Recently I became obsessed with chocolate chip cookies. The reason is that I read an article in the New York Times with some secrets to making better cookies. There were three tips. I already knew the one about salt making sweet things better, but I didn’t know about the other secrets that bakers know but home bakers don’t generally use.
The most interesting new one to me was about making the dough 36 hours ahead of time. Who knew? Of course this requires a level of organization that I can’t even hope to have. But a girl has to have a dream, right? It also talked about making them really big, like golf ball sized. This one is a little tougher for me, but I may just have to try it in the name of science!
And finally, I have a confession to make. I love chocolate chip cookies, but sometimes, well they are almost too chocolate chippy. So when I made these, I got chocolate bars and thinly chopped them instead of using chips. I’ll do this from now on. It took 2 minutes, and the results were thin chocolate ribbons going through the cookies, which I found so much more delicious than the lumps of chocolate. It’s just my opinion; don’t judge.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies
Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling
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 (see note)
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
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. 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, 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.