Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

Difficult: Not any more so than other cookie recipes
Timely: only passively, the cookies have to sit overnight before baked.

These chocolate chip cookies are the bomb-diggity!!  They bake up huge and thick, the outside gets crisp while the inside stays incredibly soft and chewy and full of chocolate.  This is the infamous recipe by Jacques Torres and was published in the New York Times.  It's been floating around Pinterest for quite some time but I always put off making it because it includes bread flour and cake flour which I don't keep on hand.

Don't let the inclusion of bread flour and cake flour deter you from making these cookies. Believe me I put off baking anything that included "other" flours (aka not all-purpose) but these have changed my mind. The bread flour, with it's extra gluten, give the cookies their heft. The cake flour (with a lower gluten content) offsets the bread flour for a delicate and chewy bite. Trust me, it's worth it.

These cookies are freakin' huge! After I made the dough, I weighed it and it came in at a whopping 4 pounds and 5 ounces. And 1 pound of that came from the chocolate chips. JT would tell you that making your cookies huge are one of the secrets to their success (3.5 ounces per cookie). But I'm a quantity girl and I discovered a chewy and crisp cookie weighing in at only 1.75 ounces. Although not as thick, still incredible in my book.

The one on the left weighs 3.5 ounces, the one on the right weighs 1.75 ounces.
3.5 ounce cookie bakes to around 5-6 inches in diameter.
The 1.75 ounce cookies bakes to about 3 inches in diameter.

The only downer to this recipe is that it doesn't offer immediate gratification - once you prepare the dough, you have to wait an excruciating 24-36 hours before you bake. Torture, I know. But totally worth it. The overnight sit in the fridge helps the dough come together and allows all the liquid ingredients to really absorb into the dry ones, which helps to produce a chewy texture and to not spread too much when they bake in the oven.

The recipe

2 cups minus to 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cup bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 butter) butter, unsalted, room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds chocolate (the original recipe recommends at least 60 percent cacao content, I just used 2 bags of semisweet)
Sea salt for garnish


1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and soda, and salt. Set aside.

2.  In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attached (or using a hand mixer), cream the sugars and butter until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes set to speed 6 on a Kitchen Aid). Decrease the mixer speed and add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

3.  Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 5-10 seconds. Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. You can mix the chips in by hand if you prefer. Whichever floats your boat.

4.  Press Saran wrap over the surface of the dough and refrigerate 24-72 hours. Or create a neat little block of cookie dough and wrap in Saran wrap and pop that into the fridge if you don't want the bowl taking up space.

5.  Weigh out dough using a digital kitchen scale to 3.5 or 1.75 ounces, then bake at 350 degrees according to the specifications below:
  • Large cookies will bake to 5-6" in diameter and will yield 18-20 cookies: weigh dough out to 3.5 ounce balls (a little bit larger than golf balls).  Space dough a few inches apart (4-6 to a sheet unless you have huge professional sheets, then you can do more) on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Garnish with sea salt. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Smaller (but not small) cookies will bake to 3" in diameter and yield around 3 dozen cookies: weigh dough out to1.75 ounce balls (just smaller than a golf ball) and place a few inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet (6 fit on a regular baking sheet for me).  Garnish with sea salt.  Bake for 14-16 minutes. 
 Some tips:
  • Take cookies out of the oven just when the tops are starting to look brown for a softer cookie.  
  • Rotate your pans during baking- especially if your oven has hot spots. 
6.  Leave cookies to cool on pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Or eat immediately with milk.

If you dislike the odd quantities of ingredients required for these cookies (although I honestly didn't have a problem measuring out 2 cups plus or minus 2 tablespoons), check out the Cilantropist's version of these cookies.

Inspired by Bakerella 
Some input on size from the Cilantropist
Recipe from ABC's The Chew

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