Thursday, March 12, 2015

Om nom nom COOKIES

I've been making these cookies for years, and I haven't told you about them. I'm terrible.

These cookies are just about everything I want in a chocolate chip cookie. They're a tiny bit crispy on the outside edge, with just the right balance of chewy/soft on the inside. There's plenty of chocolate distributed, and a good dose of salt really seals the deal.

I make these a lot. We eat them at home often, but they travel spectacularly well. I shove them in the backseat for road trips. I've packed the frozen dough in checked luggage. I bring them as my personal item on flights to see friends and family. I took them to Vegas, along with another batch of a different recipe--a browned butter chocolate chip cookie--for a scientific taste test with two of my best friends in the whole wide world. (These cookies won, but I'm secretly planning a fusion of the two cookies. Keep an eye out!)

I usually bake half the batch, then scoop the rest into balls, freeze them for an hour or two on a cookie sheet, then plop them into a bag and into the freezer. Being only 10 minutes away from freshly baked cookies is my I'm-sorry gift to you for keeping these from you.

This recipe is a tad fussy, calling for two types of flour and at least one DAY of rest in the fridge, but it's worth it. I'm not the kind of girl who lets cookies cool on a rack before I eat them, so please believe me when I tell you that, just like me, these cookies need a day of rest.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies...so far
Adapted from Jacques Torres

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 ⅔ cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
Sea salt for sprinkling

Cream the butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. (Really do a thorough job here. The mixture should actually change colors, from a golden brown to a very light beige.) If you're using a stand mixer, you can proceed while the mixer whirs away: Mix flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set it aside.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop the chocolate chips in and incorporate them without breaking them. Once the dough is homogeneous (except for the chocolate chunks), stop mixing! Press plastic wrap against the dough, give it a little kiss, and refrigerate it for 24 to 36 hours. You can refrigerate the dough for up to 72 hours.

When you're ready to get down to business, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet. (I portion the dough out with this scoop and freeze it after it rests. You can bake them straight from frozen--just add a couple of minutes to the cooking time.) Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully place the cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more before om NOM NOMMING.