Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Cookies...maybe the best Chocolate Chip Cookie ever!

I know, I know...this is a mighty big claim!  The best Chocolate Chip Cookie ever!!  Let's just say that these cookies are as good as it gets.  Crispy around the edges, soft and chewy in the center and the flavor is butter and vanilla and sugar and CHOCOLATE!  I've been making a variety of chocolate chip cookie recipes, trying to find the one that makes me (and my boys) the happiest.  So far, this is the winner.

What's the secret?  The first secret is using exceptional chocolate.  I used the Belgian Callebaut chocolate and it was sooooooo good!  The second secret is refrigerating the dough for 72 hours (the recipe says at least 24 hours...but you really want to go for 72).  I read somewhere that the original Tollhouse recipe called for the dough to be refrigerated for 24 hours, but somehow it got left off of the package instructions many years ago.  So, even if you don't want to try Jacques recipe, try refrigerating your Tollhouse dough for a day.  The extra time gives the flavors a chance to blend and mellow and become delicious.

I baked these at a friend's house yesterday and we also made crescent cookies, snowballs and almond rolls.  We baked all day...and drank champagne as we baked and had a very merry time.  I took a few photos of her lovely holiday decorations too!

A little sea salt on top is the final secret!


Home for the holidays!

Here's the recipe.  Make it for your family or your friends and see what they say.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres, printed in the New York Times

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

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 coarse 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 natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.

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 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 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) 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 sea salt 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. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.


Anne Marie said...

Those cookies look PERFECT! I can't wait to try them. I'm always trying new chocolate chip cookie recipes too. Alton Brown's version with the melted butter are a big hit around here but I'm going to try yours this week. Thanks, Steph!

luciacara said...

Thank you for posting this!!

Sweet and Savory said...

What could be better, a baking day with a friend, champagne and the best chocolate chip cookies?

Nicole @ Arctic Garden Studio said...

I still have yet to try these. Every time I see them I wonder why. I must move them to the top of the queue! Yours look so good. Hope you have a great holiday.

PattiCake said...

I will have to give those a try. Your other pictures are wonderful as well. I'll have to try the Champagne and baking too!

Tabitha said...

I'm glad to hear about your experience with that recipe. I've meant to try it for a long time, but can never muster the strength to wait so long for my cookies! I will try it soon, though.

Kathy said...

Steph, Your cookies look amazing and you're right the best chocolate chip cookie ever. I also make this recipe. The sprinkle of salt is just a great taste treat.

Cher said...

Can any recipe of Jacques ever go wrong? I don't think I know how you had enough willpower to keep from eating all of the dough during that waiting period.