Saturday, December 19, 2009

David's over-the-top chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies seem to have become a science lately. Everyone seems to have a secret: the Cook's Illustrated recipe has you work with melted butter; other experts tell you to make sure to rest your cookie dough at least overnight for the best effect. Bridget at crumbly cookie has a nice comparison of different chocolate chip techniques. But my standby recipe is Dorie Greenspan's recipe, which I always make in advance: I scoop the dough into balls on a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet, freeze them, put the frozen dough balls in a Zip-loc, and bake as many as I want/need at a time. And somehow there are always fewer dough balls in the freezer as I think there should be, thanks to a couple of gremlins who enjoy frozen cookie dough...

But apparently even back in 1985, there was a chocolate chip cookie craze going on as well. And this recipe, for David's Cookies, stems from a trendy chocolate-chip-cookie store in New York.
I've just been comparing this recipe to my favorite one. There's no leavening in this recipe, only one egg, and less chocolate, if I'm doing my metric conversions right (no guarantee on that one!). There's also less sugar, which is just brown in this case. They have more of a crumbly than a chewy texture, but they are delicious in their own right. I gave them the overnight-in-the-freezer treatment, and they seemed to handle that well. All I know is that I took them to church and came home without any. I guess that speaks for the enduring fascination for chocolate chip cookies!

Here's the recipe--enjoy! (but try Dorie's recipe, too!)

David's cookies

8 oz. semisweet chocolate--try to go for the good stuff
8 oz. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
1 cup (7 oz.) brown sugar
1 large egg
2 c. (8 oz.) sifted flour (I believe I used some white whole wheat with no problems)
1 c. (4 oz.) chopped pecans/walnuts (those toasted Trader Joe's ones are perfect here)

Line a big sheet pan with waxed paper. Get out a cutting board and big knife and cut the chocolate into about 1/2-inch chunks. You'll end up with some huge and some tiny chunks and apparently that's the charm of breaking up chocolate rather than using chocolate chips. If you use thin bars like the Ghirardelli or Lindt it'll be easier than if you use the big-bruiser Pound Plus bar I had on hand...
Beat the butter with the salt until it's fluffy; then gradually add the vanilla and sugar and beat for a good 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat that until well incorporated. Then at low speed, gradually add the flour until it's just incorporated. (Hey, in the comments section--do you have any tips for adding flour without it spraying all over the counter? I've tried covering the mixer with a kitchen towel and pre-mixing with a rubber scraper before turning on the mixer, both with "mixed" success.) Then add the chocolate chunks and nuts, either with the mixer or by hand.
Scoop out teaspoon-sized balls of dough onto the waxed paper--they can go right next to each other. Freeze at least overnight--if they're going to stay in the freezer longer, transfer them into a zip-loc bag. Now heat the oven to 400 and line some cookie sheets with parchment or Silpats. Put the dough balls on the sheets, a dozen at a time, and bake about 8-10 minutes, or until the edges have started to brown. You'll see mine were a bit browner than that, but I didn't find them to be overbaked. Transfer to a rack as soon as possible. Enjoy one fresh from the oven, then quickly pack them away.
Julia wrote a recipe for chocolate chip cookies for her French class; this is her descriptive paragraph, roughly translated:
"These exquisitely delicious cookies have an aroma that will make you think of Paradise. The rich combination of cookie and chocolate will make your mouth water when you smell them. Savor the chocolate that melts in your mouth when you taste these delicacies." Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Hard to beat a really good chocolate chip cookie!