Where Chicago has the backyard, Brooklyn has the roof. So for Memorial Day this year, instead of a barbecue, we had a rooftop picnic.
The best part though (at least, according to me, who made them) was these:
Chocolate chip pretzel cookie ice cream sandwiches, yallz.
This recipe for these cookies has occupied a greasy, well-worn page in my little recipe book for some time. The original recipe was given to me by a pastry chef I used to work for, who would make it for family meal all the time. I’ve modified it since, but it remains the simplest and the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever tried.
There are so many great things about these cookies that I can’t even compose a coherent paragraph, I have to put them into a bulleted list:
BULLET NUMBER ONE: They are easy to make and they don’t require any stupid special-trip ingredients.
BULLET NUMBER TWO: There is a ton of butter and brown sugar in them (flavor!), yet they don’t spread out too much (crispy flat cookies are the worst).
BULLET NUMBER THREE: They once won me $50 of free booze in a cookie contest at the bar. This doesn’t benefit you, but I wanted to brag.
BULLET NUMBER FOUR: They freeze well, both in the sense that you can make up the dough and bake them straight from frozen (there is nothing better than suddenly remembering you have cookie dough ready to bake off), and in the sense that when the finished cookies are frozen, you can still bite into them (no broken teefs from your ice cream sandwiches).
BULLET NUMBER FIVE: They are good on their own, but this is also the perfect place to get rid of things like peanut butter chips or extra chocolate-covered pretzels (haha, “extra” chocolate-covered pretzels).
Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Some standard tips: Your butter should be room-temp and soft, but not melty (i.e. you should be able to squeeze it easily like clay but it shouldn’t be melting all over your hands). Your eggs should be room temperature, too (this goes for most baked goods—it just helps everything play nice together). If they’re still cold from the fridge, have them take a little bath in a bowl of warm water for a while. You will need a small scale to measure the ingredients.
MAKES ABOUT 4 DOZEN COOKIES
8 oz. butter
364g brown sugar
1 T vanilla
½–¾ tsp. salt, according to taste (and how many pretzels you’re adding)
1 tsp. baking soda
450g chocolate chips (ish, feel free to add more or less depending on your preferences)
Several handfuls of pretzels (same deal)
- Combine all your dry ingredients and give them a good whisk.
- Mix the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on low with the paddle attachment until it’s toothpaste-textured. (Very light and fluffy is great for cakes; for cookies don’t go quite as long in the mixer).
- Scrape the bowl well to make sure it’s all mixed, then add the eggs and vanilla slowly as you continue to mix. Add a little at a time, let it get incorporated, then add some more. If the batter starts to curdle, add a little bit of the flour.
- Scrape again and add in the crunchy bits.
- Add in the flour in halves. No need to mix the crap out of it, just until it’s incorporated.
- Drop tablespoon-sized blobs of dough onto a cookie sheet (covered in parchment or sprayed with nonstick spray).
Now, you can
- Bake them right away at 350°F for 8–12 minutes.
- Cover them with a sheet of wax paper and freeze the dough balls to bake later. Bake them straight from frozen at 350° for 10–14 minutes. (I can’t recommend that you eat the dough frozen, because technically, you know, it’s raw…but it’s delicious).
Whichever way you go, take them out when they don’t seem quiiiiite done yet. They will continue baking a bit even out of the oven.
Enjoy with some melty ice cream on a rooftop.