Coming down off of the Christmas High is like coming down from Prom when you’re in high school – or your wedding day – all the planning, the cooking, the baking, the wrapping, the shopping and then BOOM, it’s over like that. But, the best part is that there’s only 364 more days until we can do it all over again!
Anyway though, I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas – we did a lot of eating, drinking, and traveling (not all in the same order) but it was a fantastic few days spent with family and friends. I’m always sad to see it end, but it was great while it lasted.
Another thing that was done in abundance was BAKING – holy moses. 5 different cookies, which in reality doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re in the throws of flour, sugar, and butter, well you realize that it is in fact a.lot. Some of the usual suspects showed their faces – Easier than Ina’s Pecan Squares & Chocolate Drizzled Macaroons, but a few new players were introduced to the rotation. And even though the Christmas Baking accessories have maybe been put away for the year, these are year-round winners.
I don’t know if I’ve met anyone who doesn’t love a Chocolate Chip Cookie – it seems like they’ve been around since the creation of man, and there’s probably some cave in the arctic that has the recipe chizzled on the walls. But there are many many different versions of this all-time favorite circulating the earth. Back in June, I tried these Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and mmm…they were good. But, anyone whose read this for a bit knows that many a recipe on this blog has been inspired or just flat out stolen from my friend Ashley, and this recipe is another ‘hot’ recipe of hers. We were still rooommates when she first started making these ‘New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies’ and over the years, she has gotten them down to a science, experimenting with ingredients, cooking and dough-chilling times, literally perfecting this cookie. The recipe differs from others in that it uses a combination of cake flour and bread flour vs. the standard all-purpose flour and it also adds the seemingly unlikely touch of salt on the tops of each cookie, which really adds a lot of dimension to the flavor.
They are worth their weight in gold (and whatever weight they add to your hips) 🙂
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
*Adapted from Jacques Torres & Chef Ashley Rogers
*yields about 20 cookies
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
*If you can’t find Cake Flour like me, this is a great alternative from Joy the Baker to make your own
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, at least 60 percent cacao content
*I used the Ghiradelli 60% Cacoa discs
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.
3) Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and stir them in by hand with a wooden spoon.
4) 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.
5) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
6) Take a 1/4 cup and measure out 6 mounds of dough (1/4 cup each – the size of generous golf balls), roll them into a ball, and place onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie.
7) Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and bake until golden brown on the edges but still soft in the center, about 16 to 18 minutes. Let cookies sit on sheets for a couple of minutes & then slip them onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
There were many tips both from the original recipe and from Ash that were useful, but above is exactly how I did them. I think they key with these is experimentation, trying different baking & cooling times, on and off the baking sheet, as well as varying how long you chill the dough. Personally though, I let this dough sit for just about 72 hours based on her recommendation as it allows the flavors to really meld together producing a really rich tasting cookie. And the size of these may be off putting, but if you’re someone who likes a cookie with crunch edges and a soft, chewy interior, than these are your cookie. You could certainly make them smaller though too. Ash originally recommended measuring out 2.5 ounces of dough, but since I didn’t have a food scale I thought 1/4 cup would yield a healthy sized ball of dough and that amount seemed to work really well. Also don’t be alarmed when the cookies come out, as they’ll still look a little undone in the center. That’s what will make the chewy goodness when they’re cooled!
If you go make these now, your dough will be ready just in time for some gigundo NYE Chocolate Chip Cookies! Why would you start your diet now anyway? There’s still a few more days of holiday fun to be enjoyed 🙂