The recipe uses bread flour and cake flour. It's important to use the different flours to achieve the right texture for your cookie. Cake and bread flour is not expensive. Just buy some, okay? The other thing is you will want to use high quality chocolate. I like to buy bars and just cut it into seriously big chunks. Last time I used a combination of fat baking chocolate bars and Ghiradelli, but that's only because I couldn't find any Valrhona or E. Guittard chocolate in my town. You will need a lot of chocolate for this recipe. This is no cheap cookie. Also, something rather interesting: you sprinkle your raw cookie dough balls with sea salt before baking. Don't skip this step. Salt brings out the sweet. It's to die for. Sea salt is the best to use. Kosher is too coarse and not as salty. I like cookies freshly baked, so typically when I make a batch of dough, I form it all into balls, bake only what I need at the time and chuck the rest in a gallon sized Ziploc bag and put them into the refrigerator or freezer. When you want fresh baked cookies just add about 5-7 extra minutes of cooking in the oven. No need to defrost.
As for me, I am writing this at my computer listening to Shania Twain's "From This Moment On" because she was on Oprah the other day and, I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, but if you are on Oprah, I get a little obsessed with you for a week or so. I used to listen to this song
at my Dad's house all through my sophomore year. I used to sing to myself in the mirror. I thought I might dance to this song when I got married. I loved Shania. Flash forward 14 years later when I hear who the guest is and I think "Why in the world is Oprah wasting one of her coveted last twenty shows on an interview with Shania Twain?!?" The love I had for her was gone. Where the hell had she been all these years? Fickle fame. Turns out she had a pretty juicy story of love and betrayal. After one hour I was back on the Shania bandwagon although I didn't even find her particularly endearing. Fickle fame.
Shoot. Now I have gone off on this rabbit trail and I'm trying desperately to find a way to fuse chocolate chip cookies and Shania Twain. It's not going to happen, folks. So, today you get a killer cookie recipe and a random paragraph. Bake the cookies. They will more than make up for it.
Leite's Consummate Chocolate Chip Cookie
Adapted from David Leite via The New York Times via Smitten Kitchen, (phew!)
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies
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 1/2 teaspoons coarse 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 vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or big chunks of chocolate, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside. 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 try to incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for up to 72 hours, or at least 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally and 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, 18-20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with the remaining dough, or reserve, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
You can find Valrhona's feves or oval shaped chocolate pieces (perfect for this recipe), at Whole Foods in half pounds. Baking disks can be found from a number of brands, from Jacques Torres to E. Guittard (Fresh Direct used to sell these by the quarter pound, but now just in one pound boxes, but still at a very reasonable price) to Ghiradelli. Can't find them? Use the largest chocolate chips you can find, or break apart baking bars like I mentioned above.