I am ten minutes late to every party, trend, fad, etc.
So of course I would only cotton on to this recipe 3.5 years after the New York Times published a cookie recipe that took the food blogger world by storm. Forget your grandmother’s tried and true Betty Crocker cookbook. These cookies were frequently touted to be the “best chocolate chip cookies you will ever make.”
Well, natural skeptic that I am, this was something I’d have to see for myself.
The chocolate chip cookie is, at its core, supremely simple in ingredients and execution. Fat, sugar, flour, leavening agents, chocolate. What elevates this recipe above the rest is the 24-36 hour “marination” time that the cookie batter must undergo before you actually bake your cookies. Why must you wait so long between preparing the dough and baking the cookies? Hydration, apparently. The egg needs time to soak into the dough and really flavor it. 36 hours is the magical number. This recipe is not a recipe you can swing in an afternoon and have ready to bring to the party the evening of.
So, was all the prep time and wait worth it?
Yes. Yes, yes, and more yes. These cookies are, in a word, divine. Buttery and multi-noted, with subtle toffee hints. The cookie develops crisp brown edges, yet maintains a delightfully chewy center. The bittersweet chocolate is a perfect compliment to the sweetness of the dough. These cookies taste like the something you’d buy in a bakery. They have absolutely none of the cakiness that other chocolate chip cookie recipes have yielded in the past.
We shipped some of these cookies to my nephew, plated a few for my mother’s friend, and, of course, scurried away quite a few “broken” ones for ourselves.
Just a few notes extra notes on my experience with these cookies:
- You don’t have to make the ginormous-sized cookies they have here. I made my cookies fairly regular sized (about a tablespoon-sized ball) and baked them for about 12-15 minutes (until the edges are golden brown) at 350 degrees F. These cookies spread far and wide, so space them widely apart. Even with the generous space we gave them on the baking sheet, they still often ran into each other (hence some of the weirdo edges you see in the photos).
- Feel free to use chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate from a bar. Just make sure the chocolate you’re using is of high quality and at least 60% cocoa. It really makes a difference.
- You don’t have to use the many different kinds of flour listed here. Feel free to simply use only all-purpose flour.
- I have heard it is easier to roll the dough into balls before refrigerating, as the dough comes out pretty hard after 36 hours of refrigeration. The batter warmed up pretty quickly, but it was tough going at first.
The New York Times‘s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Jacques Torres
Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling, but 36 hours is best
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour (or you can make your own from all-purpose flour and cornstarch)
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 (optional)
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.