Monday, August 6, 2012

The Preeminent Chocolate Chip Cookie


For years, I've been looking for and testing out different chocolate chip cookie recipes and have never found one that I liked. Despite my occasionally snooty preferences for all things homemade, chocolate chip cookies were one of the few things I preferred from bakeries. Like most everyone else, I like my chocolate chip cookies to be crispy on the outside and slightly chewy in the center. While every recipe I've tried has claimed that this is what I can expect, I am inevitably disappointed time and time again. Eventually, I decided to give up making chocolate chip cookies altogether and to just stick with chocolate chip oatmeal cookies or other variations. However, after this recipe, I think I may have to reevaluate my ranking of cookies and move these chocolate chip cookies to the top.

I don't think I have ever been as pleased with a batch of homemade cookies as I was with these, although it is very important that you do not overcook them or else you will not be left with the best chocolate chip cookies ever. I originally saw these cookies on Emily's blog and these cookies have been all over the internet, but the original recipe is a New York Times adaptation of Jacques Torres's famous chocolate chip cookie. Before I did my research, the similarities between Jacques Torres's chocolate chip cookies and this recipe were what drew me in as I had been wanting to try his recipe for a while now. The 36 hour refrigeration period and outstanding reviews also intrigued me as I actually like recipes that seem a bit more complicated, but still doable. I like to challenge, but not torture myself.

Despite the slightly longer list of ingredients, this recipe is actually very easy. I made smaller cookies as opposed to the larger cookies suggested in the recipe and I used chocolate chips *gasp* as opposed to chocolate disks because I didn't have......okay I did have chocolate disks, but just wasn't sure if this cookie would live up to the hype to warrant using my good quality chocolate in it. My younger sister had also requested chocolate chips instead. Regardless, these cookies still turned out amazing and my worries were unfounded. The combination of bread and cake flour really does result in a fantastic crispy/chewy texture.

I highly recommend that you make these cookies very soon, if not immediately following the conclusion of this post if you have not made it before, even if you think you don't like chocolate chip cookies. They are just that good. I have finally found a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. The only thing I worry about now is that any other cookie recipe will be mediocre in comparison to these.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe infinitesimally adapted from The New York Times
Makes about 40 2.5 inch cookies

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8.5 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8.5 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt or 3/4 tsp fine salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
11 ounces chocolate chips or chocolate disks, semisweet or bittersweet
Sea salt, for sprinkling 

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a handheld mixer, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

On low speed, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Mix in chocolate. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Scoop mounds of dough (whatever size you like) onto the baking sheet.

Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 12-15 minutes for smaller cookies, 18 to 20 minutes for larger cookies. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking the next day.

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