Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Cookie Hype

I'm a pretty level-headed person, and consider myself to be objective regarding many of the supposed claims out there. For example, when Leonard sees an infomercial he is fairly easily sucked into the idea that we absolutely need whatever is being sold, while I tend to think of the necessary cost/storage/odds that the item will not perform as well as expected. However, I've noticed that I AM susceptible to getting caught up in the hype surrounding recipes. Just as some believe there is one soulmate for every person, I truly believe that there is one perfect recipe out there for any type of food, and the extra time and effort required is worth it thanks to the amazing results. So when the New York Times came out with their alleged perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I couldn't rest until I'd tried it. The author of the article visited numerous popular bakeries in NYC well-known for their chocolate chip cookies, and came away with some common factors that improved upon the typical recipe. Below I'll explain what makes these cookies special, and give my verdict on whether or not these are truly the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie.

Here are some of the major players:

Bread Flour and Cake Flour instead of all-purpose

Chocolate Disks - these are thin, quarter-sized dark chocolate disks. They're hard to come by, but I found some at Whole Foods. The idea here is that because the chocolate is thin it will melt quicker than regular chocolate chips, and also makes it so that in every bite you get a thin layer of chocolate surrounded by cookie.

Here's the dough - it was tasty

Another important factor - the dough has to be refrigerated 12-36 hrs. The idea is that resting the dough in the fridge allows the ingredients to fully mix together, and produces a better overall consistency. I let mine rest the full 36 hrs, since I was already convinced it would be the perfect recipe I wanted to follow it by the book.

Another Player:

Sea salt is sprinkled on top of the dough mound before baking, as the taste of course salt has been known to compliment the sweetness of chocolate.

Here's what the cookies looked like:

Notice the thin layer of chocolate throughout the center of the cookie:
The end result:

The first thing I noticed was the caramel coloring of the cookies, and on taking a bite there was also a rich caramel flavoring I wasn't used to experiencing in other cookies. They were soft and chewy in the middle and slightly crunchy on the outside. I don't like cakey chocolate chip cookies, so I was satisfied with the texture and consistency. I also really enjoyed how all the chocolate was melted and created a thin layer throughout. The next day they were still soft and chewy, and the flavor was even better. They were a definite crowd pleaser, and the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made at home.

The negatives:

The chocolate disks are hard to find and are expensive compared to chocolate chips. Also, the dough refrigeration time creates 36 hours of temptation to sneak bits of cookie dough. I also felt that the chocolate to dough ratio was a bit high, as I really enjoyed the thinness of the chocolate layer but when the disks would overlap, it was a bit too much.

My verdict:

Delicious cookies. I'll continue making them if I can easily access the chocolate disks, and will decrease the chocolate from 1 1/4 lb. to 1 lb.

Here is the article, and the recipe.


Rebecca said...

Those look heavenly. I must come up with a reason to make some. So...the discs. They are easy to find if you know what you are looking for. Here's what you are looking for: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517U7l9sEDL._SL500_AA280_PIbundle-12,TopRight,0,0_AA280_SH20_.jpg

They are at most every grocery store and can often be found stacked in the fresh fruit areas, like usually by strawberries. You can totally get them, and I'm guessing they are cheaper than your fancy whole foods version.

meggie said...

Thanks so much Becca! I'll have to check those out. You're right, I bet they are cheaper.

Molly Farmer said...

Yes, but WHAT did Leonard say?!?!?!?!

Ashleigh said...

megs, I'm working a night shift, and want nothing more, than to eat 36 hour chilled cookie dough a la Megs... we should work something out... When's the big move to ID??