Chocolate chip cookies. A classic cookie that comes in many forms: crispy, chewy, crispy and chewy… and everyone has their favourite type. I daresay that most people grew up eating chocolate chip cookies, and I certainly did. My earliest memories of chocolate chip cookies are of:
- My mum’s chocolate chip cookies – homemade, with a recipe tweaked from Australian Womens Weekly’s Beautiful Biscuits. In fact I had such strong memories of my mum baking from this cookbook that I bought a copy for myself when I came to the UK, and I even managed to get the same cover my mum had, which is now out of print (ah the joys of Amazon Marketplace). It is a fantastic cookbook with lots of brilliant recipes, so it’s definitely a keeper.
Photo courtesy of http://www.famousamos.com.my
- Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies – there never used to be many stalls back home (a totally different picture now though, and you can find Famous Amos stores everywhere), so it was always a treat to get to eat these. They did two versions of their chocolate chip cookies: small crunchy ones, and bigger chewy ones. I always went for the small crunchy ones, and the chocolate chip and pecan cookies were my absolute favourite. I still don’t know how they make their cookies SO darn crispy – if anyone knows their secret please do let me know and I will be forever grateful! 😉
Photo courtesy of http://www.toprace.com.my
- Chipsmore chocolate chip cookies – most Malaysians will know this one and their tagline “now you see it, now you don’t!”. I can’t say that these were particularly exemplary chocolate chip cookies, but it was what was easily available, and you know what – I remember really liking them when I was growing up!
So naturally, chocolate chip cookies were one of the first things I made when I started baking. I’ve tried various recipes over the years, and two of my favourites were the ‘Urban Legend Chocolate Chip Cookies‘ and of course, the chocolate chip cookies from AWW Beautiful Biscuits. But then, everyone started to talk about the New York Times chocolate cookie recipe – person after person raved about the recipe, and how good they were. So naturally, I had to try out the recipe. Confession time – it took me a good few years before I tried out this recipe (I know I know, I’m lagging behind time. No one cares about chocolate chip cookies very much nowadays…). And then it took me errrrr a fair amount of time before this day, when I’m blogging about them.
There are several things that the New York Times recipe does differently:
1) The dough is chilled for 24-36 hours. I believe the thinking behind this is that it allows the ingredients have more time to ‘meld’ together in one happy sugar party, thus giving you a more flavoursome and delicious cookie.
2) The recipe uses a mix of bread and cake flour. Not really sure what this mix of flours accomplishes, it definitely didn’t cause any harm!
3) You sprinkle sea salt on the tops of the cookies. This I understand – salt somehow complements chocolate very well, and in my opinion heightens the flavour of chocolate. Word of caution though – not everyone likes salt in desserts.
I made a few tweaks to the recipe – I reduced the sugar (like I always do). I also used a mixture of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. The original recipe calls for chocolate disks, but I didn’t know where to get them! And lastly, I made the cookies smaller than what the recipe called for – simply because I prefer smaller cookies. I suspect it’s because I can experience the pleasure of eating “two” instead of “just one” cookie…
So… did I like this recipe? I can safely say that YES, I did. I thought the chilling of the dough definitely made for a more flavoursome cookie. It would be interesting to do a comparison of 24 hour chilling vs 36 hour chilling, to see if it makes a significant difference in flavour. I also loved the textures of the cookies: crispy around the edges, and soft in the middles (ala Ben’s Cookies – which are sinfully delicious). They did lose some of their ‘crispy/chewy’ quality the next day though, so I’d suggest eating these freshly baked!
I really liked certain aspects of this recipe, and I can happily declare that it is most definitely a keeper! 😀
The next one I’m going to try is Alton Brown’s ‘The Chewy’. I’ve not baked chocolate chip cookies in a while, so I might just have to make some this weekend…
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from this recipe
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups bread flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 285g unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup castor sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 550g chocolate chips (I used a mix of chocolate chips and chunks)
- Sea salt, for sprinkling
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 light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Stir in the vanilla.
5. Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined (5 to 10 seconds).
6. Stir in chocolate chips/chunks/discs.
7. Wrap cookie dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies:
8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 175’C.
9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
10. Scoop mounds of dough onto baking sheet (the recipe suggests golf ball sized cookies, I made them much smaller). Take care to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie.
11. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes.
12. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more.
13. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.
14. Eat warm – and enjoy!