I have been meaning to share this recipe with you all since last fall but it got pushed to the back of my mind behind the thousands of other ideas that keep me awake at nights. When I read that May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day I suddenly remembered that I never shared it and decided that National Chocolate Chip Day would be the perfect day to do so.
For a while, I have been searching for the “perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe”. I’d tried several different recipes but nothing ever really stood out as anything special to me. (You may recall my blog post on Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.) Well, I was in Florida for a few weeks last fall and visited Disney World’s Epcot Center during their annual Food and Wine Festival. On the day I was there the famous chocolatier, Jacques Torres, was also there doing a chocolate cooking demonstration. While talking about all of his various accomplishments in chocolate he joked that despite all those achievements he would probably be best remembered for his chocolate chip cookie recipe. That immediately got my attention. As soon as I got home I googled “Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookies” and sure enough it was all over the internet and everyone was talking about how fantastic these cookies were. I had to try them!
I went shopping the next day and had a batched whipped up that night. The worse part about these cookies is that they have to set in the refrigerator for 24 hours before you bake them. I was so excited to try them that those 24 hours were pure torture. When it finally came time to bake them, all the waiting was definitely worth it. They were amazing! My husband and kids dove into them and said they were, by far, the best chocolate chip cookies they had ever eaten. I couldn’t believe that I had finally found my “perfect chocolate chip cookie” recipe.
I did make just a couple of small modifications to the original recipe to make it easier on myself. Jacques Torres suggests you use his Dark Chocolate Baking Discs in the cookies. I am sure they would taste even better with his prestigious chocolate but I didn’t want to have to place an online order every time I wanted to make a batch of cookies. Instead, I used the suggestion of another blogger (I can’t remember where I saw this) and used a combination of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Baking Chips and Ghirardelli Baking Bars, both easily found at my local grocery store. The other change I made was the original recipe tells you to refrigerate the dough, right after mixing it, then scoop out the balls of dough and add a salt garnish after the 24 hour rest period. When I tried to do this I found it was almost impossible to scoop out the dough because it was so hard from refrigeration. Also the salt wouldn’t stick to the cold dough. To solve that problem, I scooped the dough into balls while it was fresh from mixing, added the salt, and then refrigerated the dough balls for 24 hours.
How is this cookie different than other chocolate chip cookies, you ask? Well, the three things about it that I love the most are: 1. The cookies are huge. It is hard to accurately tell their size from the above picture but here is a picture of the original batch that I made while in Florida. You can tell by how big they are on my baking sheet.
I have tried making them smaller too but found that they really are better at the larger size because it allows them to accommodate the chocolate chunks and they seem to bake up nicer. 2. The chocolate chunks and chips are large and have intense chocolate flavor. 3. The addition of a sea salt garnish adds a mild saltiness that tastes great with the chocolate and sweetness of the cookie.
One warning, these cookies are definitely pricier to make than your average Nestlé Toll House batch of cookies. You use three chocolate baking bars along with a bag of baking chips, plus you use a combination of bread and cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. They aren’t a cookie I make every day but they are sure worth it when you want something special.
A final note, before I give you the recipe; I live in a high altitude area so I found that when I baked them at home they did bake up slightly different than they had in Florida. You can sort of see the difference between my Florida batch and the others. They were a little more airy and puffed up a bit more. They were still incredible and way better than any other chocolate chip cookie I have ever baked here though. I am perfectly happy with them as is but I think I may still try to make a few modifications to the recipe in the future and see if I can get them as perfect as they were at sea level.
OK, enough talk; let’s start baking!
The ingredients you need for these cookies are:
• 2 cups minus to 2 tablespoons Cake flour
• 1 2/3 cup Bread flour
• 1 1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
• 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) Unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1/4 cups Light brown sugar
• 1 cups plus 2 tablespoons Granulated sugar
• 2 Large eggs, room temperature
• 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 pounds Bittersweet chocolate at least 60 percent cacao content (I use 3 – 4oz Ghirardelli Semi Sweet Chocolate Baking Bars and 1 – 10oz bag Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips)
• Sea salt for garnish
One thing I don’t recommend is the salt that you see in the above picture. I used it because it was all that I had at the time but it was too coarse to go through my sifter. I now use a salt that is a little bit finer.
A very important factor when making any cookie is the temperature of your butter. You want your butter to be soft enough to leave an indention from your finger but not so soft that it is losing it’s shape or, worse yet, starting to melt. The temperature of your room will determine how long it needs to set out before use. I usually set mine out for 30-45 minutes and then start checking it at that point. Don’t try to heat it in the microwave because it will heat unevenly and start to melt in some places. Once it is melted it will no longer cream properly with the sugar. When it is ready it should look something like this after being pressed on with a finger:
Step 1: Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Step 2: If using baking bars, chop bars into large chunks and combine with baking chips. Set aside.
Look at all that chocolatey goodness!
Step 3: Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.
Step 4: 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.
Step 5: Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them.
Step 6: Scoop 3 ½ -ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Make sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Be careful not to over do it on the salt, you want them to have just a hint of saltiness.
I found that a 2 1/2 inch scoop made the perfect sized mounds.
I also placed them all close together so that I could get them on one sheet for refrigeration. When it is time to bake them the next day, you will only want to place 6 cookies on a sheet at a time because they are so large and will spread even more while baking.
Step 7: Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 24 hours, up to 72 hours.
Step 8: When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Place 6 cookies, evenly spaced, on the baking sheet 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 balls.
And here, once again, is the final cookie. Look at those beautiful chunks of chocolate and the light garnish of salt on top.
The only thing better than a beautiful chocolate chip cookie is a beautiful chocolate chip cookie with a big bite in it!
Until next time, God Bless and Sweet Dreams.