Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Week: NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

I started off with the oldest and simplest chocolate chip cookie recipe I've ever made. Today I'm featuring the newest and most complicated chocolate chip cookie recipe I've ever made. It is because of this recipe there is a Chocolate Chip Cookie Week at all. I wanted a new cookie recipe, and stumbled across this beautiful article by David Leite of the New York Times about the history (and quest for) the chocolate chip cookie. After reading it, I was inspired because not only was it about cookies, but it included a new recipe! Oh yeah. When I went to the store to get some special chocolate for the special cookies, I saw that Friday, May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and...a stroke of brilliance! I spent 2 happy days baking my favorite cookie recipes.

So, this recipe isn't actually complicated, but it does require chilling the dough...for 24-72 hours.


What?! I know, what a turn off, right? Who sits around thinking, "Ooo! You know what I really could go for? Chocolate chip cookies...in 3 days!" When I see a cookie recipe that needs to be chilled I either a) skip that step and bake the cookies anyway because I like to live on the wild side or b) find another recipe. Why complicate things? Why wait that long for a cookie?

When I discussed this recipe with my best baking friend, Alicia, we agreed that it seems a little ridiculous to try to make chocolate chip cookies mature, and potentially trendy. Chocolate chip cookies are meant to be simple, quick and comforting. But, later as I was dining on chicken dinos while debating which Little Mermaid character is the best with my little lunch dates, I thought, "Why not?"

Why not try to take something we pretend is just for kids and make it mature? Just like why not cut up my 5 chicken dinos and put them in a fancy spinach asian salad with wontons and mandarin oranges? Live large, my cookie friends!

Ok, let's get down to what is important. These cookies taste great. Follow the recipe. Use a more mature, darker chocolate. I used some Chocolove Belgian Chocolate Chips and a bag Ghirardelli of dark chocolate melting discs. Both melted superbly, as you can see from my little buddy's happy face. Also, be sure to add the sea salt at the end! It totally sets off the richness of the chocolate and it adds a surprising texture to the cookies.

Most importantly, absolutely, positively refrigerate the dough for the full 72 hours. I did chill the dough and baked cookies after 36 hours and 72 hours. The 72 cookies had a better texture, the flavors were more balanced, and they just rocked. Period. Plus, the dough was even better. I was excited about how full the bowl was, and the dough looked gorgeous when it was first mixed. Still, after 72 hours the dough was magnificent! The recipe calls for cake flour, which I think has a "flavor," but after chilling the dough for 72 hours, I couldn't taste it at all.

Next time I make these, I think I'll play with the amount of flour a bit more just because I live at a high altitude, which can make baking with butter a little tricky. But all things considered, these cookies were worth the wait. Just don't wait to make them!

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies



Ingredients:

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 ⅔ cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.

Directions:


  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.
    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 these puppies warm, ok?

Make the dough. Share the cookies...if you want to.

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