Friday, November 19, 2010

recipe: the New York Times' chocolate chip cookies

I like chocolate chip cookies very much, and I've always thought them pretty fool-proof. The Nestle Toll House recipe is easy, and it always makes a good, serviceable cookie. Frankly, I preferred cookies with a little embellishment, like these peanut butter cookies.

But now I've tried Jacques Torres's cookie recipe (via the New York Times), and I will never go back. These cookies are perfect right out of the oven, perfect a day or two later when they're chewy and substantial, and perfect as raw batter that you're powerless to stop eating. Yes, the recipe is a bit fussy, and you could probably manage without using two different kinds of flour, but I would make it to the letter at least once if I were you - you'll be impressed.

I have adapted this very minimally, first to make measuring the flour a bit easier, and then to decrease the size just a tad - I like my cookies big, but not salad plate big.

I made these cookies to go along with our Halloween costumes, and if Oscar the Grouch didn't like cookies before, he does now.

The most important parts of this recipe are letting the dough rest, and using big, flat pieces of chocolate. Allowing the dough to sit overnight or longer lets all the ingredients meld (the reason soup is always better the next day), and allows the eggs to absorb into all the dry ingredients. The resultant cookies have richer, caramel-like flavor and color.

For the chocolate, I use one 11.5-ounce bag of Ghirardelli 60% baking chocolate, and two very roughly chopped 4-ounce bars of Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate (cut each square into quarters or halves). The chocolate will stratify through the cookie, giving you long, broad layers of chocolate that you'll taste in every bite.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Jacques Torres, via David Leite at the New York Times
  • 1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (9 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
  • kosher salt, optional
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.

4. Scoop mounds of dough onto baking sheet, using a 2"-wide ice cream scoop. Turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt (optional) and bake until golden brown but still soft, 13-14 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.


  1. Hello! I just wanted to comment on this lovely blog that you have. I'm inspired by your creativity, your craftiness, and the values you uphold!

    P.S. I'm a GT alum too! I actually studied building construction, which is in the school of architecture. I built so many lasting friendships from my freshman studio class, and it was so charming to find out that your friendship began that way as well.


  2. I tried the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipie, and they turned out great! I may be salting all my cookies in the future!