Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Secret to the World's BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie




Whilst trawling the web one day I came across a very interesting article written by The New York Times titled 'Perfection? Hint: It's warm and Has a Secret' . The article discusses Mrs Ruth Graves Wakefield who for those of you who may not know, invented the Chocolate Chip Cookie in the 1930's.

The article is definitely worth the read and it highlights the two main secrets to producing the ultimate chocolate chip cookie:

1. The cookie dough must be allowed to rest (refrigerated) for at least 36 hours before it is baked; and

2. The cookies must be LARGE - this allows for three distinct textures - The crunchy outer edge, the soft centre and the ring between them where the two flavours and textures blend.

Heaven!

The article also discussed the use of quality dark chocolate ( no less than 60%) and the addition of salt - both in the dough and sprinkled on top. According to American baker and author Dorie Greenspan "You can't underestimate the importance of salt in sweet baked goods". 

This is SO true! You only have to think of the peanut butter and chocolate obsession or the salted caramel and chocolate phenomenon to know she is right.

The article concludes with the 'Ultimate' tried and tested recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have included the exact recipe for you below.

I made a batch and everyone loved them. Some didn't appreciate the sprinkling of salt on top but I really think it added a greater depth of flavour.

Enjoy x

Ingredients
2 cups minus 2 tbs cake flour
1 2/3 cups 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 ( I used 70% couverture chocolate chips I bought at Thomas Dux Grocer and one block of Nestle Plaistowe dark purely for chunk factor)
Sea salt.

Method
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 (176C) degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop small balls 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. 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, with a big napkin.

The 36-72 hr resting time produces a dark richer style of cookie

Gooey Chocolatey Goodness


Makes : 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies. Or a heap of smaller ones!!!!

Disclaimer: Please do not hold me responsible if your cookie dough doesn't make it from the bowl to the oven. As I almost forgot to mention that this is the best tasting cookie dough ever! 

Enjoy xx

6 comments:

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I remember reading about these cookies. I'm all for things that take time and produce a delectable result in the end! :D

myinnerchick.com said...

~~Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite in the entire world. This would be my last meal :)
I shall try these...
Thank you xx

chopinandmysaucepan said...

Great looking cookies, sure is a labour of love!

muppy said...

They look amazing, i never knew that you should rest the dough.

The Food Mentalist said...

Myinnerchick:did you end up trying these? How about everyone else? They were SO good!

thelittleloaf said...

Good things come to those who wait! Just discovered this post browsing around your site and I agree with all the points...my only difference is that I used chopped chocolate chunks rather than chips. These look so delicious - going to have to make a batch tonight :-)

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