New York’s Finest Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 Aug

These cookies have a bit of a story behind them, so gather round folks.

The recipe is adapted from the chocolatier Jacques Torres, printed in the New York Times.  I would link you up, but I reached my monthly limit of articles.  Jacques Torres was born in France, but opened up a chocolate shop in New York, where they make chocolate from the beans up.  It’s great stuff, and their hot chocolate is essentially warm, thick magic in a cup.

But the chocolate chip cookies will change your life.  They’re huge, first of all, and second of all, instead of chips, they use chocolate fèves, which are chocolate discs.  The result is large swaths of chocolate swirled into delicious, slightly salty dough.  Absolutely divine.

The real miracle is that Torres is French, and no this is not about to become a French joke.  I have a recipe book from a bakery in NYC called Milk and Cookies, and Torres provided the foreward, where he wrote that in France, there is no such thing as a warm chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk.

Please, revive yourself.  Because I know you just fell out of your chair gasping for breath and squeaking pitifully for help.  Believe me, I know.  What kind of anywhere is a where with no chocolate chip cookies?  Yeah France has macarons and mille feuille and moulleux (how the hell do you spell that…?), and soufflé, and gelato…. But chocolate chip cookies, man.  This means, of course, that Torres did not have any until he came to the States.  And somehow, he managed to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie, without being raised on them.  Quel miracle, if you ask me.

What a happy miracle indeed.

Ingredients:

(I will warn you now that these cookies seem like more effort than they’re worth but they’re NOT.  Also, the dough requires refrigeration for 24 hours, so don’t make these if you need cookies NOW.)

  • 2 cups minus two tbsp cake flour (I don’t know, just trust the man)
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus two tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate fèves.  You can get these at Whole Foods, or you can just use very large chocolate chips like I did

Let’s do this thang:

Sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

 

I like how this flour pile is its own landscape.  Its bleak, shadowed white peak reminded me of Mars, but that could be because I stayed up until 3 am watching Curiosity’s landing and the subsequent press conferences.  Talk about an historic moment.  It was such a thrilling event to watch, and so completely joyous.  When the control room all leaped to their feet and started high-fiving and rushing about and hugging, they looked so happy.  Purely happy.  I was refreshing Tumblr and Twitter, and let me tell you, it was a real moment of unity.  I think it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Anyway.

 

Some of these pictures are purely to show off my nail polish.

Beat the butter and sugars together for about five minutes, or until they’re light and fluffy.

 

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

 

 

Now throw in the chocolate.

 

I heard these were pretty quality, or something?

(My mom and I sampled them and just went, “Oh”.  But oh, they are divine.)

 

See all that chocolate?  That’s not even the entire pound and a half.  It took two of those bags pictured above.

 

There.

 

Yeah, good luck stirring in the chips.  It took freaking forever.

Now this is the worst part, and I’m sorry to do this to you, but…

Press plastic wrap right onto the dough and refrigerate for 24 hours.

 

I know, okay?  It hurt me, too.

Now spend an entire day not thinking about these cookies.  Distract yourself with one of my book recommendations, maybe.  Sit outside and admire nature.  Go get ice cream.  Go get all the ice cream.  Eat everything else in your kitchen.  Listen to music.  Go see an opera, that’ll take up plenty of time.  Invent something.  Learn the Charleston and dance while you’re waiting in line for coffee.  James Brown it down the grocery line.  Whatever works for you.

(James Brown is a blues dancing move, by the way.  I sort of blues dance.  I’m more of a Lindy person by dint of longevity.)

After 24 hours, form the dough into “the size of generous golf balls” (“whiffle balls?” suggests my dad).  I had trouble here because the dough was so stiff from refrigeration.  I waited until the dough warmed up a bit, and then I pried it out of the bowl with an ice cream scoop.

 

Another problem I had was that this recipe is supposed to yield six very large cookies.  Mine made about twenty.  They’re a bit smaller than the original Jacques Torres cookie, but not by that much.

I’m not complaining, mind you.  Just pointing out a quirk in my process.

 

I think we can all agree that my golf balls are very generous.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes.  I am a chronic underbaker, and 18 minutes was perfect, so if you like crunchier cookies, I’d leave them in for a bit longer.

 

 

I was having a hard time with some apartment-related stuff when I made these, so when the first batch came out of the oven, I just sat down on my kitchen floor with a too-hot cookies and a mug of milk and pumped up the jams.  (Jams = Mendelssohn violin concerto no. 1, because hot damn.)

It didn’t work, but it helped.  Giant, melty Guitard chips in massive, gooey cookies will not solve every problem, but if they do not alleviate the situation at least a little bit then you are in deep shit.  That’s how good these cookies are.  I would have one right now, but I just ate some Scharfen-Berger chocolate and feel kind of disgusting.

 

And that’s a wrap.

Public service announcement: I have no idea when I’ll be able to post next, because I am moving back to Chicago and into an apartment, and I am having some trouble setting up the utilities.  I will probably throw something together and make a short post about it, because I find this whole process traumatizing and baking helps.  But don’t expect much for a few weeks, okay?

 

 

Now, I’m going to tell you a secret, and I only ask that you please don’t judge me.  I don’t care overly much if you do, but I’d prefer it if you didn’t.

You know that Gotye song, Somebody I Used to Know?  That song is kind of my jam.  I know it’s not really a good song, but I heard it on the radio when my sister was in charge of the radio.  And now.  I just listen to it.  All the time.  All day today, it was a Mendelssohn fest, and then I went to see Porgy and Bess, wound down with some Sinatra, and what do I play next?  Gotye.  I just do not know.

In any case.

Your recommendation this week is a documentary called Eames: The Architect and the Painter, which is a rad little film about Charles and Ray Eames, who designed the gorgeous chairs and revolutionized (and I’m not using that word lightly) photography, film, and design.  It’s great, it’s beautiful, it’s inspiring, and it’s on Instant Netflix.  Hurray!

 

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3 Responses to “New York’s Finest Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Hedda 10/08/2012 at 11:25 am #

    So look forward to your posts!! Gotye:) Ha! If you need help with anything for your apartment let me know..I’m not far away.

    • thedancingtoast 28/08/2012 at 11:44 pm #

      Thanks! Ha, that song drives me crazy, okay, but I listen to it, like, every day. Thank you! I really, really appreciate that. And no matter what, you should totally visit soon. Think of the doughnuts. They’re calling you to Chicago.

  2. Mom 31/08/2012 at 11:07 pm #

    I am in love

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