Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, know, another chocolate chip cookie recipe.  There are a million of them and they’re always THE BEST, right?  Well, no, they aren’t because these are hands down the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever bake.  Period.  These are from the New York Times reporter who went in search of the best ways to make chocolate chip cookies and this recipe is the culmination of that.  I made these for my coworkers and they were gone in seconds.  Everyone loved them and said they were the best they ever had.  One of my coworkers even begged me to make her a batch that she wouldn’t have to share with anyone else.

I did make a few changes to the recipe as I thought some of the ingredients he says to use were a little out there.  The recipe recommends using cake flour and bread flour, neither of which I had the first time I made them.  All-purpose works just fine.  I did make a another batch using the “right” kind of flours because I wanted to see what the difference was, and there was a slight difference in texture, the cake/bread flour cookies had a more melt-in-your-mouth-ness to them, but there’s no discernible difference in taste, so if you don’t have those flours, don’t worry.

I also used plain old nestle chocolate chips because I don’t have a whole foods nearby to get the specialty chocolate disks or whatever they are.  I’ve read that 60% cacao chips are a better substitute, so I tried those (seriously I’ve lost count how many times I’ve made these in past few months), but I honestly prefer normal semi-sweet chocolate chips.  The cacao ones were too bitter for my tastes.  Basically, just use whatever kind of chips you like best.

What you shouldn’t change is the recommendation to chill the dough for 36 hours.  It’s annoying to have to wait that long to eat the cookies, but it’s worth it.  If you are strapped for time, you should wait at least 24 hours, it’s not like they taste bad if you only wait that long, but 36 just seems to be the magic number here.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies inspired me to buy one of those air flow backing sheets and parchment paper, which I’ve never bothered with before, but I do have to admit they turn out nicer looking cookies. Even if you don’t do all that, these are some of nicest looking cookies I’ve ever made. (The above picture is the first batch I ever made (using AP flour), not using the special baking sheet or parchment, the picture at the top of the post is a later batch (with cake/bread flour) using the special equipment and you can tell those look a bit nicer.

My old standby chocolate chip cookie recipe was great out of the oven, but I didn’t really like the taste the next day. These are great right from the oven or the next day. The last few times I made these, I only made a sheet at time so we could have fresh, warm cookies every night (and then eat the leftovers for lunch the next day!). The dough does start to get kinda dry/flaky after about 3-4 days in the fridge (although the cookies still taste good, just crispier), so if you want to make it in batches it would probably be a good idea to freeze the dough. I was going to do this last time, but I didn’t have the self control.

The best way is to wait the requisite 36 hours in the fridge, then take your dough out and scoop it out onto a baking sheet. Cover with some plastic wrap and put the sheet in your freezer, then wait half a day or so until frozen and put them into a freezer bag. Then when you want cookies you can take out the number you want and bake them. I’ve also seen recommendations to pre-scoop to dough before refrigeration (this is apparently what the professionals do), but I don’t have that much room in my fridge.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from David Leite and Jacques Torres

Dessert, Cookies | Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 15 min | Total time: 37 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tbsp. cake flour (or AP flour)
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour (or AP flour)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 lbs. chocolate chips
  • Sea salt

The Process:

  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a mixer, 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 chips in and mix briefly to incorporate. 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, take out dough and let soften a bit for easier scooping (no more than half an hour, you still want the cookies to be cold when they go in the oven). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop (or about 1/4 – 1/3 cup) to scoop out the dough and place on your baking sheet, spaced evenly. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more (or you could not bother with all that and just eat em right out of the oven!). Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.