Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Can't I perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies?

So if you know me at all you know I love to bake. I aspire to be an amateur baker. I love cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes and all pastries. There is something soothing and calming to baking and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

With that said, I have been trying to perfect the chocolate chip cookie. After last night I think I'm amazingly close. I found a recipe on a blog I like and she claimed that she had made the best chocolate chip cookie. I think that's hard to do because everyone likes their cookie differently. I love a crispy yet chewy cookie with equal parts sweet and salty. I make the same mistake every time I bake: I don't look in the cupboard before I go buy ingredients. I just assume what I think I have and what I don't. I'm always wrong. This time I thought I had enough light brown sugar. Of course I didn't so I had to substitute with dark brown sugar because I was halfway through the process by then. Although dark brown sugar is good in some instances. In this one it made the cookie a little to salty for my taste.

In my experience if the batter comes out tasting absolutely delicious the cookies aren't good. I don't know why, but I'll LOVE the taste of the batter and then the cookies will flop. Well I tasted one fresh out of the oven and was disappointed. The cookie was too salty and hardly sweet enough. Although they look beautiful, they just weren't the taste I was going for. I haven't given up. I will make them with the correct ingredients because I'm SO close.

P.S. I did taste the cookies this morning and to my surprise they tasted delicious! I think a room temperature cookie is the way to go. The flavors are set and the crisp and chew are there. I'm pleasantly surprised by this discovery :)

I have included the recipe that was found in The New York Times, from Dave Leite and Jacques Torres.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 c. minus 2 tbsp. cake flour
1 2/3 c. bread flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 c. plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bitterseet chocolate chips (60% cacao content like Ghirardelli)

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk well; then set aside.

Using a mixer ftted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; then add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. (this part can be very
messy. If you have a plastic guard use it!) Add the chocolate chips, and mix briefly to incorporate. Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for 24-36 hours. The dough may be used in batches and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready, preheat oven to 350 F. Remove the bowl and allow to soften. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Using a standard size ice cream scoop (although I just used my hands!) scoop mounds of cookie dough onto the baking sheet, making sure the space them evenly. Bake for 15-20 min. until goldent brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 min. then transfer the cookies onto the rack to cool a bit more.

yield: About 24 (5 inch) cookies

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