For years -- years! -- I've stuck to one chocolate-chip cookie recipe: my mother's. It's delicious and failproof and the addition of one secret ingredient makes it totally unique. I make Mom's cookies for friends, for coworkers, for birthdays, for holidays.
Then, a few years ago, that famous New York Times article about chocolate-chip cookies came out, with its even-more-famous cookie recipe. Everyone went nuts for it; I remember seeing it on a bunch of food blogs, and this year, my mother -- who'd clipped and saved it -- made the cookies for Christmas, and guess what? Turns out everyone was right: They were delicious.
Mom admitted, however, that she didn't let the dough set for the 36 hours that the recipe strongly suggests. So when I got it into my head to make these cookies this past weekend -- thanks to a reminder about the recipe on Emily's blog (via Kate's) -- I made a mental note to make sure to do just that.
So I did.
And the results were spectacular.
This is a bold statement, but: These are seriously the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made (or eaten).
Here's the thing: The 36 hours in the fridge help the flavor in these cookies really develop; there's a depth of flavor to them that's remarkable. You could definitely bake them after 24 -- or probably even eight -- hours in the fridge and still have a fantastic cookie, but trust me: They are worth the wait (and, hey, you can always sneak a few pieces of dough, like I did).
Here's the other thing: Don't substitute regular all-purpose flour for the bread and cake flours. I mean, I'm sure you could, but the cake and bread flours come together to create a cookie that's crisp around the edges and perfectly cake-like in the middle.
Also: this recipe, which was adapted by David Leite from famed chocolatier Jacques Torres, calls for chocolate discs, or fèves, but I wasn't about to go searching for those, especially since I was baking at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. So I used my go-to chocolate chip -- Ghirardelli 60 percent, readily available at grocery stores -- and the cookies were perfect.
And finally, if you're in the mood for something truly decadent -- and a complete diet buster -- you can do what I did, which is to make ice cream sandwiches out of them. I used coffee ice cream, but a really good vanilla or strawberry, or even mint-chocolate-chip, would be excellent, too. Yum.
Here's to the simple perfection of a warm chocolate chip cookie. Sometimes there's nothing better.
Photos by me; my heart-shaped cutting board is from Out of the Woods of Oregon.