Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Saturday, 21st August 2010
Have you ever run a Google search for “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie“? It’s incredible the amount of entries that are returned and everyone is insisting they have found the very best. How would you describe the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, “Soft and chewy?” “Crispy and chewy?” “Slightly soft but not crumbly?” “Thin and crispy?” or could it possibly be any one of the many other descriptions that flood the search engine?
Where to begin and which recipe to choose was not an easy feat but I ultimately landed on Jacques Torres’s Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies and wow! I am so happy I did! How could I go wrong? Apparently these are Martha Stewart’s favourite chocolate chip cookies. If they can satisfy Martha they must be amazing.
The “Secret” to Jacques’s chocolate chip cookies, good quality butter, the combination of the pastry and bread flours and the best-quality chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content.
I picked up a few tips along the way (from an article I read in the New York Times by David Leite) to enhance the flavour and texture of the cookies. Make sure all of the ingredients you are using are at room temperature. Salt is a key ingredient in any sweet baked good. Let the cookie dough rest for 36 hours. (Are you kidding? I couldn’t wait that long! 4 hours was all I could manage, maybe next time). This will enhance the flavour and make the cookies taste better.
The resting period in the fridge also produces drier and firmer dough that bakes to a better consistency (I found after refrigerating for 4 hours I had to let the dough sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before I could scoop and proportion). The most important tip (think we all know this one) bake in small quantities, serve fresh and warm. Who doesn’t love any chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven? Soft and gooey chocolate gets me every time.
Couple of things to mention, your stand mixer will definitely get a work out (thought mine was going to end up in the trash) and when you are adding the chocolate you’ll think to yourself “there is no way I can mix in all this chocolate” but you can, just add gradually. I went with a 2-ounce size cookie, when baked it was approximately 3 1/2-inches in diameter. The recipe makes quite a few cookies. You can portion out and freeze and bake whenever you want to indulge (add a few minutes to baking time).
Did I find the best chocolate chip cookie? I don’t know. What I did find, a decadent and rich chocolate chip cookie (crispy around the edges and soft in the middle) that will surely satisfy any sweet tooth.
Jacques Torres’s Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Martha Stewart)
Makes 26 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 pound unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 pounds Jaques Torres House (60 percent cocoa) or other best-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mats; set aside.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift both flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl. Using a large whisk, whisk to combine; set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until very light, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Add the chocolate; mix until well combined.
- Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies or until lightly browned, but still soft. Do not over-bake. Cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Biscotti, Cookies, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base