holy grail of cookies
I, like many others, often find myself looking for the perfect (enter something everyday and mundane here). The perfect pair of jeans, the perfect white t-shirt, the perfect overnight bag, the perfect chocolate chip cookies. These generally aren’t things that will get you tons of compliments, praise or attention when you find them, but they are the items that you go back to time and time again. Your staples.
David Leite, thankfully, did the work for me in the cookie department as detailed in his now famous NY Times recipe. The article itself is a great read giving you more history on the chocolate chip cookie than you could imagine, but most importantly, imparts you with the wisdom that much of the secret is in the waiting. Finally an excuse to put my newly found Valrhona fèves to work. Of course, given the absence or shortage of certain items, some line items are adjusted. I’ve listed what I used below, but click here for the original recipe.
The result did not disappoint. Is it THE perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe? Who knows. But after this recipe, I’ve decided that if David Leite wants to go find jeans for me, I wouldn’t stop him.
Chocolate Chip Cookies(adapted from the NY Times)
2 cups minus 2 tbsps cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 1/4 sticks butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
500 grams chocolate disks (sorry for the metric, but it’s what I had, and it’s what I used)
1/4 cup ground almonds
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. Wrap dough in plastic wrap 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. Set aside.
4. Scoop 9 medium-sized mounds of dough (the size of ping-pong ball) onto baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes and then rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Continue baking 5-6 minutes (or until nicely browned around the edges). 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 (I had enough for cookies for the next 3 days and they only got better each day!). Eat warm, with a a big ol’ scoop of cinnamon ice cream or cup of milk on the side.
Yield: 27 3-inch cookies
Confession: I couldn’t wait a full 24 hours. I gave it a good 6-hour chill and then baked 4 cookies for me and Mr. KC. I saw it as a bit of an experiment. Now, I can attest that day 3 cookies were better than day .25 cookies.