In my last post, I set a high goal for myself: Can I top The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?
Here is the final list of ingredients I created:
- 1 ⅓ – 1 ½ cups AP flour
- ½ t. baking soda
- ¾ t. baking powder
- 1 stick butter, softened and cut into small pieces
- 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 10 oz. chocolate chips – I used half a bag of Ghiradelli, 60% cacao and half a bag of semi-sweet
- Sea salt (optional)
I started with the Times’ recipe and modified it using with another recipe that mimics The City Bakery’s cookie. I made a few more tweaks, including using only AP flour and brown sugar. After doing a little research, I found out some useful information on chocolate chip cookie ingredients. Using mostly granulated sugar results in a thin, extremely crispy cookie. Using mostly brown sugar will make the cookie moist and chewy (That’s what I wanted!).
Although using cake flour and bread flour in the dough can result in a softer, more delicate texture of the cookie, there’s nothing wrong with AP flour. It’s called all-purpose for a reason, isn’t it? Not only that, it’s also more likely to be in your kitchen cabinet.
So, with my limited baking chemistry knowledge, the above recipe is my best effort. Here are the directions:
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar with a stand or hand mixer until smooth and no more lumps are present.
- Add the egg and the vanilla and beat until combined (don’t overbeat).
- Add the flour mixture a little at a time and beat until fully incorporated.
- Roughly chop the chocolate chips (see above) and add them to the dough, using a wooden spoon.
- Chill dough for at least one hour.
- When ready to bake, set oven to 375 degrees. Using an ice cream scooper, place cookie dough on a sheet tray lined with parchment.
- If you have sea salt on hand (I didn’t at the time), sprinkle a small amount over each cookie.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes. The time will vary, but the cookies are done when they are golden brown around the edges.
- Remove the cookies from the parchment onto a cooling rack. I like to eat them right away, but ideally you should wait at least five minutes for them to set and crisp.
- Eat, preferably with a glass of milk nearby.
Let’s go back to step six. Here’s where things become interesting. I wanted to find out if chilling the dough longer makes a noticeable difference on the outcome of the cookie. I rested the dough for one hour, 12 hours, 24 hours and 36 hours and then compare my results. Here’s what happened:
I was pleasant surprised by the cookies after chilling for one hour. I expected them to be completely flat, but they actually rose a little in the oven. The cookies browned beautifully, too. Texture wise, the cookies were extremely chewy but not very crisp. The combination of 60% cacao and semi-sweet chocolate was also a winner.
This batch was a bit odd. They had the crispness that the first batch lacked, but they did not rise as much as I expected. I might have left them in the oven for too long, actually, but I’m not really sure what was going on here. Oh well, they were still delicious.
This is what I’m talking about! This batch was thicker and its flavors were bolder and richer than previous ones. I think I also nailed the baking time. I pulled them out of the oven when the center was still a little undercooked, but the outsides were browned and crisp. As the cookie cooled, the center solidified better. Overall, this batch was a huge success.
Damn it! I over baked this batch, but just by a little. How do I keep doing this!? Well, anyway, I didn’t notice a huge difference between this batch and the 24-hour batch.
Chill your dough! If you’re in a rush or an impatient cookie eater like I am, one hour is the bare minimum. For the optimum texture, color and rise on your cookies, chill them for at least 24 hours.
So, how does my recipe stack up? While I was extremely pleased with these cookies, I think they could have been even better. There are several things I’d like to try, including putting granulated sugar back into the recipe. It’s definitely a good recipe and in my opinion, just as good as The New York Times’.
One last thing – make sure you don’t continuously over bake your cookies like I did. I blame it on my culinary training. I was taught to take something out of the oven “when it’s done.” That is definitely NOT a good mantra for baking!