My Chocolate Chip Cookies (similar to McAlister’s Deli Chocolate Chip Cookie)

Here is your classic American, buttery and irresistible chocolate chip cookie with crisp caramelized edges, a rich chewy center, lots of chocolate, and fresh, crunchy pecans.  To me, these cookies taste just like McAlister’s Deli chocolate chip cookie.  Flat, chewy, sweet, and addicting.  The only difference is size… if you’ve ever tried a McAlister’s cookie, you’ll know that they’re about 5 inches in diameter!
What makes these chocolate chip cookies so good you ask?  Melted butter, well-rested dough, the right temperature, and cookie sheets without paper liners.  My mom made two batches of these cookies a few days ago, and her two batches of cookies turned out very different.  The second batch was ten times better because the dough sat for nearly 36 hours (her first sat for only a couple of hours).  For some reason, the longer you let the dough rest, the flavors come together better, and makes for a more intense, flavorful cookie.  She also baked the second batch in a convection oven.  She dropped the temperature down about 25 degrees F and turned the baking time back to 8 minutes.  For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t either), a convection oven uses a fan in the back of the oven which cooks the food faster, and allows for more even baking.  My mom said the cookies seemed to brown up on the top faster than they would in a traditional oven.  She said it allowed for more even baking, because the oven heat came throughout the unit, rather than at the bottom, from the coils.
Experiment today with these chocolate chip cookies and tell me if they remind you of a delicious McAlister’s cookie!  This recipe came from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich.  Enjoy.

My Chocolate Chip Cookies (very similar to McAlister’s Deli Chocolate Chip Cookie)
2 1/4 cups (10.125 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) packed brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips or chunks or hand-chopped chocolate

1. Combine the flour and baking soda in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
2.  In large bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugars, vanilla, and salt.  Mix in the eggs.  Stir in the flour mixture until just all the dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  If possible, let the dough stand for 1 to 2 hours, or (better still) overnight.
3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
4.  If necessary, remove the dough from the refrigerator to soften.  Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and place them 3 inches apart on the ungreased or lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges an no longer look wet on top.  Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through baking time to ensure even baking.
5.  Remove from the oven and let the cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes.  For unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks to cool; for lined pans, set the pan or just the liners on racks.  Cool completely before storing or stacking.  May be kept in an airtight container for several days.

Yield:  about 60 cookies
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

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