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 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.


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.