A few days ago, I saw this posting from Serious Eats come through my Twitter feed:
Thomas Keller's chocolate chip cookie recipe: http://bit.ly/ALNRN
Without hesitation, in a blink of an eye, I clicked on the link. Turns out his new cookbook, Ad Hoc At Home, will be released this fall. However, I could not resist to try out the chocolate chip cookie recipe, not only because of my sheer admiration for Thomas, my addiction to Ad Hoc (I am on their mailing list for their daily menu emails), and my new found passion about cookies for my new business plan.
So, I set out today to follow his recipe to a "T". According to the web site, here is the recipe, with my pics appropriately placed:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
(makes about thirty 3-inch cookies)
Thomas Keller writes in the book: This is our version of what is arguably the best cookie ever. I like to use different chocolates, one sweeter, one with a more complex bittersweet balance. After you chop the chocolate, sift it to remove any tiny fragments to give the cookies a cleaner look. If you like softer cookies, don’t underbake them, just mist them with water before baking.
2 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 ounces 55 percent chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces
5 ounces 70 to 72 percent chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark brown sugar, preferably molasses sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat half the butter on medium speed until fairly smooth.
Add both sugars and the remaining butter, and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes, until mixture is light and creamy.
Scrape down sides of the bowl.
Add eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary.
Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.
Mix in chocolate.
Remove bowl from mixer and fold dough with a spatula to be sure the chocolate is evenly incorporated.
The dough or shaped cookies can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 5 days or frozen for 2 weeks. Freeze shaped cookies on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer containers. (Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator before baking.)
Using about 2 level tablespoons per cookie, shape dough into balls.
Arrange 8 cookies on each pan, leaving about 2 inches between them, because the dough will spread.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny, switching the position and rotating pans halfway through baking.
Cool cookies on the pans on cooling racks for about 2 minutes to firm up a bit, then transfer to the racks to cool completely.
Repeat with second batch of cookies. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Note: If your brown sugar has hardened, soften it in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds.
So, I followed it to the exact measurement, didn't use vanilla extract (felt very strange), and voila.
Honestly, I think I would add back the vanilla, but truth be told, I do think Mr. Keller has a point with the whole butter thing. 5 hours later, the cookie is still extremely chewy. Folks, I think we have a winner.