March 24, 2009

Cooks Illustrated

The first time I heard about Cook's Illustrated, I was in the middle of a group interview for a job I didn't get. Finding out about C.I. was probably the best thing to come of that whole experience, but at the time, I was like, "What? Cook's Illustrated? Like Sports Illustrated? For food?" I didn't really get it until months later when I saw an issue at my mom's house.

I became an immediate fan, but at $6 an issue I could rarely afford to purchase a copy. I'd flip through the whole thing at the bookstore and if the ratio of recipes I could use to ones I probably wouldn't was too low I couldn't justify the expense. I did finally resort to checking out their annual compendiums from the library and photocopying the best recipes on the sly. I even started a list of their best-rated gadgets and ingredients in the little black Moleskine I carry around with me everywhere.

For my birthday last December, though, some dear friends surprised me with a gift subscription. Definitely the best present of all. I've only received two issues so far (darn those bi-monthly magazines!), but they're chock full of useful tips and reliable recipes.

C.I's May/June issue arrived in the mail yesterday. I wasn't planning on making anything, but as I snuggled in bed with it last night, I came upon The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie article. It was late, but I was very intrigued. "Brown butter? Let the batter rest? I have to see this for myself!" And so I did.

A little more work than your average Toll House, but it will be my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, for sure. The cookies got rave reviews at work, even among my most respected tasters. (Recipe and pictures forthcoming)

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