Sometimes life calls for cookies.
And when that happens, this is the first recipe I turn to.
These cookies are, hands down, the best cookies I have ever made and probably among the best I have ever eaten.
Soft in the center, crisp around the edges, studded with molten bittersweet chocolate bits and finished with a sprinkle of flaky salt — these are everything a chocolate chip cookie should be.
If you’ve been searching for a great chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’m here to tell you the search is over.
This recipe — of New York Times and Jacques Torres fame — made the rounds on the internet years ago, but I think it deserves another shout-out here because the more people who know about it, the better.
One caveat: the recipe does call for a measure of patience not required by the Toll House recipe you’ve probably been making since childhood. It calls for resting the dough for 24 to 36 hours before baking, a practice that helps to develop deeper flavors.
You can certainly bake the cookies right away if you want, but leaving the dough in the refrigerator for a day or more will reward you with a rich, almost toffee-like flavor.
These cookies are absolutely worth the wait.
I will admit, however, that I usually bake off a couple or more cookies right away. You know, just to tide me over.
The recipe also calls for a blend of pastry and bread flours. The combination does make for a nicely textured cookie with just the right amount of chew, but please don’t let the need for fancy flours stop you from making these cookies.
I’ve tried them with good old all-purpose flour too and, although the end result is not quite the same, the cookies made with AP flour are still really, really good.
I’ve made only minor tweaks to the original recipe.
For instance, I use chocolate chips although Torres calls for flat disks of chocolate called fèves.
Fèves melt better than chocolate chips, creating a cookie striated throughout with chocolate, which some people really prefer. But I like the little pockets of warm chocolate produced by chips, which are also easier to come by than the disks.
I also make my cookies a little smaller than the original recipe recommends.
The NYT article that popularized this recipe explains that big cookies, about five or six inches across once baked, equate to cookies with a distinctly soft center, a crunchy outer ring and a middle section with a texture that falls, well, somewhere in the middle.
But I don’t really have any business eating cookies that are half a foot in diameter. Not to mention that I wouldn’t be able to fit more than two at a time on my dinky cookie sheet.
So I scoop out my dough into mounds roughly the size of a ping pong ball (I use an ice cream scoop) instead of the “generous golf ball” size that Torres and the NYT suggest and I cook them for just a little less time to compensate for the smaller size.
I’ve included cooking times for both sizes below so, by all means, bake yourself some giant cookies if you want.
Adapted from David Leite's recipe in the New York Times, where it was adapted from Jacques Torres.
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
- (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
- 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 60 percent cacao content)
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top
Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
While the butter and sugars are creaming, sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
To the butter and sugar mixture, add the eggs, one at a time. Mix well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in the vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and portion out evenly spaced mounds of dough the size of ping pong balls (for medium-sized cookies) or generous golf balls (for larger cookies). I find that letting the dough sit out at room temperature for a few minutes makes it easier to scoop.
Sprinkle each cookie lightly with the flaky sea salt and bake until golden but still soft, 16 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly. Eat warm.