If given the choice, which of these cookies would you chose?
The one on the left is bigger, lighter in color and smooth. The cookie on the right is a bit smaller, darker and bit more crackly.
Based on appearances, which do you think would taste better?
The funny thing is---they were both made from the same batch of dough. Same recipe, same day.
A couple of years back, the NY Times posted a recipe for the "Best Chocolate Chip Cookie". I think I am kind of late to the party because I only recently found it.
There are no fancy ingredients in this recipe--just the cookie basics butter, sugar, flour and chocolate. I realize this one has more salt, and a variety of flours, a little more brown sugar, extra butter and extra wait time---but is it all that different?
I was in serious need of chocolate when I decided to bake these cookies. Unfortunately, the recipe calls for 24-26 hours in the refrigerator before baking. 24-36 hours!!! Very difficult when you NEED sugar and chocolate.
So, I broke away from the recipe and baked some immediately.
I put half of the recipe onto the cookie sheet and half into the fridge.
When the first batch came out of the oven, they smelled stupendous. They looked perfect and they tasted amazing. I ate two in one sitting. They were gone before the day was over. The plate was wiped clean before dinner hit the table.
The next day, I set about making the second batch of cookies. (The dough is only good in the fridge for about 72 hours so I couldn't wait too long.)
The second batch came out of the oven slightly darker than the first. And, even though I had tried to keep the ball sizes consistent, the cookies were slightly smaller in diameter but a bit more puffy all around. These cookies looked like they belonged in a fancy bakery case. Their chocolate chips were on the surface rather than buried beneath the dough.
And, they tasted amazing. I ate four in one sitting.
I don't think the taste was much different between the cookie that waited to be baked and the one that was baked immediately.
They may both be considered the best chocolate chip cookie ever. I highly suggest you make these today.
A couple of recipe notes: 1) Measuring the ingredients was kind of annoying. This recipe may actually get me to break down and get a scale and attempt baking by volume. 2) I used generic Publix brand chocolate chips that were in my freezer rather than the bittersweet chocolate disks and they turned out great. I can only imagine a better chocolate getting yielding better cookies---but use what you have and save yourself a trip to the store.
Chocolate Chip Cookies by Jaques Torres
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 ½ ounces) cake flour
1 ⅔ cups (8 ½ ounces) bread flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ 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 whole bag of semi-sweet morsels (Or, like the original recipe calls for: 1 and ¼ pounds of bittersweet disks)
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Cut cold butter into 1 inch cubes and using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together for 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. Add chocolate chips.
3. You have two options here--bake or chill.
If you want to follow the original recipe----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.
Or, if you are impatient (like me!), preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 ½-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet. Don't worry about the dough balls being too big. Big is better.
5. 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.
Yield: 32 4 inch cookies
Weight Watchers Points Plus: For fun, I decided to run this through the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder and calculate the Points Plus for each cookie---so, if you are following the Weight Watchers program you should know that each of these cookies has 4 points. So, please don't eat 4 cookies in one sitting.