Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are a zillion chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, but I'm frequently asked about the ones we make at Highrock Church.  They're based on the New York Times recipe, but I've made enough modifications that it's worth documenting here.

With cookies, the same recipe can turn out differently with only minor variations: the size of the eggs, the type of oven, and the softness of the butter can all make a noticeable impact.  You probably won't perfectly replicate the Highrock variety, but it'll be delicious nonetheless.

Butter mixture:
  • 10 oz (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 10 oz (1 1/4 c.) brown sugar (I prefer raw "muscovado" sugar)
  • 8 oz (1 c. + 2 Tbsp) white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or 1 tsp. of a fine-grain salt)
Egg mixture:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Flour mixture:
  • 17 oz. all-purpose flour (3.75 cups fluffed--not settled)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together the butter mixture until fully combined, about 5 minutes.  

In a small cup, whisk the eggs and vanilla.  With the mixer running, slowly pour the eggs into the butter mixture.

In another bowl, sift together the flour mixture, and gradually add it to the rest of the batter until fully combined.

Finally, add the chocolate chips.

Scoop dough at your desired size (I use a 1 oz. disher) and bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet until the cookie has just barely turned uniformly golden.  Time depends on dough temperature, oven temperature, and cookie size, but they usually take 10-12 minutes.  

Refrigerate or freeze unused dough.  The cookies may improve if you hold the dough overnight before baking, because the flour has time to absorb moisture.

  • I mix the salt in with the butter mixture because it ensures the salt is evenly mixed throughout the batter, especially when using kosher salt with larger flakes.
  • I reduced the baking soda by 1/4 tsp. compared with the NYT recipe because I thought it tasted slightly too alkaline.
  • The NYT recipe calls for enormous cookies with Valrhona fèves, which are about $20/lb.  This produces an awesome cookie and if you have the budget to try it once, I recommend it!  Otherwise, the dark Ghiradelli chips are also great.
  • On the topic of luxurious enhancements, try substituting a premium cultured butter and see if you notice a difference.  Premium butters taste better and can have a higher fat content.