Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie I've Ever Baked

My friend Jennifer clued me in to a whole new blogging world out there that is devoted to cooking. Ever since she told me about it has opened my eyes to a lot of really cool cooking blogs.

One of the links on SmittenKitchen led me to another blog that cited a New York Times article dated July 9, 2008 (my cute mom's birthday) that went in to great detail about the history of the chocolate chip cookie and what makes a great cookie (you can read all about it by clicking on the above link). The reporter, David Leite, interviewed several bakers and then created a new chocolate chip cookie recipe that a lot of the cooking/baking blogs are raving about.

So Friday night I decided to make the cookies with the recipe the NY Times wrote about. I used the recommended 60% cacao chocolate chips, the combination of cake and bread flour, coarse salt, chilling the dough for 36 hours, and sprinkling sea salt on top of the unbaked cookies. This morning I baked them. Oh my word. They were delicious. Without a doubt the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever baked.

One of the unusual directions for me in preparing the recipe was chilling the dough. Although the original baker of the famous Toll House chocolate chip cookie, Mrs. Wakefield (and owner of Toll House Inn ), mentions chilling the dough in her cookbook, it didn't make it on the classic recipe that's printed on the chocolate chip bag. I had no idea that chilling the dough could make such a difference.

I also have never sprinkled sea salt on the tops of cookies. But while I loved the added salt, Tammy and my niece, Ellie, did not. I did not use the recommended brand of chocolate noted in the article. Instead, I purchased Ghiradelli's 60% cacao chocolate and they tasted great. Hopefully I will be able to track down a less expensive chocolate--I'll let you know if I do. One more thing I haven't done before is to weigh the dry ingredients instead of using measuring cups. Eigher way is fine, but it seemed less messy to measure so that's what I did. I used a medium sized Oxo scoop to put the dough on the cookie sheets--my cookies measured around 3 1/2 inches after they were baked and I was able to get almost 4 dozen cookies out this recipe.

In the meantime, this a great recipe to try. Enjoy!

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons or(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)
Sea salt.
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. 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.
Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.


  1. Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I'm pretty impressed with your great adventures and discoveries. These chocolate chip cookies look too good to miss. Also, I love the Jeeves books...thanks for reminding me about them again.

  2. Those were the best choclate chip cookies I have ever tasted!!!

  3. I agree with Lori -- the cookies were scrumptious! Thanks so much for sharing them -- and the recipe -- with us!