Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie EVER!

A week or so ago, a friend of mine emailed a link to a New York Times article about making the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Of course I was intrigued and knew I wanted to try out the methods described in the article. For those who don't want to bother with registering in order to read, here are the high points:
  • Use a combination of bread flour and cake flour
  • Let the dough rest in the fridge for 36 hours-this time frame was found best
  • Use chocolate with a minimum of 60% cocao content
  • Make them big (4-5" diameter)-you get to experience all textures (crisp, chewy, soft)
  • Sprinkle sea salt on the cookies right before baking
One of the hardest things for me was to try and figure out when I could do the 36 hour span. I also knew I didn't want to let DH in on my experiment so I could get an honest opinion. The article recommended certain brands of chocolate but I ended up purchasing some El Rey chocolate discs from Whole Foods.

I successfully mixed up the batter, covered it with plastic wrap and stuck it in the back of the fridge. 36 hours later ended up being 9:30 p.m. and although DH looked at me funny when I said I was going to bake some cookies, didn't ask too many questions. When he finally got to taste one, it was worth the wait. He declared it to be the best chocolate chip cookie he'd ever had and asked what I had done differently (other than making them bigger than I normally do). I told him about the article and he confirmed the wait time truly made a difference. We've shared cookies with various family and friends who have also confirmed the over the top goodness.

I think I'll try them with regular chocolate chips next time just to see if they're just as good.

Adapted from Jacques Torres
Source: New York Times

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

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour

1 2/3 cups 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 light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons 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.

Sophie thought the crumbs were delicious too!


At 7/29/2008 , Blogger janna said...

I've been meaning to try this recipe, too. I read on some food blog that the flour mixture doesn't really matter but the good chocolate and the sea salt are the secrets. But since I think I have both kinds of flour, I might as well try it....

Thanks for the review!

At 7/30/2008 , Blogger Bezzie said...

See I'm a big believer that it's the butter that makes the cookie. But I can see the sea salt giving it a really good flavor too!

At 7/30/2008 , Blogger Courtney said...

They certainly look delicious and the sea salt sounds like a great idea. A friend of mine at work makes my favorite chocolate chip cookies and regularly brings them in to share. The recipe is from The Joy of Baking and she uses Ghiradelli chocolate chips.


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