Thursday, 9 May 2013
New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Did anyone else absolutely love Archie comics when they were younger? (Ok, so I still read them).
If you haven't read any Archie comics, then you are missing out. They are comics about a group of friends who live in Riverdale (in America). They began in the 40s/50s and while the comics have adapted to modern day life, they still maintain a sense of that era - the teenagers in the comics frequent Pop's Chocklit Shoppe and have very 50s-esque values and relationships.
Riverdale, while fictional, was originally a town in Massachusetts but the location of the fictional town is 'what the reader chooses it to be'. I think it's in New York state. I loved the comics because they were reminiscent of not only another time, but of a country I had never been to (though I have now). The way the teenagers lived their lives was very different to how I grew up and it is a very American way of life (especially a very 50s way of life). It's hard to explain to people who grew up in America how different it is. When I was in America at the beginning of the year and I was staying with my friend's family, I feel like I really saw how different American and Australian teenagers are.
That aside, I still love these comics because they remind me of something I have never experienced. One of the main plots is the love triangle between innocent Betty Cooper, vixen Veronica Lodge and Archie Andrews (who, lets be honest, is a player). Betty is well known for her cooking, and especially for her amazing chocolate chip cookies. It's one of the only advantages she has when competing for Archie's attention.
The New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookies taste like what I think Betty's superb and man-attracting cookies would taste like.
I'm sure you've seen the recipe for these cookies floating around the internet. I decided to have a go at them last week and I'm pretty happy with the result. In general, I am not a lover of cookies, especially chocolate chip ones (not enough chocolate for me). However, these ones were definitely some of the best, if not the best, cookies I have ever tried. My roommates, who do actually eat chocolate chip biscuits, also said they were amazing. Marnie definitely agreed that these cookies are the best ones ever. These biscuits were gone within three days.
Before I post the recipe, I want to make a few notes on what I did with these biscuits. The recipe calls for a chilling time of 24+ hours. I chilled my dough for just over 24 hours, but it still worked perfectly. The recipe also makes 18 12cm (5 inch) biscuits. I wanted smaller biscuits, so I would up making 36 regular sized biscuits (using 1 tbsp of dough per biscuit). This meant a smaller cooking time of approximately 10 minutes. My advice would be to consistently check the biscuits - take them out when they are soft and only slightly golden in colour. They will still harden after taking them out of the oven and you don't want them to be too hard.
Recipe from: New York Times - Jacques Torres. I took the recipe with minimal changes, straight from their website.
What you need:
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)
What to do:
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 (or 180 Celsius). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
Scoop at least 1 tbsp of dough (the size of a generous golf ball) 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, 10 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat for remaining dough, baking in batches if necessary.
Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.
My Note: If you are Australian, you can do what I did and simply use Nestle chocolate melts (they're rather big oval shaped chocolates and work well for this recipe). I actually used a mix of melts and chocolate chips because I did not have enough melts.