20 February 2013

B.T.Y.M. (Better Than Your Momma's) Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know I've said it before, but this time I mean it, dammit. Like, really, really mean it. I've found the holy grail of chocolate chip cookie recipes, the result of which dances through the dreams of the vast majority of Americans but remains at bay. This is the cookie I never thought existed. It does, in all its buttery, chewy, tender glory. And after about a hundred taste-testers' approval, I've got a solid case.

Like I do with most of the cookies that materialize in our kitchen, I froze the dough balls so they'd be cryogenically prepared to impress the shit out of last minute visitors in an instant. Well, more like twelve minutes in my oven, but shut up. Twelve minutes and no mixing, rolling, or dish washing past the initial deed counts as practically store bought-easy. Okay, in my book. And if you're still buying cookies from the supermarket, you should throw out your book and stick to mine. Homemade, in the case of cookies, is always, always better.

BTYM (Better Than Your Momma's) Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Averie Cooks, who adapted it from the NY Times, who adapted it from Jacques Torres, cookie master of the universe

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8.5oz/241g) cake flour 
  • 1 2/3 cups (8.5oz/241g) bread (or all-purpose) flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups/10oz/284g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10oz/284g) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces/227g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces (340g) bittersweet chocolate (60%-80% cacao content), chopped or in pre-made chips or discs
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C/135°C(fan).
  2. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon sea salt into a large bowl; set aside.
  3. Using a mixer fitted with the 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 (I did about 20 to 30 seconds). Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. 
  4. Roll dough into 1oz/28g balls, and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Weighing them leaves you with batch after batch of perfectly done cookies.
  5. Freeze for 4 hours, in a single layer on parchment paper, then transfer to a airtight container and place back in freezer.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
  7. Bake desired number of cookies, directly from the freezer, until the edges just begin to turn golden. The center of the cookie will still look slightly risen and wet. **For me this took 12 minutes with my convection fan turned on, but it completely depends on your oven. I suggest parking in front of your oven to watch the first batch bake, so you don't miss the magic moment. I promise that this recipe ends with chewy cookies, but not if you overbake them. Transfer baking mat or parchment paper to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. 
  8. The dough balls will keep up to 3 months in the freezer in the airtight container, ready to bake on-demand.