I am a little (okay, a lot) obsessed with chocolate chip cookies. I don’t know what it is about them, but I simply cannot get enough. And I’m pretty picky about what constitutes a good chocolate chip cookie.
My all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from a New York Times article, where they broke down what makes the perfect cookie. (If you are obsessed with cookies like I am and haven’t read the article, hop to it!) Up until I read the article, my favorite recipe was a Jacques Torres recipe. The recipe in the New York Times article was also from Jacques Torres, with a few slight differences. I decided to give it a go and I made the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Hands down. Absolute perfection.
This recipe is famous and has every right to be. When it comes out right it is amazing. HOWEVER, infamous may be a better descriptor. Just when I thought I had found the perfect cookie recipe, I still found the perfect cookie to be elusive. Perfection is not always just a recipe away. Conditions, apparently, have to be just right. The ingredients must be measured just so, the stars must be aligned, the chocolate gods must be in a good mood, you need to chant incantations as you add the flour. If all of that happens, then and only then will you make the perfect cookie.
Sooooo….I share with you the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you get it right, you will love me forever. If you don’t get it right, well, you must have done something to make the chocolate gods grumpy. That’s not my problem.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
From the New York Times, adapted from Jacques Torres
– 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour (Jane note: I usually use pastry flour here…that’s what my OTHER Jacques Torres cookie recipe calls for)
– 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 (Jane note: If I only have salted butter on hand, I use 1 teaspoon regular salt instead of 1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt)
– 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
– 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) 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 (Jane note: you can use regular semi-sweet chocolate chips here, but if you can find disc shaped chips, it is pretty awesome…you end up with layers of chocolate in the cookies, which is heaven.)
– Sea salt
1. Sift both 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. (Jane note: I usually make the dough balls and THEN refrigerate the dough in a ziploc bag. I think the dough should ideally be refrigerated at least a day the texture comes out better, but if you really can’t wait and cook a few cookies when you make the dough, they’ll be good, just not best.)
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside. (Jane note: I bake my cookies on my handy dandy Silpat.)
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. (If you do smaller cookies, adjust cooking time accordingly.) Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. (Jane note: I never did the transfer sheet to a wire rack then slip to another’ rack step.) (Another Jane note: one thing I DO do when they come out of the oven is slam the tray straight down to force the cookies to settle…makes for a nice even cookie with a great texture.)
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
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