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Thread: 36 hrs & sea salt = the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

  1. #1
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    36 hrs & sea salt = the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

    There is a delightful article in today's NY Times Dining In about creating the consummate chocolate chip cookie (as the article notes, perfecting the humble chocolate chip cookie is to a baker what the perfecting the omelet is to a chef- so simple, yet so elusive, a true test of skill...)

    Here is the article: Perfection? Hint: It's Warm and Has a Secret and the recipe that was adapted after, ahem, extensive research (warning: accompanying photographs may send viewer into paroxysms of desire- parental guidance suggested ):

    New York Times July 9, 2008
    Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Adapted from Jacques Torres

    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
    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 or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
    Sea salt.

    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. 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. 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.

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

    4. 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. 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.

    Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.
    If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  2. #2
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    Oh. My. Goodness.

    These must be to die for. Too bad I am writing down everything I eat until I lose this ten pounds, or I'd make these today. I am looking forward to reviews as CLBBers make these.
    Margaret

  3. #3
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    Hmmmm, I have to make some cookies for colleagues since I told the office that I would for anyone who rode their bikes on bike to work day and hadn't decided what to make. These look delicious and may be the winner.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  4. #4
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    LOL, apparently the boycott of summer ovens is over!

    Bob

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226 View Post
    LOL, apparently the boycott of summer ovens is over!

    Bob
    I never said anything about boycotting summer ovens. Not that I've baked any goodies in months. And the co-workers are starting to get restless.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KValley View Post
    New York Times July 9, 2008
    Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Adapted from Jacques Torres
    Jacques Torres used to have a cooking show about chocolate. (I can't remember if it was on PBS or Food Network) He showed a lot of techniques for decorating with chocolate that I've always wanted to try. And he had the most dreamy French accent....
    Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. - Inception

  7. #7
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    This is a recipe that was posted last August and I made them and they were fabulous. Though I guess I'll have to make this one and the one posted above to compare the two...tough job, eh?

    Jacques Torres's Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

    INGREDIENTS
    Makes twenty-six 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies
    • 1 pound unsalted butter
    • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
    • 3 cups bread flour
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 pounds Jacques Torres House (60% cocoa) Chocolate or other quality semisweet chopped

    DIRECTIONS
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
    2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.
    3. Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  8. #8
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    Just read this article after seeing it on Anna's blog (cookiemadness.net). The pictures look so amazingly yummy! I may have to do some experimentation too and make these. Our current favorite around here are ATK's Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.
    "Nobody likes beets, Dwight! Why don't you grow something that everybody does like? You should grow candy" -Michael Scott

  9. #9
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    I can't wait to try these!

    How long has everyone's dough been sitting? Are you going for the whole 36 hours?

    Do you think the resting method would work for all ccc recipe? I must agree with the above post by Delanl that our current favorite is the ATK/CI thick and chewy version. I may have to test to see what the difference is after a few days.
    Life finds a way to amaze and amuse me everyday.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cumulus View Post
    I can't wait to try these!

    How long has everyone's dough been sitting? Are you going for the whole 36 hours?

    Do you think the resting method would work for all ccc recipe? .
    I am making the dough this morning and yes, I'm going to wait the whole 36 hours. I think the waiting time would definitely work with all cookie recipes. I have a sugar cookie that requires a minimum of 8 hours but I've let it rest 36 hours and they are great. It allows the flour to absorb more of the liquids so they are not as dry as doughs made straight away.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  11. #11
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    Well, I ended up making the dough Friday afternoon and baking the cookies this morning. I did have to make a few changes as far as the chocolate I used since I wasn't going to the store. I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chips, milk chocolate chips and semi-sweet chips (a bag of each) and then 6 oz bar of Sharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate that I chopped into large pieces. I had doubled the recipe so I used about 2 1/2 pounds of chocolate.

    One thing they don't mention is that when you first start scooping the dough is that it's very similar to scooping ice cream!!! I used my #30 scoop which gave me 2 ounce balls of dough and I have to say they were plenty big enough cookies. I also only baked them 14 minutes to adjust for the size. I did make 2 dz cookies using the #40 scoop as I wanted to send a couple dozen home with my MIL who came for a brief visit today.

    Warm off the tray these cookies are melt in your mouth chocolate chip heaven! But the real test came after they had cooled a bit and they are fantastic! Not what I'd call a chewy cookie but rather a crunch when you bite into it followed by a nice soft center.

    They certainly passed muster with the boys!!! These will definitely be repeated here! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneezles View Post
    Warm off the tray these cookies are melt in your mouth chocolate chip heaven! But the real test came after they had cooled a bit and they are fantastic! Not what I'd call a chewy cookie but rather a crunch when you bite into it followed by a nice soft center.

    They certainly passed muster with the boys!!! These will definitely be repeated here! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!
    Oh I was hoping you'd come back here with a review- good OR bad! But of course I'm so glad the recipe was worth the effort and the wait!
    If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  13. #13
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    I made this recipe this weekend. I made a couple of changes to use up some chocolate I already had on hand. I used a 12oz bag of 60% dark chocolate chips (can't remember the brand) and two semisweet Lindt bars, chopped up, that were each 3oz. I used less chocolate than the recipe calls for but it was plenty.

    The cookies came out crispy around the edges and and moist in the middle. They are pretty buttery. They were really good, I'm pretty sure I'll be making these again.

    Thanks for sharing KValley.

  14. #14
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    They look good but I don't have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
    Visit my blog at http://www.theglobalkitchen.blogspot.com/
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristiB View Post
    They look good but I don't have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.

    You don't really need a stand mixer or a paddle attachment. You do need at least a hand-held mixer though to cream the butter and sugars well enough. The dough is really pretty soft and it was no trouble stirring in all that chocolate.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  16. #16
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    Did those who have made these use the sea salt? That was the one thing that I still can't quite get my head around. Maybe I can try it on a few of the cookies, and see how it goes,

    Betsy

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecau View Post
    Did those who have made these use the sea salt? That was the one thing that I still can't quite get my head around. Maybe I can try it on a few of the cookies, and see how it goes,

    Betsy

    I didn't only because I limit my sodium but using the coarse in the recipe adds quite a bit. DH even asked about it because you don'[t get it in every bite but once in awhile you'll get a bite that definitely has the taste and crunch of the salt and combined with a hunk of chocolate it's MMMMM, MMMMM Good!
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  18. #18
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    Another stupid question... is coarse salt the same as sea salt? or is coarse salt kosher salt? I hope it is one of those since I already have 3 kinds of salt in my cupboard!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecau View Post
    Another stupid question... is coarse salt the same as sea salt? or is coarse salt kosher salt? I hope it is one of those since I already have 3 kinds of salt in my cupboard!

    There is a fine and a coarse sea salt. Kosher salt is a coarse salt but it may be bigger or smaller than coarse sea salt depending on the brand. If you have a coarse salt in the house I would just use that...I subbed for the chocolate and they still taste fantastic!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  20. #20
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    I made more of the cookies yesterday and had a leftover one today. It was still moist in the center, but less crispy on the outside. I didn't use any sea salt on top either time. I just forgot about it actually. I used kosher salt in the recipe.

  21. #21
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    A post script- SPOILER ALERT

    I was thinking I should have requested that no one run this recipe through their MasterCook program because I really really did not want to know the nutrional breakdown (i.e. calories). But in the interest of public health, I offer the following letter to the editor that was published in today's Dining Out, from nutrition guru Marion Nestle (ah Marion, I luv ya, but jeez, it's a chocolate chip cookie. I'll skip lunch! ) :

    To the Editor:

    I could not resist looking up the calories for the gorgeous chocolate chip cookie recipe given on July 9. That recipe calls for about 4 pounds of ingredients to make only 18 cookies, each of which runs 500 calories — one quarter of the amount needed by most people for an entire day. I’d call one of those cookies lunch or share it with three friends.

    By the way, a similar recipe in the 1975 “Joy of Cooking” made 45 cookies with just half the ingredients. These would be just under 100 calories each.

    Marion Nestle

    New York

    The writer is a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.
    If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  22. #22
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    I think I'd be perfectly satisfied on the 4-Cookies-a-Day Diet. Really, what other foods do you need? I can't imagine a tastier diet to follow.

    Kari

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    Quote Originally Posted by pilgrim719 View Post
    I think I'd be perfectly satisfied on the 4-Cookies-a-Day Diet. Really, what other foods do you need? I can't imagine a tastier diet to follow.

    Kari
    I certainly agree and that was my lunch yesterday and I did not make the 5 1/2-inch size either!
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneezles View Post
    I certainly agree and that was my lunch yesterday and I did not make the 5 1/2-inch size either!
    You made them smaller? Lower fat cookies that way...good thinking!

    Kari

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pilgrim719 View Post
    You made them smaller? Lower fat cookies that way...good thinking!

    Kari
    LOL! I hadn't thought of that!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  26. #26

    Question

    I have bread flour but couldn't find cake flour at the store today....Has anyone made these with AP instead of cake flour? Or should I make the substitution (involving cornstarch) that I found?

  27. #27
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    You'd be better off using just AP flour if you're not using cake flour. AP flour is actually a combination of cake and bread flour. You could use pastry flour in it's place but I wouldn't use the sub involving cornstarch in this recipe, JMHO.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  28. #28
    Thanks again, sneezles! (you answered my "marinating chicken" question yesterday.)

  29. #29
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    v. presentable cookies

    Just wanted to add my results. I made my dough Sunday. Baked them all (at about 1/2 the recommended size!) on Tuesday. I used fine sea salt (wish I had coarse!) and a mix of granulated and dark brown sugars. Even covered by the empty butter papers and plastic wrap the dough seemed a bit dry on bake night. May be the flours should be weighed out to be really top notch.
    It seemed like there should been a note about letting the dough sit at room temp for 20 min or so before trying to portion out. Even if not perfectly placed on the cookie sheet the cookies baked in a nice mounded forms -much more presentable than most cc cookies I've managed.
    Folks at work really liked them. Very buttery and chocolate-y but not too sweet. But they are definitely best from the oven. I'm not one for superlatives so I'm not sure they are the very best but they're very good.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by waldobmp View Post
    May be the flours should be weighed out to be really top notch.
    It seemed like there should been a note about letting the dough sit at room temp for 20 min or so before trying to portion out.

    I did weigh the flour (and weigh most baking recipes) and my dough wasn't the least bit dry.

    And I agree about the letting the dough sit for a bit...reminded me of my job in an ice cream parlor!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

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