really random posts about food, eating well and healthy, my life, chocolates and dramas!

306: NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies Experimentation I

After reading the many food blogs on the legendary New York Times Chocolate Chip cookies that people have sworn by, I got tempted to bake the NYT cookies as well. Try googling “NYT chocolate chip cookie” and you can read the many blogs of people who attempted the recipe! People have been baking this cookie for years since it was first published in NYT in 2008. I’m 3 years late but never too late huh!

The key differences between the NYT recipe and typical chocolate chip cookies recipe are that:

1) It uses a mix of bread and cake flour. It’s so rare to see bread flour being used in cookie recipes. Bread flour is a high gluten flour whereas cake flour is a low gluten flour. I guess the mixture of both, makes a medium gluten flour (just like how some bloggers still use all purpose flour to replace the mix of bread and cake flour).

2) It requires refrigeration of the cookie dough for at least 36 hours (max 72 hours). The time the cookie dough spends in the fridge is supposed to allow the dry ingredients to absorb the wet ingredients and to bring out the full flavours of the cookie. A lot of people have commented that this is the crucial part of this cookie recipe!

3) A sprinkle of good sea salt at the end before baking! Many have declared that the addition of the sea salt to the sweet chocolatey cookie does add dimensions to this simple chocolate chip cookie.

4) LARGE cookies have to be sent into the oven for baking. 3 1/2 ounce (generous golf ball size) dough is required (around 99grams). Apparently, it brings texture to the cookie. It will be crisp on the outside and soft/chewy on the inside. Kind of like Subway cookies, no?

After reading all the lovely reviews online, I had to bake them! And since, Valentine’s Day is a week away, I wanted to bake some for my friends in school. And since, we’re graduating this June, this will probably be the last Valentine’s Day we’ll spend together as a clique or class. In Singapore (especially in our school days), Valentine’s Day is a day when we give lovely treats or gifts to people we care about (i.e. our friends in school etc). It’s not just a day for couples in love to spend their money on expensive flower bouquets or chocolates or overpriced food at restaurants. The past few years, I’ve been giving my friends chocolates but somehow, everyone’s giving each other chocolates. It gets kind of boring. So I decided to put my baking skills to use and bake some lovely treats for the friends this year! I was deciding between marble muffins or chocolate chip cookies. But I’ve decided that chocolate chip cookies it shall be!

And shall I bought a bag of good semi-sweet chocolate chips (couldn’t find any good chocolate discs) and a bottle of Le Saunier de Camargue Sel Fin de Camargue (aka Fine sea salt from the Camargue area in France). Couldn’t find the Le Saunier de Camargue Fleur de Sel so I had to settle with the fine sea salt! And together with my newly acquired Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla extract! It’s just completely wonderful.

I couldn’t resist baking one to try so I baked just one cookie after merely two hours of refrigeration. I wanted to see how big the cookie would ‘grow’ in the oven and to estimate the baking time in my oven, so that when I do bake all the dough this Friday for my Valentine’s Day gifts, they would turn out fine. And it could serve as an experimentation as to how refrigeration changes or modifies the cookie dough!

So this was after 2 hours of refrigeration! Not that pretty as I expected it to be. It wasn’t as flat as I hoped it would be. It was kind of fat in the centre. But the texture was not bad! It was crisp at the edges and the outside and soft on the inside. I’m hoping that after many many hours of refrigeration, the cookie would be prettier and better tasting! The refrigeration HAS TO do something to the cookie, right?

Anyway, this was impatient (not too large) chocolate chip cookie! With lovely french sea salt sprinkled on top. The salt DOES wonders to the cookie! Never skip the sea salt!:)

ALRIGHT! Till the NEXT TIME I blog about the NYT chocolate chip cookies EXPERIMENTATION 2, after at least 36 hours of refrigeration. Possibly this Friday, I hope.

The recipe is from New York Times and adapted from a renowned French pastry chef, Jacque Torres.

NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies

// // Adapted from Jacques Torres

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)

Sea salt.

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. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.


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