The New York Times ran a fascinating story on the “quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie,” which included the shocking fact that the famous Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe Nestlé prints on back of the bag left out a very important step.
According to the article, Ruth Graves Wakefield, who invented the chocolate chip cookie for her Tollhouse Inn in the 1930s, wrote that the dough should be chilled overnight.
This revelation inspired NYT writer David Leite to interview New York bakery owners and pastry chefs about their chocolate chip cookie secrets, and this is what he found out:
Secret #1 First you mix the butter and the sugar called for in the recipe for a good 3-5 minutes. This helps the sugars dissolve and whips the butter. **AND a little tip from me ALWAYS use butter–no margerine. I use regular salted, because that is what I stock in my kitchen. I just cut the salt down a little in the recipe.
Secret #2 OK this one is hard–it really tests your patience:) You need to let the dough rest overnight, but a 36-hour rest is prime. That gives the dry ingredients time to fully soak up the eggs, creating a dough that’s exceptionally dry–which makes for the perfect texture when baked.
Secret #3 Make BIG cookies. You’ll be measuring the dough in a 1/3 measuring cup to create cookies that are about 5″ so you can enjoy all the different textures. The outside edge will be golden brown and crisp, the center will be light and soft and chewy, and between the two you’ll find a ring where those textures intertwine.
Secret #4 Right before you slide your dough balls into the oven, add a sprinkle of sea salt (or kosher salt). That small touch will seriously bring out the flavor and add a complexity to the taste. If you forget the salt on a tray of these cookies, you will miss it. Trust me.
From all of the chefs’ suggestions and his own research, Leite adapted Jacques Torres’ classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and created what’s known as the “New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie.” The recipe is very simple and takes little actual work time, but the results are predictably perfect!! You will feel like a professional! I made some of these for our Family Home Evening treats and the next day packed some in my sons lunches. My 11 year old came home telling me how everybody thinks his Mom’s cookies are the BEST and could he bring more tomorrow? Everybody is begging for one! I am telling you they are that good!
Also if anyone is doing the ‘Living Strong and Healthy Challenge’ with me on my other blog Melandboys–Sorry that I posted this tempting recipe. I will just say–moderation in all things, right? We can still be healthy and strong and have a cooke once in awhile, just not a plate full:)
PS For Challenge #2 go here
The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from The New York Times, David Leite and Jacques Torres
submitted by Melanie
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
•2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour * leave the TBs in for high altitude*
•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)
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 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (about 1/3 cup) 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.
**When I make these I use my favorite semi sweet or milk chocolate chips–I like guitard, but sometimes I use the big bag of Nestle semi sweet from Costco.