In Which I Make Cookies

So. My office decided that the second-to-last-day before the holiday break we were having a “cookie party.” What is a cookie party, you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Everyone brings in cookies, puts them in the kitchen, we all start eating them at around 9am and are sick and sluggish by 11. Add this to the fact that our e-mail servers had been down for a day-and-a-half and everyone had “holiday-itis,” and you’ve painted yourself a picture of a very productive day at work.

I contributed to this delicious madness with two dozen of the New York Times chocolate chip cookies. Many have claimed this recipe to be the best of all chocolate chip cookie recipes, the holy grail, the be-all end-all. Do I agree? I don’t know.

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies

People certainly enjoyed them – they were all gone by lunch – and I’m a fan myself. They are definitely very good chocolate chip cookies, but I’m not sure Alton Brown’s chocolate chip cookie recipe isn’t superior. This is clearly going to require more testing.

We’re still waiting on the Boy’s verdict. He ate one fresh out of the oven, but claims that then is not the proper time to judge a cookie, as most cookies taste delicious fresh out of the oven.

Butter and sugar being creamed for cookies.

Cookies on their way to being cookies.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
From http://www.nytimes.com, adapted from Jaques Torres
 
I decided to put the salt on the tops of these cookies, though I used regular salt instead of sea salt, and it was a big hit  (the salty-sweet combo being a popular trend as of late, as one colleague pointed out). The other keys to deliciousness are making sure you don’t cook the cookies for too long (who’s gonna argue with a slightly under-baked cookie, people?) and using good chocolate chips – mine were the 60% Ghiradelli ones that are BIG, and two whole bags of them at that. Do please note that these are rather time-intensive, and you will have to make the dough a day before baking the cookies.
 
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies
Total Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours chilling
 
Ingredients:
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 pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
*Sea salt (optional)

Directions:
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 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.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ready for a cookie party.

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