Monday, November 9, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are few foods that represent Americana better than chocolate chip cookies (other than the obvious apple pie). Nestle Tollhouse has been a standard in my house for as long as I can remember. Most of the time I just use the recipe off the back of the chocolate chip bag. For some reason that same recipe has been transcribed onto a recipe card and placed into a family recipe box as if it was our own. And in some ways it is, being passed down generation to generation of Americans. The only way to make it more patriotic is to put little American flags in it.

David Leite set out to improve chocolate chip cookies. He consulted many different sources to find out what would elevate these cookies to their best. In brief, he started by weighing out the flour, substituting a combination of cake and bread flours for all-purpose flour. He also substitutes chocolate "feves" (some sort of fancy-pants disk), which are supposed to melt more nicely than morsels (I ran out of Ghirardelli disks so I supplemented with chips without much detriment). The dough, once made, is left to rest for about 36 hours. This is rationalized to "let the flours get moisturized" or some sort of other food pseudo-science. Lastly, some coarse sea salt is applied to the top of the cookies for a little salty-sweet combination.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookies did turn out pretty good. They were moist and chewy with some crispy edges. The original recipe usually yields cookies more on the crispy side. These cookies also tended to be thicker in that they did not spread out as much, possibly because the dough is kept cold. The salt on top is what really was a hit with everyone who had one. Many people said it was like eating a chocolate covered pretzel. So in the end, you have to decide on a bit of a trade off: is it worth it to spend the extra time to buy the special ingredients and make the dough in advance for the better experience, or is it better to just use what many people have on hand to make perfectly good classic cookies? The answer, in reality, depends on each person, but these cookies are definitely worth the effort at least once.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Best cookies. Ever. I hate that they were a pain because they really were almost worth the work.

Dave wins again for best food!