This recipe is something of a celebrity on food blogs. I don’t remember where I first came across it, but now, everywhere I look, it seems to appear; Most recently, it appeared on Pinterest, and one look at the description made me get out my brown sugar. The recipe promised that the cookies would be crispy around the edges, and chewy in the middle…exactly my idea of the perfect cookie.
These cookies are unique, not only because they were adapted from Jacques Torres (a famous French pastry chef), but also because they incorporate two kinds of flour: bread flour and cake flour. I had never made chocolate chip cookies with anything other than all-purpose flour, so I was anxious to see how these would turn out.
Also, I was intrigued by the recipe’s “secret” ingredient; i.e., refrigerating the dough for 24-36 hours. One blog I read said that the best cookies were produced after refrigerating the dough for 48 hours, but I decided to make the cookies after around 34 hours (mostly because I couldn’t wait any longer).
The dough was cold and hard, and I had to use some upper-body strength to extract it from the plastic storage bag. I’m used to fluffier, more cohesive dough, so this was definitely a change; I had to shape the cookie dough into balls, and stick some pieces together. I was somewhat worried about the finished product, but decided to have faith in the process; after all, the cookies didn’t become famous for nothing.
The recipe recommends letting smaller cookies bake for only 10 minutes, but I found that all the cookies needed at least 15-18 minutes in the oven. It could just be my crazy, out-of-whack oven, but my cookies still resembled small, golf-ball sized lumps after 10-12 minutes. It was at fifteen minutes they they began to spread, and I ended up taking them out of the oven at around the 20 minute mark.
The other trick to this recipe (besides refrigerating the dough) is to not over-bake the cookies. I know this doesn’t seem like a trick, but usually, I leave cookies in the oven until they’re golden throughout and not gooey in the middle. This recipe actually recommends that you take them out of the oven with gooey centers, and keep them on the baking sheet for 1o more minutes (so they keep cooking). It felt weird to take slightly gooey cookies out of the oven, but I realized that the ones I didn’t bake as long were the ones that turned out the best.
After they cooled, it was time for the final verdict: Would these really be the best chocolate chip cookies I had ever tried? Would they be worthy of two bags of flour, two plus pounds of high-end chocolate chips, and countless hours of waiting?
The answer, I found, is that they were. The cookies were crispy on the outside (not only around the edges), but still gave way to a chewy, soft center. The dark, bittersweet chocolate disks were melted and delicious, and I loved the contrast of the coarse salt with the two types of sugar. I literally exclaimed after my first bite, which was a pretty good indicator of success.
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies (originally adapted from Jacques Torres, and found here)
Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling
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
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
Sea salt (optional…I didn’t end up adding this)
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 (if you so desire) 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. These cookies are best eaten fresh out of the oven, when they’re still warm and the chocolate chips are melty…