If you like to bake—and your friends all know this—then the odds are high that at least one or two (or perhaps more) of them sent you this link at some point over the past couple weeks with a brief note suggesting that “you should try this!” or maybe even a more brazen “will you make me this?”
Or perhaps you saw it yourself first, while browsing through the sections and skipping (as I do) everything serious and important and clicking straight through to that all-encompassing most deliciously frivolous of New York Times sections: Style.
The Style section is the New York Times for me. It’s lazy mornings and a cup of tea and maybe a little Louis Armstrong on in the background (because I like things just so).
I like how they pick things apart. I like how they treat the most basic of things (a cookie recipe!) with the same kind of scrutiny usually reserved for much headier topics.
A touch snobby? Perhaps… Self-indulgent? Oh absolutely…and that’s likely why I enjoy it so much.
And so it’s for these reasons that this article and its accompanying recipe caught my eye.
I admit I didn’t follow the directions to the letter (I rarely do). I didn’t have cake flour on hand so I just used regular AP, making sure to subtract two tablespoons from each cup and giving it all an extra sift prior to measuring. Instead of the fancy chocolate discs, I used Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate chunks because they are a) delicious and b) all I could find at the grocery store in my neighborhood. I also used dark brown sugar instead of light and a little pinch of cinnamon just for a little extra something special.
I made three batches of cookies from this recipe:
The first I baked right away and was less than pleased with. The cookies were crunchy throughout and a bit too sweet. My boyfriend and I had one each and tossed the rest.
About 24 hours or so later, I baked a second batch that was significantly better than the first. Though my boyfriend still found them a bit too cloying, I thought the sweetness seemed to have mellowed quite a bit, and was able to pick up on those promised subtle hints of caramel and vanilla. The texture also improved and was a bit chewier.
The third batch was the best by far. I made it the next morning (about 48 hours later) and they were fantastic: chewy throughout with just a hint of crisp at the edges and that incredible toffee flavor the Times kept raving about.
I brought this entire batch into work (OK, minus 2) and my coworkers raved. Our new temp pronounced the cookie the best chocolate chip cookie she’d ever eaten, and my wonderful, albeit slightly OCD co-editor broke her pattern of only eating sweets in pairs to help herself to a third.
Also, in the interest of full disclosure, you should know that this dough is probably the best cookie dough ever. I ate more cookies raw than baked, and like the cookies, it just got better and better as it "aged." I may try an eggless batch to use in a cookie dough ice cream at some point in the future!
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The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
By Jacques Torres from the NY Times
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
(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)
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.