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Mmmm chocolate chip cookies....

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/din...

Kind of interesting, the history and the trick.

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  1. This was fun to read, especially the "trick" portion. I would never have thought to do this. Also, I thought the chocolate chip cookie was much older!

    1. that was a fantastic article. thank you so much. i have been making cookies for years and never heard of that hydration trick.

      7 Replies
      1. re: beelzebozo

        But how difficult to implement in normal life--"How about some homemade chocolate chip cookies, guys? Sound good? Okay, come back in 36 hours!" My c.c. cookie baking impulses are much more spur of the moment and demand near instant gratification, to the point where I typically burn myself going for that first bite.

        1. re: MommaJ

          Well, if you continuously make cookie dough and have them in reserve every day, then the problem is solved!

          1. re: Phaedrus

            Or freeze the dough. Then you need less notice, anyhow. You could probably freeze it in balls and bake from frozen. I wonder how that'd work out.

            1. re: Kagey

              freezing is the way to go. my friend who makes absolutely the best chocolate chip cookies any of us has ever eaten keeps batches of dough in the freezer & bakes them off as needed. NB: if you freeze in pre-portioned size, no need to thaw before baking - just add a few minutes to baking time.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I did exactly this for my wife a few years ago. She looked at the bag of perfectly portioned chocolate chip cookie dough balls in the freezer and said "oooh, bon-bons." They never saw the inside of an oven.

                1. re: ccbweb

                  LOL! :) if you ever do it again, be sure to have good vanilla ice cream in the freezer as well...she can make her own cookie dough ice cream bonbons.

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I freeze them as well.but I roll them in parchment paper & then freeze. I then slice them as thin (for those who like crispy ) to as thick as I like( I like chewy).
                  I also use Guittard 70% wafers..like J. Torrres does. (note that he uses wafers & not Guittard)The result is almost like a complete chocolate center.

        2. I have often refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough for use the next day, and I have to say that it did not produce the kind of cookies I like. I found that the cookies produced were paler and higher, which was not what the article said. I like my cookies flatter and somewhat soft in the center, and I have adjusted the Toll House recipe to have a higher amount of brown sugar to get this result. I guess I will try their specific method when I get back from Egypt next month, but I have to say that I am skeptical that I will like the result.

          1. this was a great read and the "delay" is an interesting novelty. Recipe already downloaded for future use.

            thanks P

            1. Two things I've gotten out of years of watching cooking shows, and reading books and articles that's improved my results:

              - add salt to sweet

              - add vanilla to chocolate

              1. I went straight home after reading this yesterday and made a batch of dough (following the recipe exactly with no changes) that's currently aging/"hydrating/waiting in my fridge. I plan on putting it in the oven tomorow or sunday and will report back with the results. My cc cookies are always lacking (too flat, too thin, too greasy) and I'm excited to see if this brings an improvement.

                1. I made the dough on Thursday afternoon and am baking them as we speak (Saturday afternoon). My husband, who is on a life quest for the platonic ideal of a chocolate chip cookie, pronounced them the best he's ever had! Up to now, he's been faithful to the original Toll House recipe. The changes I made were: didn't have bread flour so used King Arthur's White Whole Wheat, didn't feel like running around to find the chocolate discs so I used Hershey's Special Dark Chips, and I made them a little smaller in size and baked them for 17 minutes on a SilPat sheet. Hope yours come out well too!

                  1. Made the dough on Friday and baked them this morning. My husband, who loves CC cookies, said these were certainly among the best he's ever had. We skipped the sea salt on top, since he's not a fan of that style, and I only had 1 lb of chocolate on hand, which seemed like plenty to me. I used Ghirardelli bittersweet 60% cacao bars, hand broken into quarter-size pieces.

                    The dough needs to be warmed up for maybe 15 minutes on the counter before you can scoop it onto the scale. It's too hard otherwise.

                    This recipe's a keeper!

                    1. I didn't realize that everybody didn't do this! I rarely go as long as 36 hours -- unless I'm feeling really really lazy -- but I almost always chill the dough for my chocolate chip cookies an absolute minimum of 3-4 hours, and quite often 24 hours or over. It's one of the things I picked up from my mom. And it makes perfect sense, really -- we refrigerate pie dough to let the flour hydrate, don't we?

                      However, the sea salt sprinkle is genius. And since I happened to have all the ingredients in the pantry already, I have some lovely dough chilling in the fridge as I type. Luckily, we already have a dessert plan for tonight or I'd be tempted to break my chilling rule.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        The article with the recipe had lots of interesting suggestions and then when I saw the recipe I was hooked. I made the dough on Thursday evening but couldn't bake them until this morning [60 hours mark] and I will definitely make them again. The dough definitely needs to sit out a bit before you can get into the dough with the big chocoalte discs. One of my big tests is if the dough tastes good raw and it was very tasty with the right hit of salt. I used Becolade Bittersweet Discs I ordered from King Arthur and they worked well in the recipe. The cookies ended up being about 3" across instead of 5" but still baked in 18-20 minutes. This recipe will stay but the next time I will go back to regular size good quality dark chocolate chips so I can make smaller cookies. Somehow I'm convinced if I make mini cookies they don't have as many calories.....

                        1. re: Island Girl

                          Mini cookies would definitely have less calories, if you ate less total volume of course. I just read a blog post that calculated the number of calories using the NYT recipe and making 5" cookies. Each cookie has 500 calories! Perhaps if that was the only treat you had all day and ate other quite healthy meals it's reasonable, but I would know I'd have trouble eating just one cookie!

                          1. re: katebauer

                            it was marion nestle who blogged about the recipe - she's one of the nation's foremost nutrition authorities [and one of my heroes]. what i found interesting was her comparison between this recipe & an old "joy of cooking" one...the times recipe claims to make 16 cookies, but it's the equivalent of NINETY cookies from an older recipe...

                            http://whattoeatbook.com/2008/07/10/o...

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I've never gotten the number of cookies/muffins out of a batch of batter that the recipe says to expect, however I fully acknowledge that I'm likely overestimating the appropriate portion size. I just can't imagine one recipe making 90 cookies. The JOC portion size must be around a teaspoon of batter.

                              1. re: katebauer

                                Are chocolate wafers available in supermarkets?

                                1. re: dolores

                                  dolores, the wafers are available in some specialty shops, but not supermarkets. i know they carry them at surfas restaurant supply back in LA, but i don't know of a comparable place in NY. you're probably best ordering them online.

                                  post a query on the tri-state board & see if anyone knows where to find them near you.

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    I've seen them at Whole Foods and at smaller supermarket chains, such as Roche Bros. in the Boston area, but I haven't seen them in larger, traditional supermarkets.

                                  2. re: katebauer

                                    "I just can't imagine one recipe making 90 cookies."
                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                    her comparison states that the volume of ingredients in the NYT recipe is equivalent to TWO batches [each of which should yield 45 cookies] from an old recipe.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      Yup, I was thinking that if divvied out the NYT recipe in the same portion size that the JOC recipe calls for, you should end up with 90 cookies. That is what she's saying, right?

                                      1. re: katebauer

                                        you got it.

                            2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                              I always do this, too, but only 24 hours. Will try 36. Salt sprinkled on brownies, butterscotch sauce, etc. is fabulous, too!

                            3. So I made the dough on Thursday and baked them yesterday afternoon. They're definitely among the best cc cookies I've had and by far the best that I have made myself. They didn't spread much, they have a great texture and I personally love the sea salt on top. I wonder how much of the texture is due to the days spent in the fridge and how much is due to the bread flour? This is a great recipe and I'm going to keep it as my regular cc cookie from now on!

                              1. I always refrigerate my dough over night, 10-18 hours depending on when I get around to baking. I have a great recipe that I believe was in the NY Times a few years ago and credited to Ruby et Violette and its fairly similar to the one listed this week. I use regular flour not cake flour though and its a great cookie.

                                1. I made the NY Times Recipe. The only change was that I hammered a large bar of chocolate from Trader Joe's rather than using disks. Cookies were greasy and a little too salty. I did get gooey centers and crispy edges. Anybody else try the recipe and have this problem? Also, my cookies weren't very thick. Suggestions on remedies? Was it my failure to use disks?
                                  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/din...

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: kasselr

                                    Hi,

                                    I made them just yesterday. The dough had been refrigerated for 48hrs, and left to stand at room temp for about an hour before baking. I followed the recipe to a T, the only difference is I made regular sized cookies and not monster ones.

                                    They turned out beautifully and so far, the comments have been very very favourable. This morning I was told they tasted just like a fresh box of Freihoffer's cc cookies. Is that a good thing? (I'm in Canada and wouldn't know a Freihoffer if it hit me in the head - Entenmann's I know - they have their own aisle in the grocery store right? )

                                    1. re: maisonbistro

                                      Freihoffer is a New York/New England supermarket bakery -- I'm afraid you were damned with faint praise as far as their cookies go, but they make my hot dog bun of choice.

                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                        tell the NYT - it's their recipe I followed LOL.

                                        Thanks for enlightening me.

                                        1. re: maisonbistro

                                          the freihofer's comment may have been a testament to the texture...when straight from a fresh box they were always perfectly chewy - not quite soft, just enough density, a little crispy at the edge. the flavor, however, wasn't exactly anything to write home about - i'm sure the NYT cookies taste better.

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            Well, I'm thinking that using good quality butter, Caillebot bittersweet chocolate discs, King Arthur flours (unbleached bread and cake) - they've gotta be better than store bought - don't they???

                                            1. re: maisonbistro

                                              I'm thinking about making a batch and overnighting some to a friend. Do those of you who have made them think they're only good fresh out of the oven, or do they hold up well the next day? Also, would the "few seconds in a microwave" trick bring them back up to snuff if the warmth is key to the yumminess?

                                              1. re: pamiam

                                                We had the remainder of our first batch the second (or possibly even third) day, and they were more than fine. This is also a fairly bulletproof cookie in terms of its density, so it would ship just fine. I say go for it.

                                                1. re: pamiam

                                                  They were still quite good a couple of days later. I actually preferred them the day after they were baked (I don't like my cookies warm, though). By day 5 or so they had dried out (despite being packed in a plastic tub) and were mostly crunchy all the way through. They might hold better if you vacuum sealed them after they completely cooled.

                                      2. re: kasselr

                                        I tried the recipe again. I omitted the salt on top of the cookie, but I did use coarse salt in the dough as called for. They are still a bit salty. Again, I measured flour with a scale...I'm wondering if this is my problem. Has anyone else actually weighed the flour? My cookies were flatter this time than last so I ended up resorting to making bars out of most of the dough. The bars are decent, and I hear closer to the texture of the cookies at Torres.

                                        1. re: kasselr

                                          I've tried this recipe a few times already. I much preferred the cookies when I weighed the flours, not measured. As we all know, weighing is much more accurate and I thought it produced a superior texture in this case.

                                          1. re: Cakegirl

                                            I just made a second batch and both times I weighed the flour and I was happy with the results as far as texture and how the cookies baked. My modifications this time included using KAF intense dark chocolate chips and I also toasted a couple of handfulls pecans whole, chopped them and toasted them some more before cooling and adding to the batter. In the past when I've chopped pecans and toasted I would tend to get the very small pieces too dark and the bigger pieces not enough. While I liked the salt I left it off this time and there was enough salt in the batter so it was fine. I baked them in two batches 24 hours and 72 hours. The ones that were 72 hours I think taste better and I like the texture of the cookie better. The others won't go to waste.

                                      3. I made these both with and without the specialty flours, and there is very little difference (if at all) - so save your $$ and just use AP flour. The sprinkle of salt on top, I found, is quite key. I didn't find this cookie "consummate" at all though - more crisp than I was expecting, and I baked for 16 mins. (not the 18-20) and I do have an oven therm. that I keep an eye on. So the ultimate? Not for me.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: AnnVL

                                          I made them the other day but made some changes
                                          1) only used coarse sea salt in the recipe. I did not sprinkle salt on top-they ended up being salty w/o the extra addition. The coarse salt make a nice crunch
                                          2) did not have bittersweet disks so I used schokinag chocolae bar broken into pieces
                                          3) did not have bread flour so I used regular flour

                                          all in all great!

                                          1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                            I've made these twice so far, both times for a crowd. I used AP flour, and guittard 70% disks. The cookies were consumed in record time, and i had many people praising them, and asking me how i made them. i think they are quite good, but i'm curious what the difference would be when using the different flours.

                                            1. re: twiggles

                                              This is just my opinion on the subject but I think it is more personal preference. I use KAF because where I live we tend to get "buggy" flour at the grocery store so it is more cost effective for me to order KAF online and have it shipped in knowing I will use all of it. I have used Robin Hood and Gold Medal and the results have been very good. Maybe I'm used to KAF now but I do like the unbleached flour and I find that there is a bit better flavour.

                                              1. re: Island Girl

                                                I'm not interested in the flour part at all. I don't believe all that hype.

                                                The biggest assist was in chilling the dough. That's made a world of difference!

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  While the combo of cake and bread flours is new to me and interesting (wouldn't they average each other out?), I've found real differences between KA unbleached flour and supermarket (i.e. Pillsbury or Gold Medal) unbleached flour when compared in the same recipe, so side-by-side, I wouldn't call the differences "hype."

                                                  Having said that, for folks who don't do a great deal of baking, it's not necessarily practical to keep a dozen different types of flour on hand. Me? I think I have almost as many types of flour as I do pasta shapes, a number that's usually in the double digits!

                                                  I do agree that chilling the dough is the way to go!