There are few things I feel this way about. Pringles are one of them. Cookies usually aren't another. I love to bake, but I rarely consume more than one serving of whatever I bake. Ironic, since I normally make large quantities of baked goods (for example, tonight I doubled a recipe)... but it's almost always to share. I find that I find the most joy in the actual baking process and tasting is just to make sure I'm not giving away something that tastes gross. This is especially true when it comes to cookies. I can't resist a single hot-out-of-the-oven-gooey-goodness cookie, but I don't normally want more than just one. More than that, I normally don't eat raw cookie dough. It drives me CRAZY when others try to stick their spoons, or even worse, fingers (gross) into my cookie dough and try to eat it and I don't do it myself.
Except tonight. There was something irresistible about this cookie dough and the cookies themselves. Perhaps it was the nutty aroma (how do you even know if it's "nutty"? I think I know the smell but I'm never sure until someone states that it is) of browned butter (who knew that butter, when browned, would smell nutty). Perhaps it was the tempting pictures that Ivory Hut posted earlier today. Maybe it was simply that this recipe was so entirely different from any type of chocolate chip cookie that I've ever made that I just HAD to know what the raw cookie dough tasted like. FOR SURE it was the sweet carmely taste that resulted from cups of sugar in that hot browned butter that made me eat not one, but two and a half cookies tonight. And probably about four tomorrow. Just a guess. What is was is irrelevant. What it is is important. It is AMAZING. Hands down the best chocolate chip cookie I've ever had. Better than the regular Test Kitchen recipe (which is saying something because I usually swear by TK recipes - although it must be said that this is one too), better than a Specialty's cookie, and not even close to the Tollhouse recipe on the back of the bag.
I wish I had pictures for you, but alas my brother was the one taking pictures and so they are therefore floating around on his computer. It's okay, the amount of butter I melted this evening would probably deter you from making this recipe... and you NEED to make this recipe.
I don't see the point of typing the entire thing out when I can just link you to Ivory Hut's recipe, which is a wonderfully summarized version of what Cooks Illustrated put together.
Friends, your chocolate chip cookie cravings will never be the same after you've had these.