the ultimate chocolate chip cookies

While my #1 favorite chocolate chip cookie in NYC is from Levain Bakery, another ridiculously delicious option comes from Jacques Torres, who is known as Mr. Chocolate, and for good reason! His cookies are a bit thinner & wider than those from Levain, but they have perfect caramelized, crisp edges with a melty, gooey interior.  I've been on the quest to bake the ultimate chocolate chip cookie at home, and lucky for me, The New York Times has published a recipe based on Jacques Torres' own. Just a heads up, these aren't your quick, easy to throw together cookies. They require both bread and cake flour, and need to be refrigerated for at least 24-36 hours before baking (kudos if you can wait that long without eating all the dough or baking a few cookies early, which may or may not have happened here). But trust me, plan ahead a bit and have the dough ready to go in your refrigerator. The added wait time improves both the flavor & texture of these cookies, so it's definitely worth it. Make sure you find chocolate discs instead of your typical chocolate chips. They are bigger & flatter, and melt in the perfect way in these cookies by creating a whole sheet or layer of chocolate instead of just blobs. A higher quality chocolate, like Guittard, will take these cookies to the next level! You will not be disappointed-I promise- but if you are, I will gladly take them off your hands!

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) 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
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves
  • sea salt, for sprinkling over cookie dough prior to baking
 

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt into a large bowl; set aside. 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. 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. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside. Scoop six 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough 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, 16-20 minutes. Transfer baking mat or parchment paper 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. Makes about 18 5" cookies.

*Recipe from The New York Times, adapted from Jacques Torres.