Test-Run: The New York Times’ “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever”

I’m weirdly, persistently bad at making chocolate chip cookies.

We know this.

But I feel like…you know…seriously?!

So when I saw this recipe, which the Times deems “the consummate chocolate chip cookie”, I of course had to try it. (In an effort to avoid a repeat performance of my last chocolate chip cookie effort, I also incorporated a couple of tips that Alejandra gave me last time I wrote about my cookie mishaps, including making sure that my butter had been out of the refrigerator for about 20 minutes – in other words, softened but not liquefied.)

I mixed, I refrigerated, I preheated the oven…and then, when it came time to actually bake…

I fell asleep.

So Kendrick, pictured above being a questionably helpful sous chef, turned into my hero moments after this photo was taken, and handled that part. (And did quite the excellent job, as you’ll see in a moment.)

See? Nice work, guy.

Two important things to note about the Times‘ recipe:

1) It is salty, calling both for coarse salt and sea salt sprinkled over the top. Which, to my mind, is always a good thing when chocolate is involved.

2) It makes a big to-do about length of chilling time. I went for the full 36 hours, and while I was initially worried that I had done something wrong because the texture was much harder and drier than I’m used to, as it turns out this is exactly what you’re shooting for: you want it to be a little crumbly in the bowl, but still hold together when scooped on the baking sheet.


What you need:

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour (Like I Am Baker, where I originally found this recipe, I subbed in regular flour  for both the cake flour and 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 (removed from refrigerator 20 min. pre-baking)

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 (I just went for regular old Tollhouse chips, because let’s not get crazy, now)

Sea salt.

What you do:

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or a regular old wooden spoon), cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

4. 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.

5. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours (I went for the full 36). Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

7. 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.

8. 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.

Verdict: Salty. And crunchy on the outer rim, with a fudgy-ish center, which is most definitely the best of both worlds.

Consummate chocolate chip cookie? Sure, I’ll give it that.

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