Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate chip cookies are one of those classic cookies that everyone loves. While I can make a mean oatmeal cookie and great brownies, I have not been particularly satisfied with my chocolate chip cookies. They usually come out rather flat and spread out, some people prefer them this way, not me.
A few months ago I had some cookies that knocked my socks off !! They were substantial, chewy and full of chunks of chocolate. The baker said he used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen with some modifications which he rattled off and I promptly forgot.

I did some recipe forensics and found the original cookie recipe from the Cooking NY Times website.
They mention it's more complicated than the one on the back of the chocolate chip package, this is true. It is well worth it and the recipe is large so you can either make them over several days or make and freeze them. The dough will need to be refrigerated at least 24 hours before baking, so keep that in mind.

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Don't be put off by the bread flour and cake flour in this recipe. There are ways around it.
Bread flour has more protein content than all-purpose, which helps with gluten development. Some recipes call for it when an especially chewy and elastic crumb is desired, but you can use all purpose flour if that is all you have on hand.
Cake flour is a low protein flour that is made from soft winter wheat, it has a very fine texture. The easiest way to make your own cake flour is to put 2 tbsp of cornstarch in the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup, then fill the cup as usual with all-purpose flour and level top. I don't have cake flour around so I did it this way.

I am not sure why they  have both kinds in the cookies but trust me it works !!

  • 2 cups cake flour or 1 3/4 all purpose flour plus 1/4 cup cornstarch.
  • 1 ⅔ cups bread flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons  salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons  granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 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. 
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. 
  4. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. 
  5. Drop chocolate and nuts in and incorporate them carefully. 
  6. 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.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  9. Scoop 6 large* mounds of dough onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. 
  10. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt if desired and bake until golden brown but still soft, 16 to 18 minutes. Baking time will vary with the size of the cookie you make.
  11. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. 
  12. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
*( I used a 2 inch diameter ice cream scoop.)

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