Chocolate Chip Cookies – to the max, 2 ways

What’s to say? Leigh asked for my chocolate chip cookie recipe, so here it is:  my personal no compromises not suitable for publication in general interest magazines favorite soft center or crisp or both

Extremely High End Chocolate Chip Cookies

high end chocolate chip cookies

 Actually, there ARE a few things to say:

* These cookies are plenty sweet, but they’re not as sweet as most other chocolate chip cookies. If a few trial cookies establish you wish they were sweeter; roll the balls in sugar instead of just sprinkling it on top.

* This recipe produces a rich butter cookie with lots of chocolate in every bite. If you want a chocolate cookie with butter cookie accents, increase the bittersweet chocolate to 12 or 13 ounces.

* The whole point of these is the high-quality chocolate – and the roasted nibs, which contribute the crunch of nuts to a nut-free recipe. Please see The Consummate Chocolate Chip (cookie) for explanation and sources.

* The small amount of honey is there to help keep the cookies moist; you don’t really taste it.

* You DO taste the vanilla. I use the double fold from Penzey’s and once you do too you will never go back.

For about 70 cookies:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 ¼ cups cake flour

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. baking soda

14 ounces butter ( 3 ¼ sticks)

¾ cup dark brown sugar

2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for topping

3 eggs

2 tablespoons mild honey

2 tsp. vanilla , see note above. If you’re using regular, use a tablespoon

10 ounces  of 60 -75 %  couverture chocolate, in disks, pearls or feves, broken into irregular pieces or very coarsely chopped if  quarter sized or larger.

4 ounces roasted cocoa nibs

1. Put the 1st 5 ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir with a wire whisk until aerated and combined.

2. Cream the butter with the sugars until light. Use the paddle if using a stand mixer but don’t feel equipment bound. These are chocolate chip cookies, not hotsy-totsy patisserie, and they will be perfectly ok if you use nothing more than a wooden spoon and a bit of elbow grease.

3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and honey. Stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate and nibs. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours; longer is fine up to about 3 days.

4. Heat the oven to 350. Roll the cold dough into balls the size of large walnuts and place well separated on parchment-lined baking sheets. Make texture choice(s):

For cookies with soft centers, just sprinkle with granulated sugar.

For cookies that are crisp almost clear through, grease the back of a fork with a bit of dough, then dip it in sugar and press a ball flat (ish) . Repeat at right angles so you have a sugar cross as though you were making peanut butter cookies. Only one fork-greasing is necessary; after that the cookies take care of it.

For the very softest cookies, rechill the balls until dough is cold again.

For the very most crisp cookies, allow the flattened cookies to come to warm room temperature.

5. Bake until golden on top and slightly browner below, roughly 17 to 20 minutes.

Cool on wire racks. There seems to be a general consensus that chocolate chip cookies are at their best warm. They’re sweeter and softer then; the chocolate is gooier; and if they have too much butter the greasiness will be agreeable, but other than that I don’t see the attraction.

cut-open soft-and-crisp-chocolate chip cookies

soft center on the left, crisp on right. The crisp ones of course also get browner so that’s the way to go if you’re a caramel flavor fan.


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  • Leigh Said,

    Thank you so much! I went to Central Market to get the chocolate two days ago, but they didn’t have nibs. I will have to order them.

    I can’t wait to try this out.

  • leslie Said,

    Leigh, you’re so welcome… I THINK! Had to make a batch to double check fine points – been years since I actually measured the chocolates – and as a result there are what might be called willpower issues.

    The reason I don’t measure, btw, is that these could also be called Tastylump Cookies. This amount of dough will carry up to about 3.5 cups of whatever you’d like to use as chips in just about any combination: white chocolate with nibs and dried cherries is a staple here, nuts are always nice (especially pecans and walnuts which for some reason work better than pistachios or almonds), diced dried apricots, candied ginger…

    just be sure any dried fruit is moist; if it’s really desiccated it’ll suck up enough moisture to make the cookies too dry.

  • Cthurns Said,

    To keep the cookies moist & fresh, glaze them. Blend 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of butter/margarine and 2 tablespoons of milk. The glaze should be thick enough to dry quickly & hard. This will preserve & sweeten the cookies without adding extra ingredients into the dough.

    I also added some molasses, which is in brown sugar. That gave it a kind of butterscotch flavor.

    I prefer crisp cookies, but my family likes them soft.

  • leslie Said,

    Ah, Cthurns, the crisp-soft dilemma. One way around it is to make the crisp version, keep some of those for yourself, and put the ones for the family in a plastic bag with a slice of apple. Within a few hours, the added humidity softens the cookies as effectively as a rainy day. In theory, you should change the apple slice daily to be sure it doesn’t mold. In practice, all of the cookies are usually gone before that’s an issue.

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