You meet once and you just know — and suddenly there is no need to look elsewhere. The search is over. Mr. Right is on your doorstep with arms outstretched.
Before I found this recipe (or did it find me?), I had a wandering eye for any and all chocolate chip cookies recipes. I would wantonly explore each new recipe I came across, and feel absolute no loyalty to those with which I had dabbled before. I was forever on the prowl, and this wild pony couldn’t be tamed.
For years, I remained doubtful that I would ever find a recipe that would make me stop looking — one so superlative and fail-proof that I would want to rip up all those magazine recipes and remove the tabs ear-marking pretty good ones in old cookbooks.
It all changed when I came across Jacques.
Monsieur Torres is a scion in the candy and pastry world; no surprise as he has cookbooks, a much-lauded chocolate factory in Brooklyn, eponymous stores, and his own Food Network TV show.
So when he wrote in an article (New York Times, perhaps?) a couple years back that he had finally created the ideal chocolate chip recipe, he had my full attention.
With the help of a new kitchen friend, I went to work making the dough.
I followed the recipe to the letter (even buying both fresh cake and bread flour) and took the advice of letting the dough cure for up to three days in the fridge; I believe the accompanying article attributed much of the success of the recipe to letting the flavors co-mingle and mature in the fridge.
I scooped it into giant balls and put it back in the fridge.
I waited. And waited.
Let me tell you — those might have been the three longest days of my life.
Is it time yet? Is it time yet?
After just twelve hours, the temptation was so great that I had to put the covered dough in the downstairs fridge and place a couple heads of romaine on top of it so that my kids wouldn’t stumble upon it. And I’d have a speed bump that might make me think twice before gorging on all that amazing raw dough.
I am proud to tell you that I waited the full 259,200 seconds.
The recipe was a winner then and it hasn’t failed me since.
It’s everything that I want a chocolate chip cookie to be; it’s moist on the inside, crispy on the edges, and blissfully buttery. It’s neither too flat nor too cakey, and it’s intensely chocolatey with a hit of salt at the end. And it’s packed with really good chocolate.
My contribution to the recipe is I reserve really good chocolate chunks (often just broken off from a high-quality bar) and place it in the cookie on top in the last few minutes of cooking, so it yields ever-so slightly.
This cookie is perfect.
And so, after years of searching, I’m happy to say my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie is over. Phew!
I’ve made huge ones for bake sales and neighbor gifts, medium ones for ice cream sandwiches, and minis as part of a dessert sampler. All are great — and should you have leftovers (unlikely but feasible), they hold well for a day or two without any loss of flavor or texture.
This week is the last week of school, so for the last twenty four hours I’ve been baking these to give to people at school.
What better way to say thank you than to surprise them with a cookie the size of a salad plate, oozing with chocolate and flecked heavily with Maldon salt?
And so without further ado, I present to you this recipe exactly as I got it (with some possible substitutions).
Enjoy, share, and store leftover balls of dough in the freezer for a special occasion — you can’t believe how happy you’ll be when you stumble upon this manna in the weeks to come.
- 2 C. minus 2 Tbs. cake flour
- 1⅔ C. bread flour(remember, substituting all-purpose flour for both of these flours is okay)
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 1¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1½ tsp. coarse salt
- 2½ sticks (1¼ C.) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1¼ C. light brown sugar
- 1 C. plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1⅓ lb. bittersweet chocolate disks or feves, at least 60 percent cacao content (this chocolate is ideal but not mandatory, any good chocolate or chips will do)
- Sift together the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- 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 even 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.
- 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.
- Line and/or grease your baking sheets. Scoop your dough onto the sheets. I used a #40 ice cream scoop, which is about the size of 2 tablespoons, but you can make them even larger, if you like.
- Do not press the dough down -- let it stay the way it is. Sprinkle the cookies lightly with fleur de sel or sea salt. Bake 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies (mine took about 11 minutes) or 18-20 for larger cookies.
- 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 airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze up to 2 months.