Thursday, May 2, 2013

Less Fussy Jacques Torres-esque Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are insane! 

They have a perfectly crisp outer shell that protects an irresistibly gooey and yet fluffy interior. The flaky sea salt results in a crazy salty/sweet explosion and makes these the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. Jacques' recipe calls for refrigerating the dough for 24-72 hours before baking, but I baked off a few right away to see what they’d come out like, and they were amazing. 

Instead of refrigerating the dough, I rolled it all up into 3 ounce balls and froze them. Then I baked a few off the next day to do a taste test and those were even better than the non-chilled ones, so chilling of freezing is advised! I’d say either way though, you have a hell of a cookie here! Thanks to the wonderful Cannella Vita for introducing me to these perfect cookies, and to Jacques Torres for making them in the first place. 

I adjusted the recipe slightly to make it a bit less fussy (and because I’m impatient AND because I didn’t have cake flour). As I said, I loved these but I may try to reduce the white sugar to 2/3 cup and maybe even use salted butter next time to see how that comes out. There are so many slightly different versions of Jacques' recipe online. My version seems much fluffier than most, based on the photos I've seen, but I love it.

Less Fussy Jacques Torres-esque Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups minus 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
1 1/2 cup walnut halves and pieces (optional)
flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together and set them aside.

With an electric or stand mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugars together for about 4 minutes until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another minute. Incorporate the dry ingredients on low speed, or with a spatula/spoon, and then cut in the chocolate chips and walnuts. My dough was rather dry, so I popped it out of the bowl and kneaded in the chocolate bits and walnuts briefly at the end. 

Roll the dough into 3-ounce balls and then flatten to about 3/4 inch thickness (I got 28 cookies total). Set each on a cookie sheet then chill the whole sheet in the freezer for about an hour (see frozen cookies below!).  

Once they’ve hardened, put them in baggies and bake ‘em when you want ‘em, like with my Whole Wheat Cardamom Snickerdoodles! Again, if you want to just bake them before chilling or freezing, go for it! 

On baking day, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a siltpat and pull out however many cookies you want from the freezer. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of sea salt and bake until just golden. 12 minutes was perfect in my oven. Cool briefly on the pan, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling (if you don’t eat them all up while they’re still hot, that is!) Eat them with milk to temper the sweetness.