Holy shizzle, my nizzles. I'm here to tell you to believe the hype: The New York Times' quest for the perfect chocolate-chip cookie has yielded a really good (possibly perfect) chocolate-chip cookie. True, they're more high maintenance than J.Lo., and after you've assembled the dough you have to wait THIRTY-SIX HOURS to consummate your relationship. But I think it's worth it.
A few notes:
* The recipe calls for both cake flour and bread flour. Do as it says or your dough will not come together or cook properly (I know this not from experience but from the tales of woe of a friend who tried making them).
* I let the cold ingredients come up to room temperature before I started mixing them.
* I couldn't find chocolate disks or fèves (I mean, seriously), so I used chocolate chips, but good ones (Callebaut).
* I measured the ingredients by weight instead of volume, because (a) it's easier, (b) it makes me feel like Nigella Lawson (that is, voluptuous and sexily carefree), while being (c) more accurate.
* I also used a scale to measure out the dough because I wasn't sure what was meant by "generous golf balls"—it turns out a 3.5-ounce mound of dough is the size of a really generous golf ball [could someone please suggest a Tiger Woods joke to insert here?].
* I wasn't kidding when I said these cookies were high maintenance.
* I made one cookie at twenty-four hours (I'm only human) and ate it hot: so good. Thirty-six-hour cookies were just as delicious warm as the twenty-four hours, and also yummy after they'd cooled and been stored. Seventy-hour cookies were a little drier, still delicious warm, but not quite as good the next day (though nothing to sneeze at and better than a Nestle Tollhouse).
* The sea salt is key.
* I froze a couple generous golf balls of dough and will post an update here after I've baked them to let you know how they turn out.
Possibly the Best Chocolate-Chip Cookies Ever
From the New York Times
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8½ ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8½ ounces) bread flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons coarse salt
2½ sticks (1¼ cups) unsalted butter
1¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1¼ pounds bittersweet disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
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 3½-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. [Mine went the full 20 and were still pretty raw in the middle, though they finished cooking on the baking sheet and were so deliciously tender in the middle.] 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.