Thursday, April 26, 2012
Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies will knock your tastebuds off! Chewy, tender, decadent, and delicious...the trick is in the flour (bread flour and cake flour) and letting the batter rest for a minimum of 24 hours prior to baking. An article from the NY Times, Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret (2008) explains:
He’s [Jacques Torres] allowing the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid — in this case, the eggs — in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency. A long hydration time is important because eggs, unlike, say, water, are gelatinous and slow-moving, she said. Making matters worse, the butter coats the flour, acting, she said, “like border patrol guards,” preventing the liquid from getting through to the dry ingredients. The extra time in the fridge dispatches that problem. Like the Warm Rule, hydration — from overnight, in Mr. Poussot’s case, to up to a few days for Mr. Torres — was a tactic shared by nearly every baker interviewed.
One thing to note is not to worry if you do not have cake flour. You can make your own with All-purpose flour and Cornstarch.
1 cup cake flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 TBSP + 2 TBSP Cornstarch
Simply place two tablespoons of cornstarch in a one-cup measure. Fill the rest of the cup with all-purpose flour.
Yield: 18-20 large cookies (I used a medium scoop, which looked about 2 TBSP and I got about 50 cookies)
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (I used 2 -10 oz bags of Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips)
*optional: I added 1 cup chopped pecans
sea salt or fleur de sel, for sprinkling
1. Sift together the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
2. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together your butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla and mix. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, until just moistened. Fold in your chocolate until evenly added throughout the dough. Press plastic wrap against the dough, making sure it is completely covered, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or as long as 72 hours (I left mine for 48 hours).
3. When you are ready to bake, bring the dough to room temperature so that you can scoop it out, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line and/or grease your baking sheets. Scoop your dough out onto the sheets. Do not press the dough down – let it stay the way it is. Sprinkle the cookies lightly with a bit of fleur de sel or sea salt. Bake 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies (mine took about 13 minutes), or 18-20 minutes for larger cookies.
4. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on your baking sheet, then move them to another surface to cool completely. You can enjoy these warm, room temperature, or cold. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.