Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The best chocolate chip cookies ever - the New York Times cookie

The search has finally ended. After years of trying various chocolate chip cookie recipes, I have finally found the one. I am in the camp of people who like their cookies slightly crisp but mostly chewy. My ultimate chocolate chip cookies should be a bit poofy and not deflate over time. They cannot dry out or be too crunchy. They need to be sweet, but not too sweet. And of course, they have to be chock full of chocolate. Is that too much to ask for?

I should have known that Mr. Chocolate himself, Jacques Torres, would have the chocolate chip cookie that I have dreamed about all these years. I read his instructions and was horrified to learn that the cookie dough would have to be refrigerated for (gulp) 24 hours. A girl like me can't wait that long. This seemed like a harsh punishment and something that I wasn't willing to wait out. But knowing that Jacques Torres' confections have been top-notch (after all, my husband and my favorite cookies are his mudslide cookies), I figured it would be worth the lengthy wait time.

And how right I was. These cookies are my (current) favorite chocolate chip cookie of all time. Yes, they even beat out the ones from Back in the Day Bakery, but only by a slight margin. They met all the criteria that I outlined above, and their texture and taste remain unchanged after a few days. These cookies are indeed, the perfect and ultimate chocolate chip cookie. They are, at least, according to yours truly. Although a perfect man or woman does not exist, a perfect chocolate chip cookie does. This one. Go bake some now.

Jacques Torres' chocolate chip cookies
  • 2 cups minus 2 TBSP cake flour
  • 1 and 2/3 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose)
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (I used a 12 oz bag of 365 dark chocolate chunks from Whole Foods)
  • Sea salt (I used Maldon sea salt flakes)

Directions
In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, about 5 to 10 seconds. Add the chocolate pieces in and mix them without breaking them (I mixed the chocolate by hand using a silicone spatula). Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. The cookie dough may be baked in batches and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat (I used my imitation Silpat). Set aside.

Using an ice cream scoop or medium sized cookie scoop, portion out six 3 and 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (slightly larger than a golf ball) onto the baking sheet, and make sure to flatten any chocolate pieces that are sticking up vertically. Lightly sprinkle the tops of the balls with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto another rack to cool completely. 

Cookies can be stored in the freezer for at least a month, or in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.

Yield: I used a medium cookie scoop, made golf-ball sized spheres and got 3 dozen cookies

Source: Jacques Torres, via the New York Times

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