Friday, July 15, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is only one recipe source I use for chocolate chip cookies: NY Times. The recipe is different from the recipe printed on the back of a Tollhouse chocolate chip bag. It calls for both bread and cake flours, a recommended refrigeration time of 24-36 hours, and a sprinkle of sea salt before baking. The resulting cookie is the best chocolate chip cookie - it rivals those from Specialty's, which is the only chocolate chip cookie I will purchase! (I became addicted to their cookies when I started working in their building five years ago, especially since they have a warm cookie radar on their website alerting customers of what cookies recently came out of the oven! They quickly became a bad afternoon habit for my waistline!)

These cookies are so reliable that I baked four batches to hand out as favors for our wedding guests. So what makes these cookies so great? The extra refrigeration time allows all the flavors to marry and deepen, especially the brown sugar, resulting in a caramel like flavor. The dough also becomes drier with time so you don't have to worry about spreading, which commonly happens with other recipes. The recipe calls for chocolate feves, which were always out of stock at Whole Foods! However, Trader Joe's recently started carrying them in 8oz bags. I usually use 60% bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips because they are more easily assessible and larger than other chocolate chips. For sea salt, I like to use the Spice House's Portuguese variety. The sprinkling of salt to the cookie just before baking really enhances the butter, brown sugar, and chocolate and balances the sweetness. The cookies always bake up to a gorgeous height. From my experience, I usually make each dough ball similar in size to a golf ball, or about 2.5 oz per cookie.

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