Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies (version 2)

That's right, I tried my hand at another round of chocolate chip cookies! This recipe was recommended by my friend Brittany, and is featured here at the NY Times website. As you know, I have been looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is all subjective, as everyone has their own personal taste in what constitutes the perfect cookie. What is most interesting about this recipe, as well as the last one, is that they both tasted better the second day after baking! Usually cookies taste the best right after they're done, at least in my experience, but maybe something about my Peanut M&M cookie jar is magically making them taste better the day after? It's a mystery!

Chocolate Chip Cookies by freshfromthe.com

In any case, this recipe. It's kind of complicated, and as I didn't want to buy all of the various kinds of special flour, I adapted it to fit what I had, though I don't think I adapted it exactly right with regard to the baking soda & powder. Basically, I was a little nervous about the ratio of flour they were calling for versus the rest, which was fairly normal. Almost twice as much flour and only 1/2 stick more butter? It sounds crazy. How can this be right?! And since I used regular all-purpose flour instead of the mix of bread flour and cake flour, I used less.

Are you wondering the difference between cake flour, bread flour, and all-purpose flour? I was too. In the most basic sense, they have different amounts of protein in them. Bread flour has the highest amount, thereby making the results denser, whereas cake flour has the least amount, making things lighter. All-purpose is somewhere in between. Which makes me a little suspicious of this recipe because why bother with the two types of flour, which basically cancel each other out, when you could just use all-purpose, which is in the middle of the two to begin with? Hence, my using all-purpose with little qualms. I also used regular ole semi-sweet chocolate chips rather than going to the extra lengths of finding these special bittersweet chocolate disks or feves the recipe calls for. Rather gourmet, aren't we, recipe??

Chocolate Chip Cookies by freshfromthe.com

I also get a little miffed at recipes that assume their bakers are going to have a Kitchenaid mixer with special paddle attachment. Not all of us are so lucky! I am still using a lowly hand mixer here, guys! Anyway, on to the recipe...

Chocolate Chip Cookies  - via NY Times, who adapted it from Jacques Torres

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
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.

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.

Sugars and butter mixed together. My butter was not as soft as I would've liked, but I was impatient and didn't want to microwave it.

After adding in the eggs.

And finally, the flour mixture.

All wrapped up and ready to be refrigerated.

A little less than 24 hours later, it's time to bake these babies. Sorry for the window slat shadows!

Chocolate Chip Cookies by freshfromthe.com

So, blast it all yet again, my oven ruined the first batch by deciding it wanted to be 25 degrees hotter than it was supposed to be! Ugh. I hate that oven SO much! I got it under control after that, but these still turned out to be kind of crisp, though as I mentioned above, they are a bit chewier the second day. I also added more than I should have of the baking powder and soda since I used less flour, so that could also be a culprit. Though again I wonder at having both of them in the recipe when they sort are opposites, much like the different flour types. It just seems an extra step to sound more fancy. 

As you can see, I'm not exactly gourmet! Comfort food, down home cookin'... yeah that's much more like it.


  1. That's funny - looking at your pictures, I've always assumed you did have a KA mixer because your bowl looks like the mixer bowl! The cookies look yummy though, regardless of how they were mixed. :)

    I've never had a problem with these getting too crispy on me (I hate crispy cookies), so I wonder if the quantity changes made a difference? In any case, let the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie continue. :) (In the meantime, I guess there is always Phoebe's grandmother's recipe, right?)

  2. I used to have an old standing mixer, not Kitchenaid, but it stopped functioning. But, I kept the bowl because it is the best mixing bowl!

    I really think it was probably my fault of too much of the baking soda & powder, and also my oven.

    Hahaha "Neslay Toulhouse" ... "Nestle Tollhouse?!" ... "You Americans always butcher the French language."