To be honest, I'm usually not a big fan of chocolate chip cookies. I've had too many that are excessively sweet, oily, or stale and dry. The chocolate chip cookie can be rather boring and painfully banal. Even still, I knew that in my recipe repertoire, I would need at least one chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you look at the ingredient list for a typical chocolate chip cookie, it seems rather simple. Of course, the ratios may vary from recipe to recipe, but for the most part, they remain unchanged-- I knew that for creating the perfect texture, the bigger determining factor would be the method of baking.
After doing some research, I found that nearly every website had at least one recipe that was adapted from the NY Times cookie. If you've never heard of the NY Times Cookie, then just run a quick google search, and you will find that adaptations of this recipe are all over the internet, and for a good reason.
Several things make this recipe unique: first, the dough is refrigerated for a minimum of 24 hours. This chilling period allows the ingredients to really marry together and the result is a beautifully golden-brown cookie that is crunchy on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside. The chilling period also allows the development of a hint of caramel/toffee that adds to the complexity of the flavor. Second, the sprinkling of sea salt on top just before baking enhances the ingredients and really adds another dimension of flavor. Lastly, although I often make normal-sized cookies to make a larger quantity, the original recipe suggests scooping out the dough in golf-sized balls! The size of these gargantuan cookies alone is enough to bring a smile to your face!
I also love this recipe, because it's so versatile. My absolute favorite is with toasted hazelnuts mixed in. Another one of my favorite variations is with white chocolate chips, apricots, and pistachios! [Recipe link here]
Feel free to add 3/4 cup of your favorite nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc) or dried fruit (cranberries, apricots)!
(It may seem like a lot of butter and sugar, but the recipe will make 18 jumbo sized cookies, or about 3-4 dozens of regular sized cookies)
2 cups minus 2 Tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cups 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 (at room temperature or softened in the microwave)
1 1/4 cups (10 oz) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds (about 2 1/2 cups) bittersweet disks, chips, morsels, or chopped up dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao content); I usually use whatever dark chocolate I have on hand, but the disks make for really beautiful cookies!
Note: Although a kitchen scale would be the most accurate, for large cookies/ 3.5 oz balls of dough, use golf balls as a good reference measure. You could also divide the dough into 18 equal sized balls.
(If using 3/4 cup of hazelnuts or other nuts: Toast the hazelnuts for 6-7 minutes at 350F (if already roasted) If unroasted, toast for 12-15 minutes. After slightly cooling, use a kitchen towel/ paper towels to wrap the hazelnuts and vigorously rub them to remove the skin. You can leave some of the skin on- just try to remove as much as you can. Transfer the hazelnuts to a food processor, and pulse several times to grind them coarsely. Alternatively, you could place the hazelnuts in a zip-lock bag and smash them with a wooden spoon or a mallet until coarsely ground)
1. Sift the two flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
2. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter and the two sugars together for about 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix for a few seconds.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, for about 10 seconds. Use a plastic spatula to gently mix if you wish to mix further. Add the chocolate chips (and nuts if using) and mix the dough with a spatula without breaking the chocolate chips.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. It may be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
For large size cookies, scoop out six 3.5 oz mounds of dough (the size of golf balls). Sprinkle lightly with fine sea salt. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown on the edges. The cookies may look a bit underdone, but they will continue baking as they cool.
For normal size cookies, use a heaping Tablespoon, and bake for 12 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes, and transfer to a cooling rack.