Blogging the NY Times: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Blogging the NY Times: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Emma Christensen
Jul 18, 2008

Leave it to the New York Times to take on the grand-daddy of all classic cookies and have the audacity to call it "perfect"! But from what we're hearing around the blogosphere, "perfect" pretty well sums it up. Molly over at Orangette is ready to write love sonnets. Even PJ Hamel writing for the King Arthur Flour blog concedes the awesomeness of this recipe.

Show of hands--who's already softened their stock of butter, sourced out the fèves, and set the kitchen timer for 36 hours?

No idea what we're talking about? Read on!

"Perfection? Hint: It's Warm and It Has a Secret" chronicles David Leite's pursuit of the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. We were tickled as punch to see that his quest started with none other than our favorite "recipe from the back of the box" Toll House Cookies.

We were, however, a little miffed to read that Mrs. Toll House (er...Mrs. Wakefield) has been withholding a crucial cookie-making secret from us for all these years! Who would have ever thought that letting the dough rest for upwards of 36 hours would make such a difference in a cookie?

As Leite describes, this resting period gives the flour time to absorb the liquid in the mix, resulting in a firmer dough and better final cookie texture. This also seems to result in richer, more complex flavors in the baked cookie.

Equally important is the size of the cookie, according to Leite. It needs to be big enough to allow for three distinct rings of texture: crunchy, chewy, and soft. This seems a matter of individual taste to us, but we're more than willing to take any excuse to make a large cookie.

Ok! We have dutifully counted backwards from the barbecue we're attending this weekend and have our own dough chilling as we type. We'll report back on Monday to tell you how it goes.

Anyone else up for a cookie challenge this weekend?!

See our results here: NY Times Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie: What's Your Verdict?

The full article, "Perfection? Hint: It's Warm and It Has a Secret" by David Leite, is available here.
The full recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies is available here.

Related: Kitchen Science: In Pursuit of the Perfect Cookie

(Images: Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times and Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)

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