Monday, November 10, 2008

The Best Cookies Ever...This Time I'm Serious!

I read this great article in the NY Times a while back about the great debate of the consummate chocolate chip cookie.  The article featured several different professionals/authors/bakers/bakery owners including Dorie Greenspan, Hervet Poussot, and Maury Rubin all releasing their secrets to their perfect cookie. All of their recipes are adaptations from Jacques Torres' classic cookie. In conclusion of the article, they come up with the greatest chocolate chip cookie known to man. How do I know this, you ask? Because I made them this weekend and they will blow your mind. These are by far the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had.  

They have a crunchy perimeter with a silky soft chewy center bound by endless amounts of chocolate wafers. I followed this recipe to a T and kept the dough refrigerated for the maximum 72 hours. This recipe requires the use of extra large chocolate chips, discs, or wafers. I used these Guittard semi-sweet wafers from King Arthur Flour and they came out brilliantly. Also, I used semi-sweet rather than bittersweet. On another note, the recipe calls for 6-3 1/2 ounce mounds of dough per batch/baking sheet. I found this to be outrageously large and for all the work I put into these (including the 3 day refrigeration period) I decided to use my handy cookie scooper which measured out to be about 1.75 ounce balls of dough---creating way more cookies than what the recipe called for.  My co-workers have been talking about these non stop since the moment I came in this morning. I will officially be using this recipe for eternity. No doubt about it, no questions asked.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time:45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

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 bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt.

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

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream 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 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. 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. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.


Emily Rose said...

ok I have seen so many blog posts about this recipe- but your description sold me on trying it out!

Anonymous said...

hook a brotha up meliss!

csr said...

Hi Melissa,
Great post. Thanks for the mention. We all enjoyed PJ's experiments with the article and recipes. Who knew that resting the dough would make such a huge difference?! This is my recipe of choice now too, but it is hard to wait 24 hours or more.

Happy Baking!
MaryJane @ King Arthur Flour

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm. Those look yummy!