Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc Chocolate Chip Cookies
I will never, ever, ever need a recipe for chocolate chip cookies other than this one. It takes chocolate chip cookies to the next level and maintains him as a contender of (my) culinary heroes.
I’m not one to shudder at 2 sticks of butter in a recipe, or even think about that much butter as I’m chain-snacking but it did alert me to some differences between the more traditional recipe and this one. For starters, you don’t use vanilla extract; you are to use two different kinds of chocolates (half 55% dark and half 75% dark), dark brown sugar, cold butter (not softened? awesome.); and you mist the dough with water if you want them softer. It’s interesting, right? Well, it works.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about thirty 3-inch cookies
2 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 ounces 55 percent chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces
5 ounces 70 to 72 percent chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark brown sugar, preferably molasses sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
Sift flour and baking soda into a medium bowl. Stir in the salt.
Put chips in a fine-mesh basket strainer and shake to remove any chocolate “dust” (small fragments).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat half the butter on medium speed until fairly smooth. Add both sugars and the remaining butter, and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes, until mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Mix in chocolate.
Remove bowl from mixer and fold dough with a spatula to be sure the chocolate is evenly incorporated. The dough or shaped cookies can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 5 days or frozen for 2 weeks. Freeze shaped cookies on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer containers. (Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator before baking.)
Using about 2 level tablespoons per cookie, shape dough into balls. Arrange 8 cookies on each pan, leaving about 2 inches between them, because the dough will spread. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny, switching the position and rotating pans halfway through baking.
Cool cookies on the pans on cooling racks for about 2 minutes to firm up a bit, then transfer to the racks to cool completely. Repeat with second batch of cookies. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Of note, I did not want to run to the store to get the two different kinds of chocolate, and handily had some milk chocolate Ghirardelli chips on hand – they worked just fine and were delicious, though I will try the recipe next time his way plus one trip to the store and I’m sure they are even more divine that way.