Wednesday, 12 February 2014

New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe, and a nice soft tender cookie version!

I've been hunting down a really good chocolate chip cookie for a long long time.  Now everyone's definition of a "best" chocolate chip cookie varies as some love crispy, while others like soft or chewy cookies, but its pretty plain that the chocolate chip cookie had better taste pretty freaking amazing.  My personal preference is warm soft out of the oven with rich caramel-y flavors complementing the chocolate (but with no actual caramel added to the recipe)... and it turns out New York Times had did the legwork back in 2008 on their search for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe out there...  and who wouldn't want to bite into the best chocolate chip cookies out there?
The New York Times best chocolate chip recipe was adapted from  a Jacques Torres's recipe, and had 3 little tricks of the trade in them:
1) The cookie dough would rest in the fridge for 24-36 hours so the butter can reform and all the ingredients get hydrated.. resulting in caramel and complex yummy flavors developing.
2) The cookies made are HUGE. And when baked had a "rule of thirds": The exterior 1/3 of the cookie would be crispy, the next 1/3 ring would be fudgey and the center soft
3) Serve them warm or fresh out of the oven

I've tried making these gargantuan mini pizza sized cookies before, and they're so big, its a meal in of itself (a very guilty meal heh.).  Since I was test baking these out and anticipated to be giving them out for Christmas, and random times I feel like baking up a whole heck of a lot of them, I wanted to see what happened to the cookies after cooling.  Since the cookies take 3 days of sitting in the fridge (yes, do the full 3 so you get the best tasting cookies!), and a bit of planning so you remember to bake them after 72hrs, I usually end up baking a lot since this recipe calls for so much attention and time.  Also, unless I was some superhero in the kitchen, baking hundreds of cookies = 99% of them were going to be delivered cool and boxed up nicely or slipped into large ziplock bags a few hours later or the next day.


I've made the recipe exactly, with Bernard Callebeaut chocolate and some fancy pants pink Himalayas salt, and while these cookies were pretty damn good as a cookie the size of my outstretched palm, and warm out of the oven... I wasn't happy that it became a pretty hard cookie after it cooled (my friends and coworkers that love crisp cookies loved them)... but I wanted a nice soft tender cookie that stays tender and wanted them more normal cookie size so noone feels bad eating 2+ at a time...cuz with the original recipe, if you ate more than one, you'd probably feel ill from eating a month's worth of butter and chocolate in one go... and you know, I probably shouldn't give my friends, family and coworkers diabetes or contribute to their waist line too much! :d


So, I've made some tweaks to the recipe to make it less fussy (mainly by decreasing the amount of flour and changing the flour over to just regular plain jane all purpose flour), decreasing the baking time, and rolling out the cookies to be golf/ping pong ball sized rather than the ham-fisted baseball size cookies the original recipe called for.  The result... super soft chocolate chip cookie that remains nice and soft with just a tiny edge of crispiness to it... and you can have a few without feeling guilty or green from overeating!  Want to compare?  Here's the original New York Times recipe that uses cake flour and bread flour adapted from Jacque's Torre (the big chocolate guy south of the border)... and my adaptation below for a tender soft version that stays soft the next day below! (if the cookies last that long... nom!)





Soft tender modified New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Time: 30-45 minutes, plus 24-72 hours’ of chilling time
Ingredients  (Makes 32-40 regular sized cookies)
-2 1/4 cups all purpose 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, soften at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar 
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated white sugar 
- 2 large eggs 
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
-1 1/4 pounds bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate disks/fèves/chips, (60% percent cacao content or higher), I've used 3/4 dark chocolate and 1/4 milk chocolate with very happy taste testers.. use whatever chocolate makes you happy!
-sea salt (optional - you can use fancy sea salt, or any finishing salt to have a more adult touch to the cookies)

How to:
1. Sift flour into a bowl and set aside. 
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, (or a big wooden spoon and muscles) cream butter, baking soda, baking powder 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 flour and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. 
3. Scoop out dough and portion into 4-6 chunks and form them into logs with plastic wrap.  It makes it much easier to portion out later as the dough turns rock hard after a few days in the fridge. Refrigerate for 24-72 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. 
4. When ready to bake, position the oven racks to the top 1/3 part of the oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a nonstick baking mat or  non-stick cookie sheet (I love the heavy duty Wilton's cookie sheets!). Scoop out 1-1.5 inch diameter balls out dough and roll them so they're nice and round (about the size of a golfball or pingpong ball).  Space them out about 1.5-2inches apart on the pan. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 11-12 minutes. Let sit on pan for 1-2 minutes to set, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool.  Eat warm, with a big napkin.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your test run & the improved recipe, I'll test it myself, since I've been searching for a "chewy" (till next day) chocolate chip cookie recipe for years by now.

A german cookie lover :)

Eat YourCity said...

Hope you love them.. this is by far our collective favorite for soft chocolate chip cookie recipe :)

Anonymous said...

do you have to leave the cookie dough out until it reaches room temperature before rollingthem out and popping them into the oven?

Eat YourCity said...

Its much easier to roll out the cookie dough after it has a chance to warm up a little bit (especially if you tossed it in the freezer for later). However to avoid your cookies turning out into greasy puddle of crispy sugar - always place rolled balls of dough back into the fridge to cool and harden up. I find if I pop the dough balls in a single layer (in a bowl or cookie pan) back in the fridge, and turn on my oven...the time it takes for my oven to heat up to tempurature is enough time for the cookie balls to cool down and firm up enough to bake out beautifully!

Alternatively, prior to letting the dough harden and sit for 72 hours, roll the cookie dough into balls.. I find the dough SUPER dooper soft and a bit hard to handle right after mixing it, so sometimes I roll them all out after its been in the fridge for an hour or so.

Personally, I like divvying up the dough into 2-4 logs... and roll them out when I want to bake them. That way its easier to portion out the cookies, and if I dont' have time to bake them later, I can choose to freeze the cookie dough (triple plastic wrapped and then double ziplocked bagged) for later.. they need about 2-3 hours thawing on the counter or overnight in fridge

Happy baking (and cookie eating!) :D

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