Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

For the longest time, I've been searching for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. I've tried countless recipes, each better than the last. For a while now I've declared Deb's recipe from Smitten Kitchen the best chocolate chip cookie ever. Well I'm sad and happy to say that I've found a new recipe that is by far the greatest chocolate chip cookie I've ever had and made. Where did I find this recipe, you may ask? I found it from the most boring place you could look for.....the New York Times. Me being your average teenager, I find the newspaper to be extremely boring, especially the NYT. Never would I have expected to find such a fantastic recipe from a newspaper.

What makes these cookies so special is that they require both cake flour and bread flour. They're two ingredients that most people don't have in their pantry. Luckily I did have KAF bread flour hiding in my pantry. As for the cake flour, it was nowhere to be found. However, you can easily substitute cake flour with AP flour and cornstarch*. I bet you could just use AP flour but I don't think the cookies would have the same texture or shape. They just wouldn't be as delicious.

I decided to put on a little experiment. I wanted to see how the cookies were different after different intervals of chilling the dough. According to the recipe, this dough can be chilled for up to 72 hours. I baked off my cookies after 1 hour, 24 hours, and 48 hours.

I baked this cookie after chilling the dough for only 1 hour. It tasted delicious, but wasn't amazing. It was just missing something.

I baked this cookie after 24 hours. The texture was chewier than the 1 hour-chilled cookie. There was also a much richer flavor, but it still seemed like it was missing something.

This cookie was the winner. It had a wonderful crisp exterior and delectable chewy interior. It had the best color and the texture was out of this world. Chilling for 48 hours is definitely the secret to this recipe. 

You can just see the difference in the three cookies. The 48 hour-chilled cookie is much darker and the edges are more defined. It was just so much more delicious. I weighed out all these cookies and baked them for the same amount of time. They were all 5.2 ounces. I made all the other cookies 3 ounces. I even packaged some of them for my teachers for the last day of school. 

Here's the recipe!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 18 very large cookies or 31 smaller cookies

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 (I used sea salt)
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
extra chocolate chips, optional
sea salt (optional)


Sift together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). I just scraped mine through a fine strainer/sieve since my sifter isn't all that great. Set aside.

Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars- mixing until the mixture is very light, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients and, mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place the dough in an airtight container and refrigerate a minimum of 24 to 36 hours before baking (and up to 72 hours).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats. For 5-inch cookies, scoop six 3.25 ounce mounds of dough- giant golf ball-sized (I rolled mine into balls) onto a baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Don't try to fit more on the sheet or you'll end up with cookies baking into each other. Dot some extra chocolate chips on top, if desired. Sprinkle each ball of dough with a small pinch of sea salt, if desired.

Bake until the edges are golden brown and the center is lighter and soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a rack and let them cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

I really do hope you try making these cookies. The recipe itself is extremely simple. The only "tough part" about this recipe is the waiting period. As I always say, the wait is well worth it. These cookies are fantastic! I highly recommend you try making these cookies. You won't regret it.

Happy Baking!

*For every 1 cup of AP flour, take out 2 tablespoons and replace those 2 tablespoons with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

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