Saturday, 5 November 2011

Best cookie ever?

Tonight was Bonfire Night, obviously, and I went to the Blackheath spectacular which was as good as it ever is: 20 minutes filled with "oooohs" and "aaaaaaaahs" in response to coloured explosions lighting up the night sky.

What was unusual was that I went for dinner at a friend's before hand (banger (sausage) casserole, followed by apple dumplings (which I made but completely forgot to take a camera so can't show you)) and as a pre-cursor to dinner had some pretty fine cookies.

Now these cookies came from a recipe in the New York Times which was posted in response to this article all about the perfect chocolate chip cookie. The article's actually really interesting and throws up a few pointers which could improve your baking and seems to explain how to achieve that elusive crisp-chewy-soft cookie texture (it also serves as quite an interesting peak into the American psyche). As baker Maury Rubin puts it

"First there’s the crunchy outside inch or so,” he said. A nibble revealed a crackle to the bite and a distinct flavor of butter and caramel. “Then there’s the center, which is soft.” A bull’s-eye the size of a half-dollar yielded easily. “But the real magic,” he added, “is the one-and-a-half-inch ring between them where the two textures and all the flavors mix.”

The main thing to achieve this seems to be letting the cookie dough rest (in the fridge) for up to 36 hours! Apparently this allows time for the liquid (from the eggs) to be adsorbed firming the dough and improving the final baked texture.

There's also talk of the cookie dough to chocolate ratio, with some going as far as 60:40!

All that remains to do is to convert those pesky measurements...

Recipe for the "best-ever" Chocolate Chip Cookies (taken from the NY Times)

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 oz) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 oz) 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
1 1/4 cups (10 oz) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 oz) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 lb bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. 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. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt 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, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails