So what’t the big deal about the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie, otherwise known as the Jaques Torres cookie? I saw it pop up on food blog after food blog. Okay, the dough rests for 36 hours. So what in the world does that accomplish except a long, torturous wait?
Thankfully, one blogger included a link to the original article from the Times, which explained the science behind what happens in those 36 hours of torture as well as a few other insights into what makes this cookie so spectacular.
For those of you who don’t want to read the entire article, let me to offer you a recap of the highlights:
- 36 hours allows the dough time to soak up the liquids, which creates a firmer consistency
- large cookies–six inches, to be precise–allows for a crunchy outer ring and a soft center
- use high-quality chocolate–at least 60% cacao–to maximize the vitality of flavor
- a sprinkling of salt plays up the sweetness factor
And here’s an interesting factoid from the article: the original creator of the chocolate chip cookie, Ruth Wakefield, owner of The Toll House Inn, included the instructions in her 1953 Toll House Cook Book to “chill this dough overnight.” Ever seen that little tidbit included in the recipe on the back of the package of chocolate chips? Seems this little secret has been around for a long time yet not shared with the public.
Okay, back to the recipe. So, I finally tried it and was not impressed. Gasp! I swear I must be the only person with this reaction based on what I’ve read in other blogs. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t live up to the hype, in my opinion. I like a thicker cookie. These came out too thin for my liking.
However, I did make a discovery that blew me away. You see, I made a handful of gigantic cookies as per recipe after the 36-hour mark. Two nights in a row. Not impressed. Hubby thought they had way too many chunks of chocolate. So, I fished out quite a bit of the chocolate chunks, tried again, and still wasn’t impressed.
Rather than toss the dough, which I was sorely tempted to do, I decided to try making a large pan cookie. Why not? The dough was already mixed and I wasn’t going to make the humongous individual cookies anymore and I really didn’t want to waste the dough.
This bar version blew me away. Now I could really taste the melding of flavors and understand the hype: rich and buttery toffee flavor interspersed with deep chocolate delight. Plus, I loved sinking my teeth into the softness of the hunky bar form and feeling the explosion of the deep caramel notes. This bar version gave me the thickness I desired in combination with the hyped-about flavors I’d been reading on other blogs.
Although several weeks have passed since I’ve made this cookies, I still drool about it and crave more. However, I avoid making it for the simple reason that I would eat the entire pan of cookies!!! When I make this again, it will be to share with others to save myself from pigging out.
And now, time for the infamous Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie straight from the July 9, 2008 New York Times article:
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Adapted from Jacques Torres
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
- 1 2/3 cups (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 (Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods. I didn’t find them at Whole Foods. Although I chopped up the pricey Scharfenberger chocolate, I recommend using the Ghiradelli chips most markets carry.)
- sea salt (Note: this is coarser than regular salt. Also, I forgot to include this when I baked the bar version.)
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 F. 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.
SOURCE: Cherry Tea Cakes blog; New York Times recipe