Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookie

This time it wasn’t my fault.

You see… I’m not the only one with a chocolate chip cookie obsession. A couple of weeks ago a little publication called The New York Times (maybe you’ve heard of it?) published this article along with a recipe for what it considered to be the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe (written by Jacques Torres no less).

The article talks about the wonders of chilling your dough. Which, I’ve been a big believer of, anyway. It suggests chilling your dough at least 24 hours, but 36-72 at best. Which is definitely longer than I’d chilled doughs in the past. Usually I would just chill my dough for 2-3 hours to let the butter firm back up.

I decided to not just make these cookies to test them; I decided to bake them along with the recipe that I had previously loved David Lebovitz's Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe link below): So, I’d have a real comparison.

I made both batches at the same time and stuck them in the fridge where they chilled out for the full 72 hours (I know, I could BARELY stand it, but I can’t deny sneaking bites of dough every once in awhile when I walked by the fridge… god, I love chocolate chip cookie dough).

The recipes are pretty different. The Torres recipe calls for a mixture of bread flour and cake flour. The butter proportions were also different… but, I used the same chocolate chips in both recipes. I didn’t have those fancy dancy chocolate disks and I didn’t need them. My Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate chips are good enough for me. And it was only fair to use the same chocolate in each recipe.

Both doughs were delicious. I mean, really… I couldn’t say that I liked one more than the either. The Torres dough seemed to be thicker, I think it had more flour than the Lebovitz recipe, but they both tasted great. I LOVE cookie dough, so it’s hard for me to pick a clear favorite there.

Then it was time for the baking. The Lebovitz recipe calls for a much lower temperature, so I baked them first and then cranked the oven up to bake the Torres cookies. I used a cookie scoop and tried to make both cookies the same size (about two scoops of dough per cookie, I have a small scoop). A note on the Torres recipe.. it calls for a sprinkling of sea salt on top. Which, I did do…. But, I didn’t do it to the Lebovitz cookies.

Okay enough with the recipe differences, etc… I know what you’re really here for…

the RESULTS.

Appearance:

The Lebovitz cookies came out huge and thin.

The Torres cookies came out thick and pretty. I have to admit, the flecks of sea salt kind of threw me off, but aside from that, they looked beautiful.

Appearance Winner: Torres cookie.


Taste:

Who cares about appearance, I mean the taste is what really matters with a chocolate chip cookie right?

The Lebovitz cookie tasted just as good as it always does. Slightly crunchy edges, very buttery flavor and super, super chewy. I love chewy, so this is a bonus for me.

The Torres cookie tasted absolutely phenomenal. It’s like the grown up version of the Lebovitz cookie (and admittedly…. I totally didn’t want to like this fancy recipe, I wanted Lebovitz to totally knock this cookie on its fancy French ass). The cookies are thick and crispy edged and crispy edged all around, but chewy in the center. With just enough chew… not too much (after eating this cookie, I felt that maybe Lebovitz’s were TOO chewy… maybe your jaw doesn’t have to hurt after eating a cookie for it to be perfectly chewy). And the salt... Wow. As soon as your tongue hits the salt, the saliva bursts in your mouth (sounds dirty, huh… kinda felt that way, too, but in an oooohhh so good way) and allows you to taste the sweetness of the cookie. It’s like the salt amplifies the flavors of the cookie… the sugar, the chocolate, the vanilla. It’s all amplified by the salty pockets on top.

Taste Winner: Torres Cookies


Milk Dunking and Milk-laden taste:

I’m a milk drinker, so this is an important category for me. I like my cookies to stand up in a glass of milk and for the flavor of the cookie to barrel through the milk flavor. It’s a delicate matter.

The Lebovitz cookie has a tendency to crumble into the glass, which I don’t like. And since it’s a thinner cookie with more butter proportionally, the milk doesn’t get absorbed too well into the cookie.

The Torres cookie… well, eating this cookie dunked in a glass of milk was seriously one of the best taste experiences I’ve ever had. And I’m not kidding. The cookie was thick enough to hold up to the milk and not crumble and held a good amount of milk within the cookie. Perfection. Sheer perfection.

Milk Dunking Winner: Torres Cookies

So, there you have it folks. In my opinion, the Torres cookies are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. Better than bakery cookies, better than toll house tube cookies, better than your mom’s recipe (sure, I’ve never had her cookies, but I can assure you that they aren’t this good). They are my perfect cookie.

Maybe my quest is finally over…

Here is the recipe for the Lebovitz cookie. Which, is a DELICIOUS cookie. Don’t get me wrong. If I needed to whip up a quick batch of cookies or didn’t have bread flour or cake flour on hand, I’d make these cookies.

But, this recipe for the Torres cookies…. is the best. Give it a try and let me know how it holds up against your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

9 comments:

Bridget said...

Hmm, I just baked a batch of the NY Times cookie yesterday, and I actually wasn't impressed. I like the Tollhouse recipe better, especially after it's rested overnight in the fridge.

Bri said...

Yes! Thank you so much for making these and comparing them. I have been searching for something better than the TollHouse stand by, and it certainly looks like these might do it. I thought it was just about impossible to get a thick AND chewy cookie. Now that I got a new job at a school where I can throw my goodies at everyone instead of eating them all myself, I think I may do a comparison of all three. Thanks again!

April said...

wow, I'm very impressed with your cookie photo skills. Those cookies both look awesome to me!

n.o.e said...

We've been on the same quest, so I love seeing all the details and the comparison pictures in your post! (found you from TWD, btw) We have yet to try the NYT; we started with Dorie's (haven't posted the results) and the Levain bakery knock-off ones. Neither is as good as our usual reciped, an old one from Sunset. I'll be interested to see how we like the NYT - I'm a big fan of thin and chewy.

Nancy
The Dogs Eat the Crumbs

Amy said...

Bridget - It's strange, I always had a hard time getting the original toll house recipe coming out well for me... but, I know tons of people that swear by it.

Bri- Oh, that must be nice, being able to give your goodies away... you should see my freezer! I can't wait to see how yours turn out.

April- Thanks! I'll make you some of the Torres ones!

Nancy- As much as I like to think that my quest has ended... I'm sure I'll still try more recipes... I may have to find that Sunset one you're talking about and give it a go. I actually wasn't all that impressed with Dorie's... mine turned out kind of greasy, interested to see how yours came out! And if you like thin and chewy then you should DEFINITELY try to the Lebovitz ones... I think they'd be right up your alley.

n.o.e said...

The original Sunset Recipe- - from years ago is on my blog:
http://noe847.blogspot.com/2008/07/ccc-face-off.html
The lemon juice, cinnamon and oats are subtle but really do add to the flavor.

There's a more recent article about CCCs on Sunset's site:
http://www.sunset.com/sunset/food/article/0,20633,1590752,00.html
It explains the factors that make a cookie chewy, puffy, crisp, etc. It also has a few recipes, but they are different from the one I make.

Dorie's were tasty but lacked complexity of flavor, imo, and they were kind of greasy. They collapsed from a scooped ball to very flat and spread out.

Christina said...

I made the NY Times cookies last night after seeing your post and of course I had to let them set in the refrigerator overnight which was hard to do but I really wanted to see if it made a difference. I baked a batch tonight and I have to say this is the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever had. I'm very picky about my cookies, I don't like a hard cookie and these turned out perfect. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I'm going to cook another batch tomorrow and probably freeze the rest of the dough. Thanks for inspiring me to try these cookies.

Amy said...

Nancy: Thanks for the link, I'll definitely try those!

Christina: I'm so glad you liked them! The worst thing about the cookies is having to wait for them to chill before you can eat them. Worth the wait though!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows anything links london about jewelry understands the hierarchy of precious links of london bracelet metals with platinum being atop it. links of london charms While many people pine for gold, platinum is more highly prized
links of london watches by the informed. Platinum is an extremely rare, links of london rings even more so then gold which in part the reason links of london necklaces why it is considered superior.