the best chocolate chip cookies

Between cookie exchange parties, baking for school and office parties and whipping up dessert for yourself or gifts for neighbors, there are many sweets vying for your attention this season. These cookies are not frosted, painted, or rolled in sugar, but they are the best chocolate chip cookies I've had, so that's worth something, I think.

I was always skeptical of these 24-hour cookie recipes. Who wants to wait that long to eat a cookie? Beyond the time commitment, there are two types of flours, neither of which are all-purpose, so that might seem inconvenient unless you happen to have them in the pantry. Andrew and I did a little quality control just to be sure this cookie was worth everything it claimed. We baked two cookies from the freshly made dough, and chilled the rest as instructed. They were good, but the next day's batch was exceptional.

The outside has a slightly crisp crumb and a soft interior with caramel notes. It goes smashingly well with vanilla ice cream or a glass of milk. Trust me.


Recipe from Molly Wizenberg via The New York Times

I don't have a scale, but I included the original recipe's measurements in case you do. I'm sure the recipe would have been even more perfect had I weighed each ingredient, but they managed to still bake up wonderfully.

I agree with Molly's note about room temperature cookies. When warm, it's difficult to taste the flavor nuances, so if you have any patience at all, let them cool a bit before serving.

2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. (8 ½ oz.) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 ½ oz.) bread flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups; 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks,
Sea salt, such as Maldon

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk well; then set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; then add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. (Unless you have a plastic guard that sits around the rim of the bowl, this will make a big mess at first, with flour flying everywhere. I found that carefully holding a dish towel around the top of the bowl helped a lot.) Add the chocolate chips, and mix briefly to incorporate. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop – mine holds about 3 fluid ounces, or about 1/3 cup – scoop the dough onto a sheet pan or large platter, or anything that will hold about two dozen dough portions in a single layer. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for 24 to 36 hours - and up to six days.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Place six mounds of dough on the baking sheet, making sure to space them evenly. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto the rack to cool a bit more.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Yield: About 24 cookies