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 Times. Both of these come from reputable sources, and both have convincing evidence that they are indeed the best. Thus the testing begins.
America’s Test Kitchen
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
· Crackly top
· Love the salt
· Nice crunch
· Looks homemade
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!
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)
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.