Saturday, March 13, 2010

The One

The last few weeks of a semester are always tough. It's that time when, almost magically, everything is due at once: 3000 word research papers, presentations, short stories, final exams, blah, blah, blah. And to think that through this all I am supposed to be searching for a summer job / trying to understand how I am going to save up another five grand for tuition? No thank you! and Oh. My. Sweet. Goodness. I'm kind of freaking out.

But here, have a cookie.
Cookies cure just about anything.
I think everyone needs a solid chocolate chip recipe in their repertoire so today I am introducing you to mine. Don't you just feel better already?

Chocolate chip cookies are classic but I've come to find that they scatter along an invisible scale, ranging from just so-so to incredible. Some are bland, some are too sweet, some have an odd crunchy-chewy texture, and some are hard as pucks. I had to wonder: was I being too picky in my pursuit for the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Turns out I wasn't, and a few years ago I found it: the one I had been waiting for all my life. Turns out a little decadence in a cookie isn't too much to ask for after all. I made a batch, ate 2 or 3 of the massive golden mounds, and promptly declared them the best cookies on the earth. Unfortunately no one believes me anymore when I declare something the best thing ever, because I say that about nearly everything. (I'm an enthused person, what can I say?) I'm not kidding around about this one though. I take cookies very seriously and I think you will agree with me once you try a batch yourself. The sea salt is oh-so-good against the melty chocolate chips and the texture is perfect: crisp around the edges but soft, moist, and chewy in the middle. I have no doubt that you will find them to be yummy in an OH. MY. SWEET. GOODNESS, I'm kind of freaking out! kind of way.
And although these cookies won't write your papers or somehow land you five thousand dollars in you pocket, they will most likely be the best chocolate chip cookies ever to enter your mouth. They might even serve as a cure for your life stresses, if only for a while. That's gotta count for something.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from
The New York Times, David Leite, and Jacques Torres

I should mention that in typical Jacqueline style, I changed the recipe around slightly. First of all, I did not use the two kinds of flour suggested in the original recipe. I used all purpose flour, which as far as I'm concerned didn't make a huge difference. Also, I used a sprinkle of grey sea salt on top, instead of just regular. Between you and me, I did this to be fancy and because that's the way it's done at Delancey, but really, regular sea salt will do you just fine! And last but not least: USE A KITCHEN SCALE! Trust me on this one.

2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. (8 ½ oz.) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 ½ oz.) bread flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups; 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, preferably about 60% cacao content, such as
Sea salt, such as Maldon

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk well; then set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; then add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. (Unless you have a plastic guard that sits around the rim of the bowl, this will make a big mess at first, with flour flying everywhere. I found that carefully holding a dish towel around the top of the bowl helped a lot.) Add the chocolate chips, and mix briefly to incorporate. Press plastic wrap against the dough, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. The dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator, and allow it to soften slightly. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Using a standard-size ice cream scoop – mine holds about 3 fluid ounces, or about 1/3 cup – scoop six mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, making sure to space them evenly. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto the rack to cool a bit more.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Yield: About 24 (5-inch) cookies.


  1. Wow. I am convinced and anxiously await a respectable hour (and energy) to bake these cookies.

  2. Twenty years ago at my wedding shower, I received a gift.
    Recipes that I was told were "my to be husband's" favorite cookie recipes, cookie sheets, cooling racks and oven mitts. Amazingly, I still use the cookie sheets and cooling racks but have discarded the glamorous oven mitts with darling ducks circling the upper edge. The chocolate chip recipe has withheld 20 years of cookies that have come and gone. I can't wait to see if this one will beat it.?.?

    Your triple ginger recipe at christmas did win over mine and is now passed throughout my book club. Mmmm, could be this one will too.

    Mmmm, who says the older generation can't change.
    :) I guess that is what I am now.

    Will let you know how they turn out.

    (but you can call me Auntie)

  3. Hi Auntie Angela!

    I am SO glad to have you reading my kitchen musings! I hope you get around to trying some things!

    What an amazing, thoughtful wedding gift! The measure of a truly good recipe is one that stands the test of time! I hope these cookies live up to your standards... they are a bit more work then your average CCC (chocolate chip cookie), but they are soooo worth it! Use good quality chocolate and make sure to let the dough rest for at least 24 hours! Also, it will be really hard when you take it out of the fridge... so take the dough out about 30-45 minutes before you begin scooping!

    Let me know how they turn out!

  4. I had to come back and say a big THANK YOU! These cookies truly are divine...better than any I've ever had. Ever. I've made them twice and have pondered making them weekly so I'll always have a stash on hand to support a daily habit.

    I feel confident this recipe will be with me for the long haul, and every time I make them I'll send some positive thoughts your way.

  5. Jen, You are so sweet! I am glad to hear of your good results
    and I am SO happy you loved these as much as I did!