Monday, October 22, 2012

The Most Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookie is Worth the Wait!

A few years ago, the New York Times published what is, hands down, the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried.  The key to executing this recipe is to let the dough rest for approximately 36 hours prior to baking.  The author of the article, who adapted the recipe from Jacques Torres, explains that this allows the dough to soak up the liquid and achieve a better consistency and a richer, more sophisticated taste. 

Dont let the recipe intimidate you.  It is not any more difficult than the typical cookie recipe.  The main challenge for the cook is waiting patiently for a few days--which is well worth it!  Although the recipe calls for bread flour and cake flour, I used all purpose flour.  I also substituted regular chocolate chips for the chocolate disks.  And I don't have a mixer with a paddle attachment, so I just used a standard hand mixer.  Clearly the key factor is to achieve the full restimg time, rather than follow the minutia of the instructions.  Keep reading for the best cookie recipe ever!

Time: 45 minutes (for 16-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.

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