Jacques Torres’ Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies: Ever since I discovered Martha Stewart’s Crisp and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, I’ve looked no further. I could make them in my sleep; everyone loves them; they are just so good—chewy and bendy. In fact, every time I make them I say, “these are the best cookies I’ve ever made,” and my son always smiles, rolls his eyes, and says, “You say that every time!” It’s become a joke between us, but they really are! It’s like I forget how irresistibly good a fresh, warm chocolate chip cookie is—even for me, a girl whose salty tooth is far more demanding than her sweet tooth.
So, over the years I’ve been hearing this constant buzz about Jacques Torres, AKA Mr. Chocolate, and his famous NY Times cookie recipe. I thought to myself, “how good can they really be?” I mean, chocolate chip cookies are great, and yes, I’ve been known to eat a few right off the tray while they’re still warm and melty… Is there any other way?? But they’re just one of those things. I didn’t feel the urge to try this hyped up, fancy recipe for something I consider homey and traditional.
Alas, my curiosity got the better of me. Amazon.com supplied me with the bittersweet chocolate fèves, and I followed the recipe exactly—something I never do! Oh boy am I happy I did. Jacques Torres, I doubt you will ever read this, but I am a believer. These cookies are like the Rolls Royce of chocolate chip cookies. They are chewy and soft; just a little crunchy around the edges; loaded with silky layers of chocolate—and the sprinkle of sea salt on top just sends my taste buds to the moon. Salty. Sweet. Irresistible.
I’m still devoted to my favorite recipe (which I hope you will try too!), but these will be my special recipe that I whip out when I’m feeling a little naughty and indulgent. I hope you try them, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Just a few notes:
Making the dough is pretty standard, but definitely fold the chocolate pieces in by hand. The large, flat size of the chocolate disks is necessary for the layers, and they will break if you toss them in the mixer. (A few will break when you scoop them, but don’t worry!)
Because the dough is cold from the 24-36 hours in the fridge, scooping it is kind of a pain in the neck. I used my biggest scoop, which is two inches in diameter and holds about 1/4 cup of dough. I kind of squished it in with my palm, then dropped it onto the cookie sheet. This part might frustrate you (as it did me!), but I promise it’s worth it!
Last thing: these are meant to be eaten warm, and they really should be, but they are delicious cool as well. How fun would it be to serve a warm chocolate chip cookie to your dinner guests, though. If you had these scooped and ready to go into the oven, you could pop them in half way through dinner, and make your friends feel very special. And very, very happy. The best dinner guests are the ones who aren’t afraid to lick gooey chocolate off their fingers in front of you…
Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Chip Cookies
Time: 45 minutes (for 16-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
- Sea salt
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods (or Amazon.com)