I made two different batches of Chocolate Chip Cookies this past week. I had purchased several varieties of chips and wanted to nail down a good recipe. First up was the Alton Brown’s “chewy” recipe that I posted earlier. While it certainly did not disappoint I thought I owed one more entry in the contest before I called it a winner. What good is first place if there were no other competitors? When I saw the picture on the web page for the New York Times “ultimate chocolate chip cookie” I had to try it. It’s based on NYC chocolatier JacquesTorres’ famous recipe and it is finished with a sprinkling of fluer de sel. Naturally, I was intrigued given my love of the chocolate and salt combination.
Can you see the salt? Before it closed, New York’s Chocolate Bar in the East Village had a french bread, chocolate and salt sandwich on their menu! (Is that place open again?) The pairing of dark chocolate and salt is is extraordinary and I thought it was worth tinkering with here as well. Glad I did. I used a combination of chips. 1/2 of the chocolate was a 70% dark organic flat chip from Whole Foods and the other 1/2 was a 65% bittersweet. The salt really requires a darker chocolate. There was a very sophisticated taste to these. I really loved it and the salt got a lot of attention when I passed them around the office. (I do think it was a conceptual stretch for one or two… but they got over it and devoured them nonetheless.) The mixture of flours gives these cookies the best of all possible worlds. Chewy and delicate with just a bit of lift. Do not overbake if you prefer a softer cookie. I baked 15 minutes and they were perfect.
So as you can see from the last few posts I’ve been bringing in lots of cookies to share with the office. Its reminded me of an odd lady I used to work for nearly 25 years ago. On special occasions she would bring in 3 or so dozen chocolate chip cookies to share everyone in our department. 1 dozen would be milk chocolate, one dozen dark, one dozen with nuts, etc. They were incredible! So perfectly round and delicious. Her secret recipe? She bought them at Mrs. Fields and reboxed them into her own Tupperware! I never blabbed that I knew and I didn’t really want to know if anyone else knew either. Whenever anyone would ask her what the recipe was she would just say “I use the recipe on the bag of chips and then I just double everything.” Uh huh. Very odd indeed… but generous as that must have set her back a lot of dough. (Yes, I said that.)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from The NYTimes
- 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
- teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate (no less than 60% cacao.)
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, 15 to 17 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.