Chocolate Chip Cookies, NYT style

Back in the summer, this story in the New York Times about the pursuit of the perfect chocolate chip cookie made all the foodie blog rounds. I saw it, enjoyed the read, and bookmarked the page, intending to come back to it and try the recipe. Well, it’s November now, and the recipe was long forgotten, until a fellow foodie blogger posted her test of the recipe on Election Day. Now I had to try it.

eggs, butter and sugar (two kinds)

The beginnings of really good cookie dough: eggs, butter and sugar (two kinds)

I’ll skip to the end and tell you right now that the cookies are really good. Not quite my #1 favorite chocolate chip cookie, but, they’re winners. And the recipe had a major revelation for me.

Salt.

Yes, every chocolate chip cookie worth its weight in dough has salt in the recipe. They have to, for the dough chemistry to come out right. But, I never thought of using course salt. In the dough. And on the dough. That, alone, is worth trying this recipe. Enjoy. And, please pass the salt.

Look how pretty - and this is just the butter, eggs and sugar (two kinds)

Look how pretty - and this is just the butter, eggs and sugar (two kinds)

My new favorite measuring spoons*

My new favorite measuring spoons*

With flour incorporated.  Good Lord, that's a lot of dough....

With flour incorporated. Good Lord, that's a lot of dough....

Chocolate disks from E. Guittard.  Would that be dark chocolate, you ask.  Oh, yes....

Chocolate disks from E. Guittard. Would that be dark chocolate, you ask. Oh, yes....

Oh yeeeah.  Now, it's into the fridge for a 24-hour setting period.

Oh yeeeah. Now, it's into the fridge for a 24-hour setting period.

A little sprinkling of salt, and these babies are ready for baking.

A little sprinkling of salt, and these babies are ready for baking.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups minus 2 Tbs. cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 lbs. bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
    Sea salt (for sprinkling)

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter 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 dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

* On my lunch break, I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some bread flour (and sushi for lunch) and Sur La Table for chocolate. While I was browsing – because what foodie can resist a kitchen gadget store? – with E. Guittard box in hand, I came across these metal spoons. I already own the first version of these spoons in plastic, and when I saw these shiny stainless beauties, I had to have them. I love these things – they solve all the problems that measuring spoons sets have had since the beginning of time.

  • Note the double-ended design. Many purposes, one spoon.
  • Each bowl has a flattened bottom so that the spoon sits flat and level on the counter – you can pour ingredients into the spoon without holding it.
  • For storage, each spoon has a magnet built into its center, so the spoons stick together and easily pull apart (no more loosey-goosey scatterings in the drawer or irritating rings to deal with).
  • The set comes with a 1/2 Tbs spoon. Never realized how often I actually need to use that.
  • They’re pretty. What more could a girl want?

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6 + = 7