Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 125g couverture chocolate
(54% works well)
- 100g walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 200g all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda (for flavor, not leavening)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder (this is the leaven)
- 110g butter
- 100g white sugar
- 85g brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or powder)
Let's start by saying this isn't easy, quick, or cheap, and you may not get it right the first time, even with this recipe.
Okay, if you're still with me, you're probably not new to baking. Excellent! This is not your typical "preheat/mix/bake/eat" recipe. Be sure to read through the tips at the end.
- Chop your chocolate as desired. As you chop, you will inevitably create small bits and dust, but this is good! Place the chunks in the fridge for now, and chop the remainder into a fine, powdery dust.
- Optional: Chop nuts as desired.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, chocolate dust, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nuts).
- Soften (but do not completely melt) the butter in the microwave. For me, about 25 seconds is plenty. It should be soft, but still cool (not warm). Butter temperature is extremely important.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. I do this by hand, since I don't have a mixer. It takes a few minutes, but you'll notice that the mixture does in fact achieve an even, creamy consistency.
- Add egg and vanilla to the wet mix and beat to return to an even consistency.
- Fold in dry mix in 3 batches. Mix just until slightly chunky (just starting to turn brown), then fold in chocolate, again in 3 batches. Do not overmix. Let dough rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours (ideally 12-36).
- Preheat oven to 165°C. Take dough out of fridge and form into balls or cones on an ungreased cookie sheet (line it with parchment paper for easier cleanup). In my oven, I can fit 6 to a pan.
- Bake in preheated oven until edges are lightly browned and cracks appear, but the insides of the cracks still appear wet (~13 minutes). Cool 5 minutes on pan until solid, then transfer to wire rack and cool another 10 minutes before serving.
Notes & Tips
Pro tip #1: Start early. If something's worth doing, it's worth doing right, especially if you are looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Sure, you could bake up the dough right away... but the dough will achieve the ideal consistency only after spending 12-36 hours in the fridge. (This has actually been tested.) Promise me you'll at least wait 2 hours...
Pro tip #2: Start with a block of chocolate and chop it yourself. Again, yes, of course you could start with chocolate chunks or chocolate chips, but you'd miss out on the lovely chocolate dust!
Pro tip #3: Do not overmix. Mixing and mashing the dough develops the gluten in the flour, and that turns your cookies into bread. Small flour streaks are okay, those will be take care of during the "aging" process in the fridge. Just avoid huge pockets of flour and you'll be fine.
Finally, in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, this article helped me to improve my technique: Six tips for a better chocolate chip cookie