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Sunday, February 10, 2013

The "Best" Chocolate Chip Cookies

Those quotation marks around the word "best" are NOT sarcastic quotation marks.  This recipe is actually called "the best chocolate chip cookie" recipe, and according to all the reviews I have read, people agree.  So what does the BEST chocolate chip cookie taste like?  Well, the desire to know the answer to this question is what has made me try this recipe and so I set out to make the "best" chocolate chip cookies.  I even spent a fortune on the chocolate disks at Whole Foods.  The price was shocking and unexpected, and I hesitated and thought about just going with the good old Ghirardelli chips that I use for all my baking.  So then I compromised and went halvsies.  Well, the result is an amazing chocolate chip cookie.  I myself am not an expert, but my husband's first words after he took a bite were "these are the best chocolate chip cookies."  I can't make that bold of a statement because I haven't made that many chocolate chip cookies, but they were amazingly indulgent - full of chocolate and butter, and a touch of salt.  It's official that these are in fact some of the best chocolate chip cookies in existence.  I am definitely glad I splurged on the chocolate disks.  If you are able to get them, then go for it.  They made for a delicious layer of chocolate throughout most of the cookie.  I will say that the best part of this recipe is the sea salt.  I will forever sprinkle sea salt on top of every cookie I make.

Apparently the key to amazing cookies is letting the dough rest for at least 24 hours.  I decided to test out this theory.  I cooked a couple of cookies after letting the dough rest only 12 hours (overnight) and then cooked the rest after an additional 24 hours.  You could taste no difference.  I will also say that if you do let the dough chill in the fridge overnight or more, give yourself the additional time to let it warm up a bit so that you can form your balls of dough.  I left it out for an hour and still had to use a knife to break off chunks to roll.

And another thing...The recipe says to make big golf-ball size mounds of dough.  This resulted in ginormous 5-inch cookies.  I toned it down for the subsequent batches and made smaller mounds - about 2 inches in diameter - and reduced the baking time to 12 minutes.   Now I will have many more than a paltry 18 cookies and my students will be extremely happy tomorrow when I get them out of my house and into their tummies.  Also, the reduced cooking time made for a chewier cookie - which I prefer.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
from the New York Times
makes 18 5-inch cookies

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse 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 natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds dark chocolate disks (or fèves) (I used half fèves and half chips because of the price difference.)
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.  Beat butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can 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. Set aside.  Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. (I cooked them this way first, but then switched to smaller sized cookies baked for 12 minutes instead and preferred the result.)  Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm with a glass of ice cold milk.

1 comment:

  1. Love your visuals. Thanks for differentiating (I can tell you are a teacher) for the visual learners like myself!