When I was working at Windermere and basically sat around and surfed the internet for my whole shift, I did a lot of reading. Most of the reading was food related, there were a number of blogs that I followed religiously and I’d occasionally end up on a “reading tangent” where I’d get caught up in reading about something and end up so far from where I started that I couldn’t tell you what started the train of thought if you paid me. Chocolate chip cookies were the destination of one of these tangents. To tell you that I’ve been thinking about and testing around for the “perfect” recipe is an understatement. I’ve tried a number of various recipes, methods, etc, and none of them have been as good as the type you get in bakeries, and that has been eating away at me. There’s no reason that I shouldn’t be able to create a bakery-esque cookie in my own home. I happened upon a NY Times article about the perfect chocolate chip cookie. They talked about how Wolfgang Puck has quarter sized chocolate discs made custom for him so that they create a strata in the cookie and it gives it an almost biscuit-like texture, but with chocolate instead of butter, how some bakeries use specialty flours, and all sorts of other crazy stuff like that.
The one thing that I took from the article that I believe that I’d actually make use of in my own kitchen was this -AGE THE DOUGH. I know this sounds strange. The science makes sense though. The eggs are the main source of liquid in cookie doughs, and that liquid is in a protein matrix in the albumen. It takes a while for the flour in the dough to pull the liquid out of the eggs, so a resting phase becomes necessary. In addition to this tidbit, I believe that there’s a small amount of fermentation that takes place while the dough sits in the fridge for 36 hours. This converts starches into sugars and adds a great deal of complexity to the flavor of the finished product. This is also why artisan breads are so heavenly to eat, the byproducts of the metabolism of flour are DELICIOUS! Anywhoodle, that’s the secret. I’m sure most other chocolate chip cookie recipes would benefit from 36 hours in the fridge prior to baking. Now, what sets the recipe apart from other recipes is: Melted butter; no creaming = no extra flattening when the butter melts in the oven, high brown sugar to granulated white sugar ratio; this gives the cookies stronger toffee tones and better caramelization on the edges (crispy bits), egg yolk to white ratio is high as well, 1 yolk for every whole egg makes a richer dough, low-slow baking process seems to cook the centers slowly and caramelize the edges.
Now for the recipe, I stole it off of another blog, and of course I’ll give credit, it’s a blog that I’ve recently begun following, and I like it very much. Our Best Bites. Here’s the recipe:
2 C plus 2 T flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 T butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 C semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower- middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.
This is where you put it in a separate bowl and chill the dough fro 36 hours.
After this, my method changed a bit. The dough is going to hard as a fucking rock when you pull it out of the fridge. This is partially because of the melted butter method, and partially because of the flour having absorbed most of the liquid, seizing the dough up. I think I’ll roll it out into logs and cut chunks off next time, it’s a lot easier than chipping away at the bowl with a spoon. Anyway, make big balls and fit however many of them you think you can onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. I ❤ my silpats and wouldn't ever bake without them. Pop them into the oven at 325º for 15-18 minutes, or at least that's what they take in my oven over the pizza stone. Your mileage may vary. Oh, and be ready to almost die when you eat these. And a double batch is WAY MORE than any one household should have. I did a double batch last weekend and gave a plate to my stepmother, my future mother in law, and filled two large yogurt containers with them for a friend.