Monday, March 8, 2010

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever

This recipe appeared in the New York Times back on July 9, 2008. It went along with a long-ish article about the search for the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie in Manhattan. I've always wanted to try it, so first I baked a batch of the traditional, "Toll House," style cookies. They were good, of course. But then I made this recipe!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

From the NYTimes, July 9, 2008,
Adapted from Jacques Torres

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

Makes 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons

1 2/3 cups (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.

Tay's Notes
As with all baking, accuracy in measurement is critical. In particular, it's important to get the mix of wet vs. dry right. When I made this recipe, I made it slightly too dry. The cookies still turned out great, but just be aware that you should check the consistency of the dough and adjust as necessary circa step 2.

I made them in a convection oven, which was a little faster than the recipe called for. About 16 minutes. When you get close to the time, start checking with great frequency as the time frame of peak doneness is very short--like 60 seconds, so you want to hit it just right. I found that the key sign to look for is about half of the surface of the cookie to be browned. Alton Brown would probably use an instant thermometer, but I don't know what the correct internal temp would be.

Vastly superior to the original Toll House recipe. Wow! I agree with the NY Times folks that letting the dough rest for 36 hours is critical. Sprinkling the salt on top is also critical. Salt is a flavour enhancer, and boy does it compliment the chocolate! This is a great recipe. And I know it specifies a lot of detail, but I found it to be very easy. Just measure, mix, and bake!

Do I need to say how great milk is with us? Especially whole milk!



kyra said...

Tay, Asher and I are about to try and make this awesome cookie recipe. I am the worst measurer, so I will heed your advice and try my best for accuracy!
thanks for posting this.

Tay Moss said...

First thing, do you have a digital kitchen scale? It's much better to do the flours by weight than volume.

Use real vanilla extract-- whole foods has a good selection.

Use the best chocolate chips you can find.

As far as measurement goes--just make sure you don't confuse Tablespoons and teaspoons or baking powder with baking soda.

Watch the cookies to determine doneness--don't burn 'em!

Last piece of advice, use parchment paper on your baking sheets.

They'll be fantastic, I'm sure!