archives/3759

    Have fun! LOVE NYC :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Cookies makes me crazy!!!
    Mglòria de Gourmenderies

    ReplyDelete
  23. I came across your gorgeous blog today and can't stop reading! All I can say is yum, yum, yum!!!

    xx

    www.antoinettemusik.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Have a safe (and delicious) trip back East! Can't speak for Pittsburgh, but gosh, you'll be in heaven in NYC! I have too many favorites, but one of my must eats when I visit home is Joe's Shanghai for their soup filled crab meat dumplings.

    BTW, made some chocolate chip cookies this past weekend too. I just love your recipe - simplicity at its best - I'm definitely going to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Have fun in NYC! I just returned from a visit over the holidays. I have a few places listed on my blog post about the experience: http://localsavory.com/2011/01/03/nyc/

    For sure Levain for a cookie or two (or three). I didn't get to Momofuku, but will next trip. I hope you post about the good eats!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I like easy and I like cookies! Can't wait to make these!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow! They're so easy to make! But I'm still confused about the browning of the butter. Anyway, This is the easiest cookie recipe I've ever seen.Nice! I'll give them a try!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love your blog! And your blog made me finally create my own one, so thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for the chocolate chip cookie recipe. It never hurts to have another recipe for these guys!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Definitely have been craving some chocolate chip cookies! Was in need of a good recipe! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. i LOVE ippudo in NYC for gourmet ramen!! have fun!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am craving for this one. My kids saw your cookies and they really want to bake some of those for their snacks everyday. I guess I should print your recipe. Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is so simple but it really makes my mouth watering. I should better make some of this later on.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you all so much for your comments and suggestions so far! I can't wait to try everything and report back. :-) Nom!

    @Anonymous: thanks for catching the Tbspn typo--it's fixed now!

    @astheroshe and frolicking night owl: went to Primanti's as soon as my flight got in! It was yum, but I'll have to go again and try some of their other things, too. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ooooerr NYC...so so jealous.

    Like Ula said, definitely check out Eataly. My other favorites are:
    Mud Cafe in East Village, awesome coffee but also has delicious real food/drinks too.
    Lombardis in Little Italy, first real pizzeria in America... totally amazing.
    B Bar, perfect for brunch with amazing mimosas and complimentary homemade banana bread and butter while you wait

    Have so much fun, can't wait to see what you pick!

    (Slash your cookies look delicious).

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'll start with Lower East Side because this is one of my favorite parts of the City.
    You probably have heard of Babycakes, a really cute gluten-free bakery. I think it's worth visiting and trying something but what I like more is Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery where you'll find awesome cupcakes for 1,50$ each.
    On the same street is Economy Candy Market, a store full of candies from around the world and lots of american oldshcool ones too.
    If you feel like beginning your day with a bagel instead of a cupcake, head to Russ & Daughters. This jewish shop has been open and run by the same family since 1914! I love their bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon/ lox.
    If you have never had pastrami sandwich at Katz's, well, it's a must. The size of it is enormous but if you share one with someone you'll be fine;).
    Dessert? Across the street from Katz's is Il Laboratorio del Gelato with great ice creams and some interesting flavors.

    Other places around NYC that you could read about more:

    Eataly- italian market/ restaurants, everything in one building

    The Spotted Pig- british restaurant, burgers, good quality local ingridients

    Cafe Habana- famous for their grilled mexican corn but they have good in general

    Locanda Verde- they serve cute and delicious mini burgers

    Someone above mentioned Shake Shack. Their burgers are good, fries and desserts also but the place is always packed. Anyway, you can check it out;).

    If you're craving for Asian food, you could visit Ktown in Midtown. I like Madangsui a lot, a Korean restaurant.
    St Marks in East Village tends to be a NYC Japantown but to me that place is a little too commercial. Anyways, you can find there lots of cheap Asian food and a lot of places are definitely fine.


    Best places for breakfast/brunch:
    - Five Points
    - Clinton St. Baking Company


    Brooklyn:
    - Eat- local, organic, cheap, amazing food and one of my favorite places in NY
    - Saltie- sandwiches
    - Four & Twenty Blackbirds- pies

    Ok, that's it, i'm sure other readers will give you some more tips:).

    Enjoy your trip and I'm looking forward to read your posts after visiting NYC!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Ditto to Primanti Bro's in Pittsburgh. You HAVE to go. It's an experience. Now that I live in AZ, I try to make my own Primanti sandwiches here at home. :) I actually can't recommend anything in NYC, but have oodles of fave spots in Pittsburgh! Lulu's Noodles in Oakland is very popular. Italian Village pizza has awesome cheese pizza ... that's in Squirrel Hill on the corner of Forbes & Shady. Pamela's is great for breakfast food & huge fish sandwiches. Wholley's Fish Market ... they serve food there, but a great place to pick up fresh seafood to make at home. If you are Pitt on the weekend, check out the Strip District near downtown.

    ReplyDelete
  38. You HAVE to go the Halal Food Cart on the corner of 53rd and 6th in NY for the best lamb/chicken and rice plate in your life. They're only open from like 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. During the day, there's an imposter food cart on the same corner so don't be fooled! Safe travels, Steph!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Nom! Cookies! Love the ease of this recipe and I'll definitely have to give it a try!

    If you are looking for some delicious mac n cheese in NYC, head to S'mac at 1st ave & 12th. So good! Or Risotteria on Bleecker!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Those cookies are fantastic. I hope to have enough time this weekent to taste this recipe!

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!

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