The best chocolate chips cookies ever?

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Once in a while, along comes a recipe that changes the name of the game.  Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe published by Mark Bittman in the NY Times two years ago was one.  It got so many cooks – who hitherto dared not touch yeast bread – to fashion themselves a veritable French boulanger, baking loafs after loafs of crackly, crusty bread, and even turning more than a few of them into petty thieves. Then, a few months ago, the Times struck again, this time with a chocolate chips cookies recipe that purported to be no less than perfection itself.

The key to that recipe?  A little patience, said the indomitable David Leite who penned the piece.  Let me just tell you that it was quite an understatement.  Unlike the good Mr.Leite, I don’t live in a world where restraining oneself from devouring, entirely raw, the whole batch of chocolate chips cookie dough during the 36 hours called for in the recipe constitutes a little patience.  And not just any chocolate chips cookie dough, mind you, but one so rich, so deliciously salty-sweet, and so -ever, ever so- tempting.  In my world, chocolate chips cookie dough can speak.  And it’s calling my name – the whole, half a box of scrabble’s worth of alphabets in my name.

So, did I give in, you asked?  Of course I did.  Although not entirely, I should give myself credit.  I waited 24 hours before I baked my first small batch, and the rest managed to last the 36 hours required.  And, no, no, that little elf that kept sneaking into the fridge to steal mini bites of the cookie dough was not me.  Not me at all.  It must have been my cat Ella, in her human/elven suit.  True story.

Besides requiring the patience of a zen master, or an Iyengar Yogi, the recipe itself is really quite simple, calling for not much more than flour, butter, sugar, egg, chocolate, and, most importantly, salt.  As with the usual greatness, the key is the quality of what goes in, and precisely in what manners they do.  In this case, it’s in the quality of the chocolate.  Leite consulted Willy Wonka himself Jacques Torres, who warned against the cheapo chocolate chips, and suggested good, dark couverture chocolate instead.   Well, that much is obvious, most cheap chocolate chips in the market taste like wax, and it’s to real chocolate what margarine is to real butter.  Although the article didn’t mention the use of good butter, I highly suggest that you find the most flavorful butter you could get your hands on for this.  If the butter isn’t any good to eat, it won’t be very good in this simple recipe either.  The chocolate I use here is 72% Valrhona Araguani in the fèves or disk form.  They are extra dark but not overly bitter single-source Valrhona from Venezuela.  It’s my current favorite for baking – the convenient disks stop me ever having to chop up chocolates ever again.  I buy them in the giant 5kg bag, but you are not insane (like me) so I suggest you buy in smaller quantities.

Instead of copying the recipe here, I suggest you go tothe NY Times page and get it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. I’ll talk here about how I adapted the recipe to my taste.

The first batch I baked was pretty darn good already, although it had only rested 24 hours.  It was super flavorful, if only a little flat.  I could hardly imagined a better tasting result if I waited the full amount of time Leite suggested.  The final result, however, was, amazingly enough, even better yet.  The 36hr batch baked up more golden, as though it was made with just yolks and not whole eggs.  It wasn’t particularly thicker than the 24hr batch though.  These are not thin cookies by any means, but I wouldn’t call them fat either.

I began to look a bit deeper into my process.  The problem was likely my own fault, as my lazy-self refused to make a trip to the store to buy cake flour.  The recipe called for a combination of cake and all purpose flour, you see.  I twittered -twitted, twat, whatever- with David Leite himself, asking him to explain the choice of flours used, and he said it’s to create a combination with a slightly higher protein content than regular all purpose flour.  Ah ha, I thought, I could get away with using my favorite King Arthur AP flour, which already has a higher percentage of protein than your average supermarket AP flour.  What I forgot about was the starch content of cake flour, which – as Harold McGee pointed out in his imminently useful tome On Food and Cooking – makes it more absorbent than AP flour, which would change the hydration of the dough, and in turn lead to the slight spreading problem I had.  All of this makes a whole lot of sense, well, until I saw the result of Deb’s experiment with the same recipe on her blog Smitten Kitchen. She used the proper flours the recipe specified, being a much more dedicated baker than I could ever be (have you *seen* her blog?) I’m sure Deb’s kitchen was well equipped with what she needed.  Yet, somehow, her cookies look even flatter than mine! (Nyah nyah nyah I say.)  So perhaps all of this research on the properties of flour were just pointless – sorry Harold, it wasn’t about you.

Another slight mess with the first batch was the chocolate.  As I was scooping out the cookie dough and forming into the big golf balls, some of the chocolate fèves ended up on the outside edge, which means they were exposed directly to heat.  Those got a bit too hot and some melted too much, making a bit of a mess on the cookie sheet and on my hands as I devoured them.  Not that it was a big deal, but I made a mental note to push in the chocolate bits to the inside of the dough more.  The original article only mentioned pushing the chocolate disks down flat if they’re poking up, but didn’t say anything about the leak from the outer edge of the cookies.

Then something dawned on me.  All this working the dough, roughing it up into proper-size balls – weighing each one to be 75g precisely because, yes, I am that insane – and pushing in the poking chocolate bits deeper into the dough balls, I must have warmed up everything quite a bit.  Ah ha.  There you have it, warm dough spreads out too much as it bakes too quickly before it has time to set.  I got it.  Next time I do this, I’ll make the balls and then refrigerate them for a bit before baking.  I’m sure my cookies will turn out just fine.  Who knows, they might even turn out perfectly.

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  • CrazyC

    These cookies are awesome! Orangette had posted about them a while back and I had given them a try. I used a smaller ice cream scoop to get smaller cookies and they all turned out pretty good. Though I think the original recipe produces a more crisp cookie…
    Have to go buy more butter now… :)

  • http://twitter.com/djej edgar

    the chocolate chip cookies at Jacques Torres in NYC were huge and had chocolate at the edges too, so I suppose this is okay? of course it would probably look better if they were not poking at the edge. also, i tried the “aging” with a normal toll house recipe and, through taste tests and 12 hour increments, the 36 hours made a difference also. aging is the way to go from now on.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/michaelnatkin Michael Natkin

    I’ve recently taken to refrigerating the dough before shaping cookies and then again for a few minutes before baking, and you are quite right – it greatly reduces the amount of undesirable oven spread. Especially important if you use the melted-butter method – then you really have to patiently wait for it to chill. (Here’s a reference on the melted butter: http://www.tastingmenu.com/2009/01/05/as-the-cookie-crumbles/ )

  • http://www.easycomfortfoods.com Tyro @ easycomfortfoods

    Sounds very good, i’ll try those, tho I might just eat the dough during those 36 hours, I lack a “bit” of self control on that department…
    I laughed.
    Good post, thanks!

  • http://derekslager.com/blog/ Derek

    These are definitely the best cookies I’ve ever made. I’ve done them several times up to 72 hours. I weigh out 100g of the cookie bits (I too am that insane) and then make the ball, they are still pretty cold when I put them in the oven.

  • http://fifthflavor.blogspot.com jak

    Hey Pim! I love this recipe. When I first tried it, it seemed strange to combine an equal weight of cake flour (lower gluten) and bread flour (higher gluten)… and more costly too. The results I got had the same spreading issue you’re talking about, leaving me with cookies that were thinner than I wanted, and thus, less able to exhibit contrasts between the light crispness of the exterior and the great chew of the center.
    In subsequent versions, I went with good quality all-purpose, and ended up with cookies that had a bit more “body” to them. Here’s a picture, if you’re interested.
    By the way, your old posts on Spain have been super helpful for our trip there next week!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/loveapplefarm Love Apple Farm

    Neener neener neener. I actually ATE one of the cookies Pim herself baked the other day, and it is as fabulous as she says!

  • http://makingitwithmeleyna.com meleyna

    This cookie batter resting business drives me insane. Not only is there the CONSTANT TEMPTATION of cookie dough, but that super firm dough is hard to scoop and whacks out my cookie scoop. (I made Baked’s peanut butter choc chip cookies.) I’ve been tempted to test CI’s recipe, as the resting time is a heckuva lot shorter, and doesn’t require refrigeration.
    Or I could just not bake a save myself the humiliation of bathing suit shopping for a new, larger model.

  • http://www.handingouthope.org (LIA)

    This is perhaps the fourth blog post I’ve read about these same cookies (yes, including Deb’s) but it is by far the most enjoyable. I love your writing style. Thanks so much for the points and tips.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    I missed Molly’s post on this. I think I’m going to try making them smaller next time too, or at least try with part of a batch to see how they turn out. I like the idea of dainty little cookies that pack a lot of flavor.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Well I guess if he’s done it too it must be ok!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    The melted butter thing sounds mighty intriguing. I might have to try it.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Yeah, a bit, me too.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    100g is huge. You boys are all about size, huh?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    The picture looks fabulous. I plan to stay with AP flour and just make sure the dough balls are chilled before baking, if that works I won’t bother with cake flour either.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    :-)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Come back here and post a link when you try the CI recipe. It’s been so long since I’ve tried one of theirs – I feel sometimes they just like to make things complicated for the sake of it! But I’m ready to have you convince me otherwise.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Why thank you. It’s my pleasure.

  • http://marisblogs.wordpress.com maris

    36 hours? I don’t think I could ever keep a batch of cookies around for 36 hours, baked or not! :) Even if I didn’t eat them all, I’d probably give them away to stop myself from doing so!

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com katiek of kitchensidecar

    I love these cookies. I’ve had them on various occasions. I usually eat around the chocolate chips when given a cookie. But the fact that the chocolate is disperse (and good quality) makes me really enjoy these cookies.
    However, I do think they are a bit too sweet. I like to take some out and put in some ‘healthy’ grains to convince myself that i can eat the batch. ha!

  • http://lickedspoon.blogspot.com/ lickedspoon

    I can’t wait to try these. I’ve worked out a way to ensure the cookie dough remains intact during the maturation period. Make dough. Go away for the weekend. Bake cookies on Sunday night. It may seem a little extreme, but it is the only way I could resist.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/michaelnatkin Michael Natkin

    It is really good. Here’s where I originally learned about it. There are some other solid tips there too in spite of it being a rather “retro” web page :) .
    http://www.well.com/user/vard/cookies.html

  • http://www.bharatbook.com Sharon

    Hello,
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  • http://profile.typepad.com/michaelmenard Michael Menard

    More! More! More! I Want Moreeeeee!!
    Can we make these a staple at the Octagon pretty-please?
    How much for a dozen? I want them even more than mandarinquat cake…
    (and you can have whichever lens you like, no hard feelings)

  • http://diggingfortruffles.wordpress.com Lauren

    God sounds so delicious – I have made plaenty of acceptable cookies over the years, but have always looked for those that make people go “wow”! I shall definately try these!

  • http://www.gourmet-chick.com Gourmet Chick

    My chocolate chip cookies always turn out too thin – maybe the warm dough is my problem as well. Very happy to have maybe found a solution. By the way love the mega size chunks of chocolate you have used!

  • http://www.ambitiousdeliciousness.com Ambitious

    These are the best cookies ever. Hands down!! :) Mine didn’t come out flat but maybe because I used two spoons to shape them. I’ve posted about them on my blog but the photos don’t do justice. I think I will always love this recipe!!!

  • liz

    I like a bit of crispy in my cookies but I hate to add nuts (I like nuts, just not in my baked goods). So, add a cup of Rice Krispies. Little puffs of crisp that just dissolve.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1236276045s7791 neil rankin

    In the restaurant we always cool the dough before shaping. It is really important if your in a warm room for anything like that. Especially tuiles, very delicate ones we even do in the walk in chiller.
    Unfortunately though my better half has now banned me from cooking these ever…we will see.

  • Arturo Q

    Make the dough, scoop it out, lay ‘em out on sheet pans then refrigerate for 36 hrs.
    Then when you are ready to bake just pan up, let the dough come to temp, flatten out a bit and bake.
    Arturo

  • http://www.BeeGarden.com Carol

    I just made the cookies this past weekend and baked them at 325 instead of 350, I used King Arthur AP exclusively and they didn’t spread at all. I also used a small ice cream scoop so there was no hand contact with the dough to warm them up. And by using a small scoop you can justify that fifth cookie!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    …hence the zen master’s patience comment. It was tough for me too.

  • http://www.sevenspoons.net tara

    Is it just me, or does the cookie in the bottom right corner look like it is (upside-down-ly) smiling at the camera?
    Yes, I know, I’m nuts.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    healthy – wot you don’t think these fantabulous cookies are good for you?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Now that’s a strategy!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    cool it my boy. They might come by again soon.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Absolutely.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Don’t be too happy yet. Try it first. No?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Link please? Love to check them out.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    I’m with you on the nuts. I don’t like any in my chocolate chip cookies either. The Rice Krispies idea is interesting.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    How mean your better half is!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Hmm. Interesting. I would have thought that baking at lower temp would make the dough melt out too much before it has time to set, causing the spread. I might have to try a side by side comparison.
    I like the idea of smaller cookies too.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Funny I just noticed that too. I should flip the picture on photoshop and repost it.

  • http://bitchinlifestyle.tv Dallas from Bitchin’ Lifestyle

    As soon as I saw those big blobs of chocolate in the dough, I could see why they might just be the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

  • js

    i finally made the NYT cookies a few weeks ago too, and they restored my faith in homemade chocolate chip cookies. since then, i’ve tried out the Alton Brown “chewy” cc cookies that everyone raves about, as well as the new recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (latest issue). my favorite so far is the one from CI: it incorporates browned butter and eliminates the wait time (although i still chill the dough overnight before baking). happy to send you the recipe if you are interested in trying it (in the interest of scientific experimentation, of course! ;) ) and don’t have it handy.
    btw, don’t worry: you aren’t the only insane one out there. i weighed out each ball of dough (3.5 oz exactly) as well, and pressed individual grains of fleur de sel on top of each cookie. also, i bake with michel cluizel “concepcion” minigrammes, which i buy in 5kg boxes.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156fd738a1970b blessed_julie

    As always, a pleasure to read. Makes me feel a little less abnormal for being so obsessed with food (esp. cookies) prep that I sometimes consider food my religion.
    Thanks Pim.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e3933711d88834 Marc

    I consulted my copy of McGee and he explains on page 531 (of the new edition), that cake flour is bleached with chlorine dioxide or chlorine gas, which has effects on the starch granules in the flour (making them absorb more water), and also increases the acidity (decreases the pH).
    With all of the variables involved in baking the cookies — temperature, type of oven, size of egg, butter composition, type of non-stick — I can see how even a batch made with the proper flour mixture could spread too much. So much is going on when we bake…
    I’ve been making these cookies for a few months and think they are really good (and also blog-worthy, someday). Part of the magic for me is the chocolate disks — they deliver the chocolate in a much more forceful way than a puny chip. The texture is also excellent.
    To make it easier to form the cookies, I wonder if you could form the dough into a roll and then slice after the 24-36 hour test of patience?

  • Michelle

    Apple tart AND chocolate chip cookies! Heaven, I tell you. Absolute heaven.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Hmm…I wonder if forming the dough balls before letting them rest for 36 hrs would dry them up too much? Lots more surface exposure than keeping the dough in a container, no?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    You got it!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Insane cooks unite!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    normal people are boring, I say.

  • http://www.sassyradish.com radish

    I had the honor of attending the small dinner soiree where Deb served those cookies and they were UNbelievable. I’ve been waxing poetic about them ever since. And 36 hours of wait is WELL worth it. Interesting observation about warm/cool dough – that must be it. I’ll see if I can try it at home – though our New York kitchens equip us with those “toy” fridges where we can store a grapefruit and a stick of butter.

  • cocopuffs

    i once had cookies with coconut oil instead of butter. really good.

  • http://www.leitesculinaria.com David Leite

    Pim, so glad you liked the cookies. They are phenomenal. Regarding thickness, yours don’t see too far off at at all, and the texture looks great. The temperature of the butter when it’s creamed could have something to do with it, as well as the amount of time its creamed with the sugar. But I don’t think you’re far for dead-center perfect.
    But under no circumstance can I allow you to make them smaller! The large size allows for all those interesting flavors and textures, things that are pointed out in the article. I’ve made the cookies in a smaller version, just to try it out, and, while still good, they lacked complexity that comes with the variety of the crisp out edge, the gooey center, and the marvelous middle “doughnut,” where everything meets.

  • http://www.leitesculinaria.com David Leite

    Pim, so glad you liked the cookies. They are phenomenal. Regarding thickness, yours don’t see too far off at at all, and the texture looks great. The temperature of the butter when it’s creamed could have something to do with it, as well as the amount of time its creamed with the sugar. But I don’t think you’re far for dead-center perfect.
    But under no circumstance can I allow you to make them smaller! The large size allows for all those interesting flavors and textures, things that are pointed out in the article. I’ve made the cookies in a smaller version, just to try it out, and, while still good, they lacked complexity that comes with the variety of the crisp out edge, the gooey center, and the marvelous middle “doughnut,” where everything meets.

  • http://www.angrybrit.com Angry Brit

    And now I am totally craving cookies and will have to wait 36 hours to satisfy said craving. Do you suppose this recipe lends itself to interpretation? Could you, for example, throw in diced crystallised ginger? Or a handful of nuts? (I despise nuts in cookies and brownies, but I seem to be a minority). I am loving the final sprinkle of sea salt, though.

  • Jimmy-in-Seattle

    P.T. Nice piece. Good job. So good to see you writing again! Your are a very talented food writer! I mean that sincerely…. I watched the kid next-door (he’s seven) ‘Twitter’ the other day and realized that it takes no talent to do that. He has the brain power of a trout. On the other-hand, to make ‘cookies’ thought provoking and a good read takes a certain amount of genius…..I can’t believe you used the word ‘twat’ hehehehe..dat’s funny stuff.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    How to deal with toy fridges?
    Remove everything else to make room for the chocolate chips cookie dough. What’s more important?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    I must admit I’m not liking the sound of that…..

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    So happy you approve! The butter was at room temp and I beat the heck out of it to get as much air bubbles as possible, that’s good, right?
    Alright, just for you I won’t make them any smaller – not like I had a hard time finishing one or anything… ;-)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    I’m sure it is. I’m not so much on nuts and chocolate chips but stem ginger sounds intriguing, yes.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Why, glad you approve too.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/michaelmenard Michael Menard

    Are the ones in the photo the same you brought to the Octagon? I think I may have eaten that one… :-)
    -Oh, and you gotta try one with a cold glass of our extra rich milk. It’s like… it’s so….
    …Goooood!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/michaelmenard Michael Menard

    I’ve been thinking (I know I know, it’s the weekend but it wasn’t on purpose)
    If I were to buy a whole bunch of these I could give them as gifts to my friends and then promptly eat them myself, because it’s the thought that counts, right?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/michaelmenard Michael Menard

    Psh! Yeah, honestly Pim, smaller cookies? Really?? Why would you contemplate such a thing?
    I understand that you have been baking for a year or two or something, but let me tell you: I’ve baked a snicker-doodle or two in my day and the only good thing about the small ones is that you can use them to deter pesky “friends” and “family” from getting to the good ones… :-P

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  • http://www.TableFare.com/blog Carol Peterman

    I tackled my quest for a perfect chocolate chip cookie last December. The element from this recipe that blew me away and I now add to almost all cookies I make, is a sprinkling of salt on top. These cookies were too big and too sweet for my taste. The CI cookies were good, but also not exactly what I was after. Here is what I settled on for my perfect cookie. http://www.tablefare.com/blog/2008/12/16/chewy-and-slightly-gooey-chocolate-chunk-cookies/
    I alwasy end up baking one sheet pan right away because it is just too much to wait for the dough to chill for 36 hours. I think the cookies are also better if they are baked, but eaten the next day. Yea, I know nearly impossible, but I have managed on occasion.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Baked and *then* wait to eat them the next day? I don’t know what you think I’m made of but I’m certainly not that!

  • http://damnthefreshman15.blogspot.com/ Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15)

    Well darling, I’d still eat them, even in a less-than-seraphic incarnation! Your stuff is always so luscious looking!

  • http://whatilikenyc.blogspot.com Laura [What I Like]

    Hmm…my current favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies is from Serena Bass’s cookbook, but I am intrigued by all of this resting and whatnot…

  • june2

    But, of course, I lovvve flat-style, crispy outside, chewy inside chocolate chip cookies the best! These look perfect.

  • LiLaLiLa

    Hey Pim!
    I gotta say… you really inspired me with your post. I relived the NYTimes piece and wondered why I didn’t run right out to make the cookies then. So I’ll wait, another 24 hours now, until my dough will have richened its flavor to be ready for my discerning taste buds.
    Temperature is so important, of the oven and of the dough, to create the perfect crispness. I will definitely be putting the balls of dough back into the fridge to set up. Cold dough from the fridge is key for my liking of a nearly raw center. I believe the recipe calls for too low of a temperature to bake them. 350 degrees may work in the convection ovens professional kitchens have, but not in my conventional home oven. I’ll use a slightly hotter oven (375-390 degrees) and maybe that too will aid in less spreading.
    I’ll let you know how they turn out :)

  • Oswald06

    Any chance you could weight the ingredients and give me the recipe in grammes ? I’m French and can never manage the recipes in cups…
    I can trade it against a typical French recipe if needed ;-)
    Thanks for your help!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    There’s tons of good information there. Thanks so much for the link.

  • Arturo Q

    Not in my experience. I do the balls then place them touching side by side on the sheet pan then wrap in plastic. Then rest in the fridge. When I’m ready to pan up. On to fresh sheet pans, just have to pat them down a bit as the dough warms up a bit.
    Granted I usually rest 24 hours not 36, but it should be okay.
    Btw cookie dough freezes great.
    Arturo

  • http://cestdoux.blogspot.com/ Diana

    Hi Pim,
    I made these cookies last night and they turned out great! I also used a scoop, but instead of the chocolate discs, substituted some chopped up Guittard bittersweet chocolate. One thing I was curious about is how much sea salt to sprinkle on top. I think I got a bit carried away, but they’re still tasty!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rtcaro rtcaro

    I’m not much of a sweets person, but you may have converted me–great post, btw!

  • http://www.brooklynsupper.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    I made these cookies in December and they were great. I used regular chocolate chips and thought things turned out well. I was pretty casual about the whole thing, so I admire your precision.
    Now all I can think about is cookies.

  • http://fabgrandma.blogspot.com/ Karen

    I love love love chocolate chip cookies. When I was pregnant with my second child, I craved them, and made them EVERY day. Now that I am a gluten free type of gal, I am going to have to find a good recipe for making them. These look fabulous!

  • http://ahungrybear.com KT

    This recipe has become the standard chocolate chip cookie recipe in our house, ever since I saw it in the Times. I came to the same conclusion as several of your posters, that the mix of flours wasn’t quite as good as the 100% King Arthur AP flour. I’ve also “experimented” with baking batches at 12, 24, 36 and 72 hours, with tasting notes and everything! If you have the self-control, 72 hours produces the best cookies. (Try draping a towel over the plastic wrap so you can’t see in to the dough, if it bugs you every time you open the fridge door!)
    Also – the type of sea salt on the top is another thing to play with. The larger and flatter flakes you can get, the better!

  • http://WowGoldPig.com warcraft gold

    Best cookies ever! Did you say that chocolate chip cookie dough is calling your name? In my world, it is screaming for mine! And I tell you, it’s very hard to resist. LOL

  • http://chewonthatblog.com Hillary

    I’ve never seen a chocolate chip cookie circulate the Internet like this one! I guess that’s proof of how good it is! But where do you get those chocolate disks?

  • http://aiyanalaughed.blogspot.com/ Marian

    You do a good job on following directions :) I’mm not that good but after this post, I think I’ll have to try again.

  • s.

    Actually, I think the original recipe calls for cake flour + *bread* flour. I think this makes a definite difference. I followed their specifications and had no problems with cookies spreading, even when I left the dough out accidentally before shaping–in fact, I wish they’d spread a bit, as I prefer my choc. chip cookies to be slightly thinner. As it was, though, I got a gorgeously thick, crispy-on-outside, chewy-on-inside cookie. Also, the melted butter idea is something that’s worked for me. Cook’s Illustrated most recent issue had a brilliant little article on how to make the best cookie suited to your own tastes (e.g. higher brown sugar-to-white-sugar ratio if you prefer your cookies chewier, etc.).

  • s.

    Also, Deb from Smitten Kitchen, according to her instructions, seems to have (maybe?) baked the cookies directly on the baking sheet, instead of on waxed paper: major no-no if you want to minimize spreading, as far as I know.

  • http://www.myhalalkitchen.com yvonne

    Hi Pim,
    I think I saw you a while ago on TV, if I remember correctly. You’re writing out of San Francisco, correct? Well, I really like your blog and I’ll be visiting more soon :-)

  • Dawn Smith

    Sounds delicious….i’ll try those…I love cookies…right away i’m gonna get the ingredients from http://www.myethnicworld.com and prepare it…thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.chefscommunity.com uk chefs forum

    These cookies look amazing – I may just have to make them now!!

  • Brian

    Hmm maybe I’m missing the obvious, but where the heck is the actual recipe??? :)

  • Su Su

    Well, it was too good to resist so I had to try this “best choc chip” cookie recipe. After great patience when the 36th hour rolled around, I was at work so had to wait till that evening to bake them. They did not turn out well. I wanted cookies with lots of spread, what i got was a large sized golf ball with only a little spread and it was cripy on the outside but very doughy on the inside. I was expecting crispy, light cookies with a soft center. It did not turn out like that at all! I used the two types of flour too. I ended up baking them in teaspoon drops so that they would spread and finally felt this was the best size to appreciate them because then they stopped being so doughy in the middle. I’m very disappointed.

  • Pam

    I’ve also used a recipe where not only do you melt the butter, but you brown it. Yum!

  • alice

    This is a little late but thanks for posting this! I’ve made them three times since you’ve posted this. My husband (who is not a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies) has fought with me to make sure they’re divided up evenly between us!
    My dough seems a lot drier than any other chocolate chip cookie dough I’ve ever made. I used a scale to weigh out the flour and sugar, maybe my scale is off? Or maybe the eggs are smaller in Australia?? These turn out well so I’m not too worried (except that I might need to buy a new scale).

  • http://zjedz.prawda.org jedrek

    Last month’s Cooks Illustrated has a great update to the traditional Tollhouse recipe which changes technique, adds a little or this, takes away a bit of that and gave me the most incredible chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. Recommended.

  • vincent

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/1221074509s12096 Tiffany

    I’ll definitely have to try these out. They sound amazing. I wrote a post on my blog testing the recipe for the “Neiman Marcus” chcolate cookie recipe (most say it’s an urban legend. That story is here (http://www.tiffanytastes.com/2008/09/ooooh250-chocol.html) versus the recipe that is listed on the Neiman Marcus website (http://www.tiffanytastes.com/2008/10/the-great-cooki.html)

  • GraceF

    I’m glad you were the one to do all the research! THANKS! I think I would have to make two batches – one for eating right out of the bowl, and one for 36 hours later! I’m a big fan of white chocolate – any ideas on what the best is?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f7a6f68970c orban.jon@gmail.com

    I started making CCCs when I was 12. I have made about 25 batches a year for 25 yrs. I have taken a scientific approach of analyzing the variables and then using trial and error for each variable individually. Here is what I have learned beyond what is on this site:
    Consistency. The issue is riding the fence between ingredients that have taste and are emulsifiers. That is why cake flower is better than AP flower because while they both are not taste ingredients, one is better at keeping the cookie together. Use real vanilla, instead of extract. The real vanilla is not a liquid so you will need less egg white and flower. Freeze your cookie sheets for the same reason you refrigerate your dough. Do not freeze the dough. Start with your oven at 600 for 30 seconds, then open it and allow it to drop as fast as possible to 250 for 15 minutes to cook all the way. The “crust” will keep the cookie from spreading.
    Tatse. Since you need less emulsifier by doing these things, u can use a ratio of 3 egg yolks to 2 eggs white. Use more salt, about 50% more to offset the more intense taste. Use a ratio of 3 to of brown sugar. Heat up the sugar before you mix it. Use more vanilla. If you want to use nuts, use a coffee grinder so that act as emulsifier since normally that just bleed oil. Use the best chocolate you can find. Add a pinch of espresso coffee. Trust me on this.

  • http://www.abigailblake.com/sugarapple Abigail

    It must be chocolate chip cookie week…I posted about them yesterday on my blog. Someone above mentioned melting the butter. I do that too. And I always chill the dough for at least an hour before shaping and baking.
    I haven’t tried part cake flour and will have to give it a go.

  • http://kissmyspatula.com/ Kiss My Spatula

    These cookies hold a very, very, very special place in my heart. I literally feel like they have changed my life forever!! No exaggeration. And I have a terribly uncontrollable sweet tooth. My tweaks to the original: didn’t bother with cake flour, added a bit of orange zest, chopped almonds and oatmeal. Let them sit at room temp. for about 15 minutes after pulling them out of the refrigerator. Used 1/3 cup measuring cup to form the cookies. I can go on and on and on…but it still remains one of the most amazing things I’ve ever put in my mouth! Here is a photo: http://kissmyspatula.com/2009/04/24/best-chocolate-chip-cookies-ev-a/

  • http://www.lmcooks.com LM

    Now the difficulty here is the classic quandary of whether or not to butter the pan. To me, the extra thin caramelized edges that are the result of buttering the pan, though they are fragile and this render the cookies useless from a commercial perspective, are unbeatable in terms of cookie enjoyment experience.

  • http://www.ahacook.com John

    Look so great and delicious.

  • http://destination-ecuador.net Jeff Stern

    These are the best. I make them at 9,000 feet here in Quito, Ecuador and reduce the baking soda and powder about 80% and they come out perfect. You can age this dough for days and it just seems to improve.

  • amy

    Made the cookies, not great. I usually make more of a brown sugar chocolate chip cookie, adding 3 times as much brown sugar as white, and cutting back a bit on flour. It makes for a chewier, flatter cookie but definitely tastier. These cookies tasted like a good tollhouse version. Aging helped, but a good turd still taste like a turd.

  • vici

    These really are the best chocolate chip cookies; but mine look completely different than yours…
    http://www.grafffamily.com/THEchocchip.html

  • http://eastvillagekitchen.com Lauren

    I followed the recipe to a T using the flours in the NYT recipe and mine came out so much thicker than other bloggers! I did use chocolate fèves from Jacques Torres and noticed his cookies in the window were, like mine, thicker. The fèves are thicker, shaped more like convex disks. The Valrhona fèves have the divet in the middle and are thin by comparison. Perhaps that sheds some light? Here’s the back story on my experience with the recipe. http://eastvillagekitchen.com/?p=492

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1229573438s27208 HotNYC News Photos.

    cookies!!!! I love it..
    Pim your Blog looooks Delicious..

  • http://biolandliebe.wordpress.com/ marie

    Thanks a lot for linking me to this recipe. I’ve been looking for a decent chocolate chip recipe for what seems to be ages!
    One should think it was easy to find but really most of the recipes I tried just turned into huge cookie frisbees. And usually I know how to bake a cookie right :D
    So thanks a lot for this, I will try this out asap :)

  • Tiffany

    i have always made these cookies with purely all-purpose, chilled for just several hours, then scooped and baked immediately and my cookies end up maybe twice as thick as yours and they always look beautiful. i’ve waited maybe 24 hours before, but usually i’m impatient and i’m never super precise with my measurements or my scoops.
    but this truly is the best recipe and i’ve tried a lot. crispy and chewy when fresh.
    i love your blog, you’re hilarious.

  • Rudi

    hhmmm…. thanks Pim for the review… you are the best one…

  • Elana

    I have a recipe for gluten free cookies here, if you are looking for one, though not sure if they are anywhere near as delicious as the ones above!

    http://www.elanaspantry.com/dairy-free-gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies/

    Hope this helps and good luck going gluten free :-)

  • http://www.thegrinninggourmet.com/?page_id=178 Pierre

    Great post, I like the Leite smaller like 1.5 oz. Last spring I did side by side testing of a dozen top rated cookie like the Lebovitz, the Baked cookie and several others and to my great surprise the Leite cookie beat my favorite. Anyways if you’re interested checkout my blog. Thanks for the post, love you blog!

  • http://www.thegrinninggourmet.com/?page_id=178 Pierre

    Great post, I like the Leite smaller like 1.5 oz. Last spring I did side by side testing of a dozen top rated cookie like the Lebovitz, the Baked cookie and several others and to my great surprise the Leite cookie beat my favorite. Anyways if you’re interested checkout my blog. Thanks for the post, love you blog!

  • http://www.thegrinninggourmet.com/?page_id=178 Pierre

    Sorry for the double post.

  • http://www.bes.co.uk/ plumbing supplies

    If you are cooking more than one sheet of cookies at a  time, make sure you switch top and bottom sheets halfway through baking time also.

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