You’ve probably read about the cookies by now. Perhaps you have questions.
As many as possible. You know how many Cookie Monster might bake? Like, double that.
Eaten with what?
Are you a commie? Everybody knows that you eat chocolate chip cookies with ice-cold milk. Cow is traditional, but yak, goat, and soy are acceptable.
Yes, four. First, for the best textural variety, remove the cookies from the oven before any part of the 2-inch center develops brown color. Second, unless you prefer typically sweet cookies, obey the recipe and use at least 60% bittersweet chocolate—regular semi-sweet chocolate chips are a little too sweet and overwhelm the caramel notes in the cookie. I used regular chips and regretted it almost as much as that one time I brushed my teeth right after I ate chocolate cake. Third, be truly generous with the salt and don’t be afraid to use a coarse-grained variety. Rock salt is probably overdoing it. Four, flatten the dough ball a little before sprinkling the salt. If you don’t do that, the salt tends to fall off the sloped sides and distribute too heavily in the center.
Salt? Really? Salt?
If you’re new to the salt thing, try this chocolate bar or this chocolate gray salt caramel. The salt melts slowly, hitting your palate with delayed bitterness from the chocolate. The flavor of what you’ve just eaten, whether it’s a caramel or a chocolate chip cookie, lives and lingers, makes you lust and love, and after the experience is over, you become a happier person and the world becomes a better place to live. Hyperbole? Yeah. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s tasty, like chocolate-covered pretzels or peanut butter cups, only better.
What’s up with the half bread flour and half cake flour thing? Why not just all-purpose flour?
Nobody bothered to explain this, which is a major oversight for a lazy geek like me. I used both flours because I had them, but others who tried the recipe say that AP flour works just fine. I would bake both and do a side-by-side comparison if it didn’t make my side-butt-side swell. And not swell like, “She’s swell!” Swell like, “She has gotten her hips stuck in the only emergency exit, and it looks we’re all going to die now in this terrible, terrible fire.” The gluten content of the mixed flours is about the same as for AP flour, so gluten can’t be the reason for the two flours. It must have something to do with the nature of the flours themselves. According to Harold McGee, cake flour is heavily chlorinated, acidic, and very finely milled. Rose Levy Beranbaum notes that the soft wheat in cake flour is extra starchy and absorbs moisture better than other flours. So what do these qualities combined with bread flour do that makes the combination superior to AP flour alone? In my experience, cake flour lends a velvety, sandy texture to baked goods, so that quality combined with bread flour for structure and chewiness might be the reason for using both. Or…Mr. Torres and Mr. Leite just want to BE DIFFICULT.
Can you freeze the dough and bake it later?
I hope so, because I put a dozen scoops in the freezer to harden them up before tucking them into a freezer bag. I also folded up the used parchment paper from the batches I baked and tucked them into the freezer bag along with the dough. That will keep the butter on the paper from going rancid and allow me to reuse them to bake the reserved cookies. This is called
cheapness environmental consciousness.
What about silicone baking sheets?
I like those for candy and extremely sugary cookies like benne wafers. But silicone liners insulate the pan, increase baking time, and interfere with crispityness development. Cookie crispityness is what makes life worth living.
Those flat chocolate disks. Yay or nay?
Yay I’m sure, but I can’t find them in my town, so they’ll have to wait until fall when the chocolate sites aren’t forced to pack their merchandise in ice and charge you extra for it.
Be honest. Are you eating a cookie right now?
Tho! … Theth.
- IMPORTANT COOKIE LINKS
- · The original NYT article and recipe.
- · Fabulous photo comparison of the batter and baked cookies at different ages from For the Love of Food.
- · Excellent post on the cookie and gauging doneness at King Arthur Flour.