chocolate chip cookie–take 2
This Christmas I received the 2009 Cook’s Illustrated cookbook. Cook’s Illustrated is always a magazine that I forget that I love until I read it. I always learn so much just reading a couple of pages of any given magazine and the test kitchen does all the hard work. Love it.
So, when their test kitchen took on the Jacque Torres/New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe, I was intrigued. I figured this was a fool’s errand. This was, after all, the holy grail of cookies. And then I read the line about him testing 43 batches of cookies before getting to this recipe. FORTY-THREE!
I also noticed that they had reviewed chocolate chips in parallel to creating this recipe and declared the Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chip king. Having just brought back 2 bags of this very chocolate chip from our brief holiday stay in the States, I realized that the fates had spoken. This recipe needed to be made.
The recipe called for a few things that made it stand out.
- Brown butter. Haven’t really seen any chocolate chip cookie recipes with this, but I belong to the “brown butter makes everything better” club (I’m even head of the Swiss chapter), so I got over that quickly.
- Allowing the sugar to dissolve in the butter over 10 minutes. 3 rounds of stirring to get it all mixed in? Sure, that sounds like it makes sense.
- Higher brown sugar:white sugar ratio. Leaves a deeper toffee flavor that leaves me asking “Jacques who?”
- No waiting 36 hours. I hate waiting and admit it, so do you.
I won’t declare it the perfect cookie, the holy grail or the cookie that will end global warming. But I sure was glad they didn’t stop at batch 42, this recipe was the keeper.
“Take-Jacques-Torres-Out-Back” Chocolate Chip Cookie
Cook’s Illustrated 2009 Cookbook (May and June 2009 issue)
- 1 3/4 cps unbleached ap flour (8 1/4 ounces or 250 grams)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 14 tbsps unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks or 200 grams)
- 1/2 cup white sugar (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams)
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces or 150 grams)
- 1 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 cps good quality chocolate chips
- 3/4 cp chopped pecans (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to the middle and pre-heat oven to 375F degrees (191C)
- Whisk flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside
- Heat 10 tbsps (140 grams) butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Continue cooking, swirling constantly until butter is dark brown and has nutty aroma.
- Remove butter from heat and place in a heat proof bowl.
- Add remaining butter (60 grams or 4 tbsps).
- Once butter has melted completely, add sugars, sat and vanilla to bowl. I made good use of my new Rancho Gordo vanilla extract. It’s borderline unhealthy how much I love their products. I’m guessing it’s the packaging. What’s not to love about this?
- Stir everything together. You’ll notice it’s rather grainy and the butter wants little to do with its new friends.
- That’s okay, now add the egg and egg yolk. It will help them all get along. Stir together to ensure there aren’t any sugar lumps.
- Allow mixture to sit for 3 minutes. Come back, stir again. Starting to get along now, right?
- Allow to sit again for another 3 minutes. Come back, stir again. You should now have a lovely, relatively smooth mixture.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture.
- Add chocolate chips. Yup, those are measuring cups. Merry Christmas to me, from me.
- KC note: I wish I had lightly coated the chocolate chips with flour as I noticed they seemed to be having a hard time incorporating into the dough. They finally gave in, but you’ll notice quite a few rogue guys on the outside.
- Divide dough into 16 portions (3tbsps each). I found these to be rather big cookies, but they baked beautifully (perfectly crunchy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside)
- Bake one tray at a time for 10-14 minutes. My first tray baked for only 10 minutes and it was almost too long. The next batch was 9 minutes and came out perfectly. Lesson learned? Set your timer for 8 minutes just to check in.
- Enjoy, but make sure you have leftovers. They only get better the next day!