|Dear Battlestar Galactica, I am watching s02e10 of you right now and you're AWESOME!|
A while back I suggested that I would share some of what I consider to be 10 out of 10 cookies. Given a choice between this and every other chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever made or tried, I would pick this one every time, and I've made and eaten a LOT of chocolate chip cookies. I'm open to the idea of better ones, I just haven't found them yet.Essentially, this is just a combination of the ultimate chocolate chip cookies put forward by Jacques Torres for The New York Times and by Cook's Illustrated. Like Torres' cookies, it uses a mix of bread flour for chewiness and cake flour for delicacy. It calls for a long resting time (36 hours, if possible) which allows the flour to absorb as much liquid as possible and results in a browner cookie with a richer flavour. It is kicked up with a sprinkle of sea salt before baking. From the Cook's Illustrated cookie it steals the nuttiness of browned butter and the moisture of the extra egg yolk. And pecans, the queen of nuts (unless you're a non-taster like my Da, in which case pecans are sort of a bitter cardboard flavour).
They're worth the trouble. They're not even that MUCH trouble, but for the will power required to leave them in the fridge for a day and a half without eating all of the batter. The batter is also excellent. But while I often prefer cookie batter to cookies, in this case I like it baked. They are excellent as they come out of the oven, and they stay excellent for. . . well, they've never lasted that long, honestly.
THE Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
For 8 BIG cookies, or 16 normal sized ones you'll need:
1 c less 1 tbsp (4 1/4 oz) bread flour
1 1/4 c (4 1/2 oz) cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
10 + 4 tbsp (1 3/4 stick) butter*
1/2 c (3 1/2 oz) sugar
3/4 c (5 1/4 oz) dark brown sugar
1 tsp table salt
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 chocolate chips*
1 cup toasted pecans
*The quality of your butter and chocolate chips will make quite a difference in your cookie. Aim for a quality dark chocolate, but not too dark. 60-70%.
Whisk together your flours and baking soda for a good 30 seconds so that your baking soda is fully dispersed.
In a small saucepan, melt 10 tbsp of butter. Heat on medium-high until the butter starts to smell nutty and turns an amber colour. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 4 tbsp of butter. (I actually have no idea why the butter is divided, but so far I've trusted the Cook's Illustrated recipe on that. Maybe it cools things down a bit. I also brown my butter in the microwave, but it's probably a poor idea since things get VERY hot and then I have to wait until it's cool enough that I don't think it will cook the eggs.) Whisk in sugars and salt and, so long as the butter isn't TOO hot, the egg, the yolk and the vanilla. Whisk for 30 seconds until smooth, let it sit for three minutes, whisk it vigorously for 30 seconds, sit, whisk, sit, whisk. That's three sits and four spirited whiskings (see photo for vigor).
|About to whisk in vanilla|
|Note the vigor expressed by the fuzziness.|
At this point, your sugars should be all melted into the butter and you should have a deliciously smooth mixture. Now mix in your floury ingredients until just barely together, and then add your chocolate chips and pecans. You don't want to over-mix your cookies and make them tough.
Penultimately, the hardest step: Cover or wrap your dough in plastic and leave it in the fridge for 36 hours. Don't eat all of it. Try to forget it's there.
Great! Now pre-heat the oven to either 375 or 350 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on whether you're making 8 or sixteen. If you're making 8, giant, golf ball sized cookies, you'll want to bake them lower for 16-20 minutes. If you're making 16 small (but still substantial) cookies, you can bake them at 375 for 10-14 minutes. I generally make the smaller ones, although there is something a bit magical about the big ones.
Divide your dough into balls and organize them on some parchment-lined cookie trays. Press them down a bit with your palm or a cup bottom or whatever--they may not spread very much.
Sprinkle their tops with sea salt. Bake until golden but still soft, rotating halfway through. Let them cool on a wire rack until they are still warm but not falling apart. A good 10 minutes at least.
Eat them with 400 mL of milk as measured by a graduated cylinder.
Why don't I have some balls of dough in the freezer right now? They freeze well.
|(unfortunately, the frozen dough is also tasty)|
I WANT it!
|I lied about the cookies winning a Nobel Prize. They can't even hold much of a conversation.|