If you search Google for “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” you will end up with hundreds of results, as I did on Sunday morning. I’ve grown tired of the recipe on the back of the yellow bag of “chocolate” chips. I wanted to try something new. I found Jacques Torres recipe on Martha Stewart’s web site. I was pretty sure that combination would produce a darn good cookie, and I was right!
There are hundreds of professional baker bloggers, who have fabulous advice. As a home cook, I will tell you the most important things I have learned about baking:
You must measure precisely
- You must follow the steps in the order written
- Check your oven temperature for accuracy
- Make sure your flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda are fresh
A few things that have made me a much better cookie baker:
- Use the best butter, chocolate, nuts and flour you can
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper
- Use a dough scoop to ensure consistency in size and even baking
- Make a “test” cookie
- Cookies will continue baking after being removed from the oven
- Let them settle on the baking sheet before moving them to the cooling rack
Recipe adapted from The Martha Stewart Show, May 2007
1 pound unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds Jacques Torres House (60 percent cocoa) Chocolate or other best-quality semi-sweet bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped. I used 3 bags of 62% Dark chocolate chunks, as I did not feel like chopping chocolate.
I added 2 cups of chopped, toasted pecans just before adding the chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If you have a convection baking option, use it if you plan to bake more than one sheet at a time.) Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Toast 2 cups of pecans for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, pecans and chocolate; mix until well combined.
Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.