Friday, July 25, 2008

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Last week the New York Times published an article on how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie. The secret, according to the article, was to let the dough age in the fridge for 36 hours, and to make sure that the cookies were adequately salted. I know that I’m not the first blogger to try this out, and probably won’t be the last, but I’m a big fan of a good chocolate chip cookie, so I decided that I would jump on the bandwagon and make these cookies. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, because I didn’t want to have to go to the grocery store. I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet, and all purpose flour instead of a mixture of bread and cake flours. I also decided not to sprinkle salt on the tops of the cookies, because I thought that was just a little outside of what I wanted to try. All in all I was very pleased with these cookies. The edges were nicely crispy, and the centers were soft. The salt in the dough definitely came through, and added some subtlety to the taste. Like Orangette, I strongly recommend sending these cookies away with other people, as otherwise you might consume them in dangerous quantities. I’ve reprinted the original David Leite, and Jacques Torres recipe from the Times below. I used 17 oz. of all purpose flour instead of the combination of cake and bread flours

NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 24 5 inch cookies

2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. (8 ½ oz.) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 ½ oz.) bread flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups; 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, preferably about 60% cacao content, such as Ghirardelli
Sea salt, such as Maldon

1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

4. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Beat until dough just comes together. Beat in the chocolate chips until just incorporated.

5. Press plastic wrap directly on to the dough and put it in the fridge for ~36 hours.

6. Take the dough out of the fridge 30-45 minutes before you intend to bake the cookies, so that the dough can soften (I didn’t do this, and had to put the bowl into a big pan of warm water (from the tap, not heated on the stove).

7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Scoop the dough in a 3 oz ice cream scoop, or a 1/3 cup measure, onto baking sheets lined with parchment or silpats. Put only six cookies on a sheet. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown, but still soft.

8. Serve warm if possible.

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