Most cooks have memorized the backside of the Nestles’s Chocolate Chip package. Back in 1938, Ruth Wakefield came up with the recipe we’ve used for decades. But can we do better? Scientific minds say yes.
In 2008, famed chocolatier Jacque Torres took the cookie to another level in a New York Times version, that included both cake flour and bread flour, bittersweet chocolate (instead of semi-sweet), and a sprinkle of sea salt on top. His suggestion to refrigerate the dough overnight was pure genius. The cookie inventor, Ruth Wakefield, said in her cookbook that the dough was meant to be chilled overnight, or longer. Now they tell us, though I’m thinking millions of impatient mothers and children are grateful for the omission.
Tessa Arias over at Handle the Heat shows the result of her experimentation and her version of the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie. The biggest difference in the two recipes is that she uses bread flour and all-purpose flour rather than bread and cake flour. Frankly, I can’t tell that much difference in the two, but it’s hard to find a bad chocolate chip cookie.
Tessa also reminds us what each of the ingredients do: baking powder and baking soda give us soft centers; bread flour provides chewiness; brown sugar makes for a butterscotch flavor and great texture; shortening (rather than butter) gives a store bought texture; and flavor comes from long chilling of the dough.
My friend, Cyndy, makes an awesome variation: Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies. This one’s a keeper.