How to Make the Ultimate Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweet + salt = give that to me right now.
Take it from a people-pleasing baking perfectionist: I'll only ever hand you recipes that will result in the highest compliments and affirmations. THIS is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need. Actually...I take that back. If thin, crispy chocolate chip cookies are your jam you can stop reading now. These are not those. These cookies are super sweet in a brown sugar toffee kind of way, sufficiently salty, soft, chewy and super thick. One batch of these and if anyone ever questions your competency as a baker you just politely open their mouth, place the cookie inside, and tell them to sit down. And because instant gratification is our M.O., I'm going to tell you how you can have said chocolate chip cookies at your disposal (and at your defense) at all times by portioning them now and freezing them for later.
So a little disclaimer: For two game-changing reasons, this recipe is just a little different than the one on the back of the Nestle bag you grew up with. It's by no means an original. If you Google search "New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe" you'll find that people have been singing it's praises for some time now. Jacque Torres is a legendary pastry chef and the genius behind the recipe. People generally don't like change. I get that. And I have to admit that a little bit of "unfamiliarity" and extra effort nearly deterred me (that whole instant gratification thing) from taking these on. Let me just say, lest you find yourself on the brink of the same and risk spending the rest of your life in cookie mediocrity, that I'll never seek out another chocolate chip cookie recipe again. They're that good and for all the right reasons. I've highlighted the two curveballs (if you could really even call them that) below so you know exactly what you're getting into and why it makes a difference.
Give it a rest
Why the heck am I waiting 24 hours to bake these?
Well, here we have science to blame. And thank. As the dough "rests" (i.e. sits in the refrigerator overnight) the carbs break down into sugar, thus concentrating the flavor and producing an even sweeter, more magical cookie. Remember that extra sweet toffee flavor I was talking about? This ONE step is what will distinguish your cookies from all the others out there. Don't skip it.
Flour v flour
Why the heck do I need two types of flour for one cookie?
Whether it's bread flour, all purpose, pastry, or cake, the primary difference between types of flour lies in protein content. That's why a loaf of chewy sourdough has a different texture than a tender cake. By combining bread flour and cake flour in this recipe you're getting the best of both worlds.
It's good to be pushed and we're learning here so get back on this cookie bandwagon right now and let's do this. If you haven't read The Baking Primer yet, now's the perfect time. Here we go...
Ultimate Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies
A New York Times Cooking recipe
8 1/2 ounces cake flour
8 1/2 ounces bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) butter, softened
10 ounces light brown sugar
8 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds chocolate chips
Stand mixer (or a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl)
Rimmed baking sheet
- Whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down your bowl again and beat in the vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients and with the mixer on low, beat until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a spatula.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a quarter cup measure, portion the dough into balls and place side by side on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Sprinkle generously with Maldon salt. NOW, take one giant scoopful to snack on and cover the rest of them with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge. Tomorrow we bake.
- Fast forward 24 hours and the ingredients in your cookies have had the chance to really get to know each other. Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer six cookie dough balls to a parchment-lined sheet tray spacing them evenly apart and bake for 12-18 minutes depending on the size of your scoops until golden on the edges. You can bake off as many rounds as you like OR transfer the chilled cookie dough balls to a plastic container or bag and keep them in the freezer. Bake these from frozen any time following these same instructions. Voila. Warm, sweet, salty chocolate chip cookies on demand.
Bake it Beautiful Tip
Using an ice cream scoop to portion the dough into balls ensures that all the cookies are roughly the same size and will thus
require the same amount of baking time. Uneven sizes mean some will burn before others are fully baked. In pastry, consistency is key.
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