‘Cookies’ may refer to other confections, especially in America, but in my books a perfect cookie is the flat, chewy, crispy around the edges thing, stuffed with chocolate chips of your preference.
What is the best choc chip cookie recipe?
There must be a hundred million recipes for chocolate chip cookies around, seeing as even I have quite a few on my pages here. You might think it’s a simple affair: sugar, flour and butter plus an occasional egg and a bagful of chocolate chips.
But things are never so easy in the recipe world, ask any home baker in America, the land of the cookie, and I bet each one’s favourite recipe will be slightly different. Brown sugar or white sugar – or a mix? How much flour? Chill the dough or shape cookies straight away?
Cookies without vanilla
Recently I’ve read about a British pastry chef who has discarded vanilla from cookies altogether. I’m inclined to agree that it’s a bit of a customary, token addition. It doesn’t make much difference to the sugar and chocolate attack on your senses and has become really expensive these days.
Which chocolate chips?
That is probably as individual as recipes for the cookies are. Some, conservatively, like only milk chocolate chips in their cookies. Others are all for white only; aiming for maximum sugar experience.
Personally I always like the addition of dark chocolate in very sweet confections as it breaks through the sweetness somewhat. But you can have the best of all worlds and - like the images above – add three kinds of chocolate chips: white, milk and dark.
The images below on the other hand feature just white chips, from another batch of cookies. As you can see it does nothing much to change the cookies’ appearance, so the choice is yours.
The recipe is harsh
Having established what chocolate chips you want in them, you can proceed to make the cookies. But this recipe, I must warn, is truly sadistic. It comes from NY Times Cooking, which I unreservedly trust, but this one is (excuse the lame pun) taking the biscuit (cookie). It instructs to wait for 24 hours before you can sample the first cookie! They are having a laugh.
Chilling, or delayed gratification
Needless to say, I had to put that instruction to test. Showing enormous restraint, I chilled my cookie dough for an hour, then baked ONE (okay - it was three). I left the remaining dough alone, for all of 48 hours to chill in the fridge.
And I must say it was worth the wait. Not dramatically so, as in: the quick cookie - disaster, the long-awaited one - the swoon-inducing bliss, but discerningly better. More chewy-and-crispy at the same time - which after all is what good cookies are about.