Friday, January 23, 2009

The Life Changing Chocolate Chip Cookies

I woke up today with a cold..stuffy head, runny nose and exhaustion. When I get sick I turn to the best remedy I know, food. I had visions in my head of making a fresh chicken soup but my work schedule today got in the way, so I settled for a cup of tea and a little rest when I could sneak it in.

Although chicken soup might have been a better choice, I wanted a soft blanket, the couch and one of these Chocolate Chip Cookies. I discovered this recipe about a month ago, while 9 months pregnant with my son/ I made them so often that I assumed it was a crazy, pregnancy craving that would surely end when he was born. The baby is 7 weeks old, and it's still the dessert I want above all others.

I know, you already have a recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies. They are your Aunt Martha's recipe, its your Nonni's recipe passed down from her mother, its the Toll House or Ghiradelli bag version. Whatever it is, throw it out. Forget you had it. After you make these, there will never be another cookie that comes close. Not even in the same ball park.

This recipe was developed by David Leite and was published in the New York Times last year. He took on the mission to develop the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie. He interviewed everyone and anyone that proclaimed to be an expert on the subject and then developed, what he calls "the consummate chocolate chip cookie'.

con·sum·mate, adjective - complete in every detail : perfect

There are some interesting ingredients required for this recipe that you may not have on hand. Do not substitute, the recipe is truly perfection when left in tact. I like to use a scale when making these to get the proportions exact but you can use regular measuring cups too with no problem. If found the chocolate disks at both Williams Sonoma (E. Guittard) or Whole Foods ( El Ray).

The recipe says to refrigerate the dough for 36 hours before baking. This is next to impossible for two reasons:
1. How do you not eat cookies right after making this dough? I mean, most people bake cookies because they want a cookie NOW not in three days.
2. Cookie Dough, sitting in your fridge for 3 days? Do I have to say more?

But, if you can do it, if you can hold out, you will behold in your hand, the most incredible cookie experience of your life. (Oh, go ahead, bake off a couple before refrigerating them, is OK, I won't tell)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Published: New York Times July, 2008 - Adapted from Jacques Torres

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

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt.

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, 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 warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.


  1. I absolutely love these cookies. I've made them three or four times now. For those who don't have cake (or even bread) flour, these cookies still come out great with AP flour and regular chocolate chips. Honestly. They are truly the best CCCs ever!

  2. I absolutely love chocolate cookies, so I can't wait to try them out! Thanks for sharing Sam! Miss you!