A couple of summers ago, my friend Robert invited me to his house in Baton Rouge for freshly baked cookies, pea pesto, and Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread. Baton Rouge is pretty much crawling with a subculture of foodies that know how to eat. I see these people purchasing multi-grain loaves from the “Baguette Lady” at the Farmer’s Market, bombarding Mr. Buddy for his first peaches as the market opens at 9:00 a.m., and, then, later, if I’m lucky, inviting me to their house for some summertime baking.And oh, the baking.
Although Robert didn’t know it at the time, he had introduced me to three dishes that are now staples in my kitchen: a simple and impressive No-Knead Bread that tastes like an artisan loaf, pesto filled with sweet summer peas for this bread, and cookies that I will never turn my back on.
Pulling the chocolate-filled disks from the oven, Robert made these cookies look as if they had magically been placed there by fairies. Large, round, perfectly chunked chocolate chip cookies glistened with the addition of coarse salt atop their chocolate bits. An instant nostalgia overcomes me whenever I see homemade cookies as they represent the only recipe I could make in my childhood. But these cookies weren’t my childhood cookies—noticeably hardier and gooey than I had ever known before, this New York Times recipe offers a more grownup take on a childhood favorite.
Pictured: warm and thick Chocolate Chip Cookies sprinkled with Coarse Salt make the Chocolate’s Natural Sweetness Sing. Pair with Milk for a childhood favorite perfect for any adult.
Pair with milk, red wine, or a refreshing glass of water and indulge in cookies gone rogue. Through a unique ratio of bread and cake flour, the batter has a stronger consistency that allows them to bake up like the cookies you see at coffee shops and dessert markets. Omitting All Purpose Flour is a baker’s best kept secret when it comes to beautifully-crafted baked goods. Share with a friend as a snack or maybe even share with your own Robert (pea pesto and artisan bread optional).
Chocolate Chip Cookies – New York Times Style
This recipe should be prepared at least 24 hours in advance, but preferably 36 hours before baking. The wait is well worth it yielding a stiff flavorful dough that makes for lovely cookies in construction and flavor. I’ve cut down some of the sugar and butter based on personal preference, but for the original recipe in the New York Times food section, see here.
* 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 sticks butter
* 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 1/4 pounds (24-ounces) bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves
1.) In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients with a whisk–cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
2.) In a standing KitchenAid or like mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Adding 1 egg at a time, mix with fluffy mixture until well-combined. Add vanilla and slowly combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Stop mixer, scrape down sides, and mix one last time until batter is fully integrated. Add chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
3.) Refrigerate dough for at least 24 hours, but preferably 36.
5.) Scoop cup dough onto baking sheet using either a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a 1/3 cup measuring cup based on personal preference. Lightly sculpt dough into balls (optional) and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 15-20 minutes based on your oven. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
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Written by: Helana Brigman