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I am working mom who loves to cook and bake. I hope to keep track of recipes and share some of my better ones. In the process, hopefully my photography and cooking will get better and better!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The New York Times knows some cookies

 I used to think I had the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Easy, I'd say.  Cook's Illustrated Thick and Chewy.  This was such an ingrained thing in my brain that I didn't even want to try anything else.  I almost didn't try this one.  But the article went into the science of making the best chocolate cookie, and described the law of thirds--- one third should be a little crisp and slightly dry, the middle third should be a crisp chewy combo and the center should be practically underbaked.

Shirley Corriher weighed in.  Jacques Torres.  Some pretty heavy hitters, so I decided to try it.  Even though it involved special ingredients and online ordering.  GOOD DECISION.  These are my new go to recipe.  The light sprinkling of fleur de sel is a great flavor enhancer.  The thin chocolate disks layer in with the cookie dough in a way that's reminescent of a stacked apartment building of chocolate-dough.  Sorry, CI, you're second best.

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies,
as seen in the new York times 2008 with small adaptations

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher 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  vanilla extract (vanilla bean crush if you have it)
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Fleur de Sel

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 with a spatula 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  3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls- I used my muffin scoop) 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 fleur de sel 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.

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

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