I had seen the New York Times (or NYT) Chocolate Chip Cookies take the blogging world by storm, but I was completely skeptical.  I figured yeah, yeah, chocolate chip cookies, what’s so special about them?  I haven’t made plain old chocolate chip cookies for a while, since they kind of bored me.

My boss talked about them, I read about them.  All the while I figured, what’s the point of using different kinds of flour, and refridgerating the dough overnight?  Isn’t the point of baking something so simple as chocolate chip cookies to be able to make them at the drop of a hat and consume them the very same day?

And then my neighbor made them and gave some to us, as a thank you for taking the trash out kind of thing.  And that turned me right around.  For starters, you use dark chocolate chips, which lend a much more complex chocolate flavor.  You also sprinkle the cookies with sea salt before baking, and that too makes them special.  I’m not totally sure if the over night in the fridge and two types of flour (cake and bread) make that much of a difference, since I’m too lazy to do a taste comparison.  I make the dough in advance, clean up, and voila, can bake them off easily the next day.  AND I can still munch on the dough to my heart’s content.

I have had many people try these, and they all agree, don’t go back to your tollhouse cookies.  THEY might not make them, but they sure do like when I make them.  They’re addictive cookies, so I send them right to work with my husband.  In fact, I accidentally won his office’s holiday cookie contest (he didn’t want to enter me and have me win 2 years in a row, and I baked them cookies just for the party, and what do you know, they accidentally get entered, and I won.  again) with these cookies.  So you just never know until you try a recipe.  In fact, I have some baking as I write this (this recipe is a little overdue on my blog).

If you want more commentary on them, visit the original article about the quest for the perfect cookie here.  Or you can just take my word for it and bake them.  Today.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres (have you ever seen what he does with SUGAR?)

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 (Ghiardhelli makes some you can find in most grocery stores, and I use 2 bags of them)
Sea salt.

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside (I never actually do this, just dump them all in at the end).

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.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat (with parchment they seem to stay thicker, with a silicone baking mat they seem to spread out a bit more). Set aside.

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, 13 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven (original recipe called for longer, mine would have been burned). 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, as they are DELICIOUS then.

One of our cats stepped in a warm cookie, and proceeded to track chocolate around the kitchen.

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