Jumat, 14 Februari 2014

My FAVORITE Chocolate Chip Cookie

I have experimented with countless recipes searching for that perfect chocolate chip cookie. The characteristics of the perfect cookie are a very personal matter, and here are my preferences:

texture: chewy w. medium thickness --- everyone has their preference, and this is mine!

chocolate to cookie ratio: 50/50 --- I really enjoy having a lot of chocolate in every bite

chips vs. chunks: chunks --- I like sizeable pieces of chocolate in my cookie.

type of chocolate: bittersweet --- I like using Valrhona 61% extra bitter

nuts or other add-ins: NONE!! 

With the above criteria in mind, this recipe is the closest I've come to experiencing CCC perfection. It's the "not so secret" secret recipe from Jacque Torres, and I'm sure many of you have read about this or already tried this at home. I've been making this recipe countless times, and have found that the following tips make this cookie absolutely perfect:

Don't substitute the pastry and bread flours w. AP flour. I really believe that the combination of the pastry and bread flours give the cookie a nice slightly crunchy exterior giving way to a really tender middle.

Hand chopped chocolate chunks, NOT premade chips - I will purchase a hunk of the best bittersweet chocolate that I can afford and hand cut them into chunks. The easiest method to chop a block of chocolate: nuke the block at 50% power for a few seconds, no more. It softens the chocolate just enough. Then take a large kitchen knife and chop away! Your effort will be rewarded with really nice ribbons of melted chocolate throughout the cookie.

Chill the cookie dough at least 24 hours (I let my dough sit anywhere from 2-3 days) before baking. This is not for taste reasons that were recently written about in an article from NY Times (god forbid we're aging cookie dough...let's leave that for wine and cheese). IMHO, refrigeration makes a difference with the look and texture. I think the dough sets in a way so when you bake the cookies, you end up with the lovely wrinkles and folds as the balls of dough spread and bake. 





Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Makes twenty-six 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.
  5. Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies.
  7. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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