Today, however, I must admit that I have finally met my match. I thought I'd spend my life happily married to the Tollhouse recipe, content in our groove, calm in the knowledge that I had memorized the recipe somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years ago and could make cookies anytime, anywhere, given a few simple pantry ingredients. I was wrong.
Thomas Keller's recipe, which has been making the internet rounds in anticipation of the release of the Ad Hoc cookbook this fall, is amazing. It doesn't require cake flour, bread flour, refrigeration, or any of that nonsense. Which, in my opinion, is as it should be.
A chocolate chip cookie should be something you can whip up with the most basic pantry ingredients, not something for which you have to make a special trip to the store. Accordingly, the fanciest thing Keller calls for is a combination of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate.
The cookies bake to a dark brown, with just a touch of gold. Left to their own devices, the cookies are crisp on top and chewy inside (if you like a truly chewy cookie, mist them with water before baking).
No waiting around for your butter to get to room temperature, people! You're free!
Ad Hoc Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 30 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% (semisweet) chocolate
5 ounces 70 to 72%(bittersweet) chocolate
1/2 lb. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Chop the chocolate into chip-sized bits.
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.)Many thanks to Food Gal for sharing this recipe on her fabulous blog!