Monday, March 5, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Move over Toll House, there's a new cookie in town.

Mr Pears requested that I make Thomas Keller's chocolate chip cookies over the weekend.  I took pictures while doing so but told him that this recipe was not going into the blog if the cookies weren't better than Toll House. Toll House chocolate chip cookies are kind of awesome, you know? The gold standard of chocolate chip cookies.

But wouldn't you know it?  Here I am writing a blog post about a chocolate chip cookie that is even better than that classic favorite cookie.  Because Keller's are ridiculously delicious.

Notable differences in the cookies are the use of dark brown (or molasses) sugar, the absence of vanilla extract, and the type of chocolate.  Toll House obviously uses their semi-sweet baking chips.  Mr Keller's recipe uses chopped chocolate bars; half 55% Cocoa, half 70-72% Cocoa.  Which is basically semi-sweet and "dark" chocolate respectively.  

Sounds gourmet right?  Well, yeah, and these cookies look it too.  The chocolate chunks make the cookie look a bit more special and the taste is out of this world even though the chocolate bars honestly don't cost any more than the chips.  Because Toll House is pricey.  I bought a bar of Lindt and one of Ghiradelli from Target for around the same price as a bag of chips.

These cookies are soft and chewy in the middle and buttery and crunchy around the edges which is exactly how I like my chocolate chip cookies.  But here's a tip from the Master (as my husband lovingly refers to Thomas Keller), if you want softer cookies don't under-bake them, mist them with water before baking.  What?  Genius.

Chocolate Chip Cookies; by Thomas Keller, found in ad hoc at home
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 oz. 55% chocolate **see note,
5 oz. 70-72% chocolate **see note, cut into chip-sized pieces
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

**Note- I purchased a bar of Lindt and a bar of Ghiradelli as I mentioned above.  The bars were only 3.5 ounces each but my cookies still had plenty of chocolate in them.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.  Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl and stir in the salt.  Set them aside.

Into the mixer (fitted with the paddle blade) put half of the cubed Cold! butter and beat until smooth.  Add the sugars and the rest of the butter and beat again until smooth and fluffy.

creamed butter and sugar could be the yummiest stuff on the planet

Add the first egg, beat until it is incorporated, then add the other and beat again.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

Mix in the dry ingredients.  I usually add them in thirds and mix slowly until combined.  Lastly mix in the chopped chocolate.

Mr. Keller recommends making these large 3 inch cookies, and I loved them that way.  Use about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie.  8 cookies to a tray.  This makes about 30 cookies.

Bake for about 12 minutes.  They are done when the tops are no longer shiny.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the tray for about 2 minutes before you move them to wire racks to finish cooling.

This dough freezes very well.  As with most cookies I make, I baked half and then froze the rest.  To freeze, just wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag with the name and baking instructions written on it.

To bake, just thaw the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours. These were so good that I baked the other half only two days later...  :)  They came out just as great.  Enjoy!

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