Friday, October 12, 2012

recipe showdown: chocolate chip cookie

 
 Hey everyone! I've been excited to start this series for a while now (click here for a rundown on how Recipe Showdown works), and what better way to start than with chocolate chip cookies?


Everyone and their grandma think that they have the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies. When you google "best chocolate chip cookie," you are bombarded with over three million results. Three million people cannot possibly have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe? Can they? 


Despite my love for chocolate chip cookies, I couldn't test all three million of them.  I did a little bit of research and found out that the top two recipes among food bloggers were America's Test Kitchen's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe from the NY TimesBoth of these come from reputable sources, and both have convincing evidence that they are indeed the best.  Thus the testing begins.


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America’s Test Kitchen
Jacques Torres
Description
This recipe set out to outsmart the ubiquitous Toll House cookie.  With strong notes of butterscotch and toffee from the browned butter and enhanced chewiness from a higher brown to white sugar ratio.
With a rich, caramel flavor that deepens in the refrigerator overnight and a crunchy sprinkling of sea salt – these cookies were made legendary in the New York Times.
Notes from testers

·      Too chocolaty
·      Soft, cakey
·      Very smooth
·      Lack of taste
·      Chalky
·      Crackly top
·      Love the salt
·      Nice crunch
·      Chewy
·      Looks homemade
·      Crumbly


And the winner is... Jacques Torres' recipe! Due to the crackly salt-sprinkled crust, the chewy inside, and the rich flavors that melded together in the fridge overnight, this recipe was unbeatable. So here comes the fun part. If you think that your chocolate chip cookie recipe is even better than his, e-mail me the recipe and I will put it to the test.

What should be next in the arena of Recipe Showdown? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

With love,
Erica

Ingredients

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 natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.


1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. 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 incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any 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 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

14 comments:

  1. Literally just made these yesterday. AMAZINGGG!

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  2. Try Alton Brown's "The Chewy" chocolate chip cookies. They are awesome :) I ended my search with those over 5 years ago!

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  3. I love Alton Brown's "The Chewy" recipe! Never fails. :]

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    1. Awesome thanks so much, I still have the Jacques Torres dough in my fridge -- maybe I'll put it against the Chewy!

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  4. Finally! Someone has put the ATK cookie up versus the Jacques Torres! What a great idea. I've tried both and learned that a)browned butter makes everything better and b)sprinkling of sea salt makes everything better. I think the best chocolate chip cookie ever could come from combining the best of both of these cookies. I'm attempting currently...

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    1. Oh wow that would be amazing, please email me if you make a "combo" recipe, I would love to try it out as well!

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  5. Hey Erica!
    Love this post - The cookies look amazing!
    I'm just popping in to remind you that The October Three Ingredient Teen Recipe Challenge e-mails have been sent out and Erika and I have both voted for our category. It'd be great if you could respond ASAP so we can start brainstorming!
    Can't wait for your next post!
    -Abby

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    1. Thank you so much! Which e-mail address did you send it to? Could you possibly re-send it to cannellavita@gmail.com?

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  6. Give this one a shot http://littlebcooks.blogspot.com/p/cookies.html. I too did a comparison of Jacques Torres' recipe vs. mine, and while his ARE AMAZING, everyone in my house preferred mine. It all boils down to preferences - mine is a softer cookie, but also has a delicious richness to them. Let me know what you think :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I am printing the recipe out as I type this -- looks like there will be another chocolate chip cookie showdown soon ;)

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  7. I love recipe showdowns. I used to work in a bakery and it was one of my favorite things to do. The best one I did involved comparing 6 different batches of brownies side-by-side when we decided to revamp the bakery's basic recipe. We ended up picking a recipe off All Recipes that starts with melted chocolate and adds whole chocolate chips over those with cocoa powder and nuts. David Lebovitz's gluten free brownie was a close second. I'd be curious to see what recipe you would end up choosing for brownies.

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    1. WOW that sounds great, before I started recipe showdown, I compared David Lebovitz' and the Baked brownie. Could you send me the link to the All Recipes recipe? I think this may be a future showdown!

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  8. I love recipe showdowns! They are great! Jacques Torres' recipe was my go to for a while, before I discovered this recipe. Without question, family and friends (and I) prefer this recipe over his. I didn't think it was possible to improve the cookie, but this recipe gives a lightly crisp outside, buttery, chewy inside. Let me know if you try!

    http://www.burlapandbasil.com/2012/11/the-chocolate-chip-cookie.html

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    1. Thank you so much! This recipe is in my queue to make!

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