Why haven’t I posted this earlier?
This is a popular recipe. My friend Shana told me about it, and I have heard raves and wows from all sorts of other cooks. The magical part is in the chocolate and salt pairing. Without the salt, it would be overly sweet. With the salt. Oh my. We bring them out and the go in minutes. We have a standing rule (one of the few) that states that we can not make a batch and keep it in the house. They have to go someplace else.
While amazing, this is a fussy recipe. Don’t skimp and use AP flour. Really. We tried, since the combination of cake flour and bread flour would result in AP flour, but it just doesn’t taste the same. Yes, they are still good, but they aren’t quite the same. We tried so you wouldn’t have to. If you want to learn more about flours, check out the Wikipedia entry on wheat flour.
My advice is to make the dough, let it chill for a little while, make cookie-sized balls, freeze them, then put those in a bag. Then when you want a few fresh cookies, you pop out how many you want, sprinkle salt, then bake. In 15 minutes you have a wonderful Thursday treat. I did this for Michelle once and it made a work-night quite enjoyable.
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour [low gluten]
- 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour [high gluten 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, room temp
- 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
- 3/4-1 # bittersweet chocolate chips – it originally calls for 1.25# of chocolate disks (60% cacao), but I found the full chocolate amount too much. A little less makes it that much better
- salt for sprinkling (and to take over the world, like every night, Pinky) – they call for sea salt, but I have not really found a huge difference with more fussy salts. I’m curious what you find.
- Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- Cut out 4 to 6 sheets of plastic wrap for the logs.
- 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. But not on the fastest speed, on a lower speed, like 2 or 3, if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer. (We have 2, Michelle’s is bigger, and she is always happy to point that out.)
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients a bit at and mix until just combined. I usually pour in 1/2 C and let it stir 5 seconds, to give you an idea.
- Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. I use my hands for this. If you use the mixer, the chocolate pieces break and you get chocolate chocolate chip cookies.
- Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 2-36 hours. You don’t want a lot of air to contact with it, otherwise it will dry out. A day is really helpful, but the only requirement I found was the chilling and letting the flavors mingle. If you are going to freeze it for a while, I suggest putting it in a freezer bag (not just any plastic bag). This keeps them fresh.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
- Scoop out the chocolate chip cookies. The original size is 3.5 oz, which are about the size of golf balls. Personally I like my cookies smaller, so I do not use an ice creams scoop, but a small cookie scoop. You don’t want the dough to warm up too much, otherwise they do not have a gooey center when baked. Part of the charm is the bite through the crust and into the center. Don’t look at me that way: this is serious stuff. Serious bidness.
- Sprinkle with the salt / sea salt. This is critical. Somehow I forgot to do this once and the look I got from Michelle was along the lines of “you kicked a kitten?!”.
- Bake them 9-12 minutes at 350 degrees (which you preheated on step 9). You want them golden brown, but not over-baked. I rotate midway through, to make sure for an even bake. There is a short window between over-baked and under-baked, so check often at the 9 minute mark.
Yield: a big pile o’ cookies
Yield (serious) 30 cookies, if not more. We have not had time to count them.
This is an adaptation from the NY Times recipe.