American pastry chefs can make Chocolate Chip Cookies (CCCs) from recipes long committed to memory. Many of us started baking as children and took command of the sturdy Toll House recipe (below) as soon as we were allowed to approach the oven. We might have evolved beyond this humble beginning – through cakes and classes and meringues and molecular gastronomy – but most chefs I know are happy to munch a CCC anytime of day or night and always comment on the merits of a good one (texture is soft with a discernible crunch; chocolate is gooey but not liquid; flavor is balanced between salt, bitter and sweet). A bad one (too dry; over-baked; flattened because of over-creamed butter) might get tossed back on the plate after one bite. Here are links to CCCs I believe in:
In New York:
From Momofuku – top of the dessert trend:
Thanks to Content Carnivores for finding the winning photo of a cookie blogger in London and her take on the CCC. http://www.vogue.co.uk/miss-vogue/whats-up/2015/02/chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe
David Leibovitz is based in Paris and appreciates the CCC as only an American might. This recipe brings his Franco-food-o-philia to an American classic.
Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes two dozen cookies
For those of you who wish to use unsalted butter, 4 ounces (8 tablespoons, or 115g) of butter has about 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt in it. (For those with a better aptitude for math than me, this might be of interest.)
For the rest of us, you could simply swap out unsalted butter and add another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- 4 ounces (115g) salted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup packed (110g) dark or light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cup (180g) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 1/3 cups (200g) coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup toasted nuts, coarsely chopped
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar just until smooth and creamy.
2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Stir the flour mixture into the beaten butter until combined, then mix in the chopped chocolate (including any chocolate dust) and the chopped nuts.
5. Cover and chill the batter until firm. (It’s preferable to let it rest overnight.)
6. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
7. Form the cookie dough into rounds about the size of a large unshelled walnut. Place the mounds evenly spaced apart on the baking sheets, and press down the tops to flatten them so they are no longer domed and the dough is even.
8. Bake the cookies for ten minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies look about set, but are not browned.
9. Remove from the oven and quickly tap the top of each with a spatula, then return to the oven for two to five more minutes, until the tops of the cookies are light golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cookies cool.
Storage: The cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to five days in an airtight container. The dough can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for one or two months.
In Los Angeles:
There’s this from the Huffington Post:
Where in the world have you discovered an outstanding CCC? Leave a comment and let us know.
And just for good measure:
5 Tips for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
–Don’t overcream the butter. Keep it cold and go easy – only mix the ingredients lightly until they are blended. Then stop.
–Add an extra splash of vanilla (1/4 teaspoon) beyond what your recipe call for or the seeds of a vanilla bean to deepen the flavor.
–Chill the dough before you shape it into cookie dough balls.
–Chill the pan of cookie dough balls for 20 minutes in the refrigerator before you put them in the oven.
–Underbake them just a little – pull them out of the oven when you see that the edges are browning but there is still a little moisture in the center of the cookie.