If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m currently hunting for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. And of course, what constitutes the “best” is completely subjective – my version of the best would be a thick cookie that’s crispy on the edges, dense and chewy on the inside, packed full of dark chocolate chips, with a deep buttery, brown sugar-y flavour. So far, I’ve made Joanne Chang’s famous Flour Bakery & Cafe CCC and the America’s Test Kitchen’s thick and chewy CCC. Both were very good but I preferred the America’s Test Kitchen’s cookie. Joanne Chang’s had a strange texture the day after the cookies were baked – it would clump a bit in the mouth as I chewed it instead of melting away on the tongue (that’s a disgusting description – I’m sorry but it had to be said). I surmised that the texture was due to the recipe’s use of bread flour but what do I know? Anyways, it certainly didn’t stop me from eating the entire batch of cookies.
A new blog I recently discovered, 52 Kitchen Adventures, has issued a blanket invitation to all readers and bloggers to participate in her Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge (see here). I love a good challenge, especially when it comes to baking. And a CCC challenge? Hell yeah – sign me up! I just need to find that one cookie worthy of this culinary competition.
Next on my list? The New York Times version of this iconic cookie treat.
The New York Times CCC
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons 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 (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (I didn’t have disks or feves, so I just used chocolate chips)
Sea salt (optional – for sprinkling on top of the cookies)
Start by sifting the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set it aside.
Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Amazingly enough, after about five minutes of mixing, the mixture was indeed light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients slowly and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Add the chocolate chips (I used one cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and half a cup milk chocolate). 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.
Reading the posts of other bloggers who have made this cookie, it was strongly recommended that you wait a full 24 hours with the dough in the fridge before baking. Apparently, cookies didn’t turn out so well with a shorter chilling time.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
I used a spoon and scooped out 9 two inch mounds of dough. I didn’t sprinkle the tops with sea salt before baking (which is optional). Bake until the cookies are golden brown but still soft. Since my cookies were smaller than that suggested by the original recipe (which called for 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough, the size of generous golf balls, to be placed onto the baking sheet) it only took about 13-15 minutes to bake. If you make the original size, the NYT recommends baking for 18-20 minutes.
Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then place the cookies onto a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking the next day.
The Husband proclaimed that this CCC was his favourite so far and proceeded to eat three of them.
I think I agree with him – the cookie was light and extremely crisp on the edges, and wonderfully chewy on the inside. I’m happy to report that the cookies are just as chewy the day after. The Husband liked how this wasn’t as sweet as the America’s Test Kitchen cookie. That may have been due to the fact that I didn’t load them with as much chocolate as I usually do (I – gasp – actually ran out of chocolate chips).
There are a few more recipes I want to try but I think the NYT’s CCC has claimed first place so far.