Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Best (non-Hyperbole) Chocolate Chip Cookies....Ever!!

I am finally sitting down to start this blog, and I figured what better recipe to kick it off with than the most amazing chocolate chip cookies in the world! I found this recipe through lots of online research - a skill that I picked up in grad school and have perfected to an even higher level when it comes to using it for the really important stuff - food!

A quick summary of these cookies - they are epic (and yes, I fully mean cookies that could inspire Homer to write another Iliad)! After I made them I took a large plate to a housewarming party and they were gone within an hour of arriving! And let's just say that the case for the cookies that I left at home was not much different. I must warn you that these cookies have the power to weaken even the strongest of wills when it comes to self-control. I think it must have something to do with the way that the tiny flakes of sea salt complement the dark chocolate chunks - they are an unbeatable pair! I fully endorse this recipe but I will leave with the disclosure that I am not at all responsible for the expanding waste-lines and the tight pants that it may induce; in my opinion, a minor consequence for a taste (or two, or three...) of the best chocolate chip cookies ever!!

The Best (non-Hyperbole) Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen (+/- depending on your scoop size)
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 14 min
Total Time: 25 hours (includes idle chill time)
You must respect the 24 hour chill time and cold cookie sheet rules in order for this recipe to turn out as amazing as it should!

482 g flour (you can do half cake flour and half all-purpose if you have both – I used 100% all-purpose and they were great!)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
283 g (2.5 sticks) unsalted butter (at room temperature or course)
284 g light brown sugar (we don’t have this here so I make it – mix 1 Tbsp molasses for every 1 cup granulated sugar. How easy is that!)
227 g granulated sugar
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
2 tsp natural vanilla extract (we don’t have this either but I always bring back a bottle from the states when I visit)
567 g dark chocolate (I get the bars here and break them up by hand – the Swiss don’t do “chip” form – that would be insulting!)
Sea salt for sprinkling (DO NOT forget this!)

Wisk together or sift flour(s), baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl. Put off to the side.
Using a hand mixer to cream butter and sugars together. About 5 minutes or until light colored.
Add eggs, mix well. Add vanilla and mix well.
Add dry ingredients in batches and mix until just combined, 10 to 20 seconds. Do not overmix.
Add dark chocolate and mix to incorporate gently. Do not overmix.
Transfer dough to another bowl and cover with plastic wrap (put it directly on dough to seal).
Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before baking.
After the oh-so-tough waiting period, preheat the oven to 177 C (350 F) degrees and line your baking sheets with parchment paper (using 2 is ideal but I only have 1). Scoop 8-10 balls of dough using a tablespoon and place onto a baking sheet. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches between each cookie dough scoop.
Add sea salt lightly on top of each cookie and bake until golden brown, 11-15 minutes, depending on the accuracy of your oven and the desired final texture of your cookies (11 for chewy - 15 for crispy).
Place sheet on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, and then remove cookies and place on another cooling rack to allow the cookies to cool even more.
Repeat with a fully cooled cookie sheet. Since I only have one sheet, I placed the dough back in the fridge while waiting for the sheet to cool after every batch before reloading it and baking.
Enjoy! =)

Slightly adapted from The Little Kitchen, slightly adapted from The New York Times, originally adapted from Jacques Torres (this long chain represents an evolution towards cookie perfection my friend!)

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