When I stumble across a recipe that claims to be the best chocolate cookie recipe ever, or on the internet, I am intrigued. I read further. I travel from one blog link to the next to see who else has baked this recipe. I discover that even Clotilde has baked it and approves of it.
The second feature of this recipe which caught my attention and further sealed the deal for me was the light sprinkle of salt over the cookie before baking. Anyone who knows me knows that I love salt.
It’s the famous, and much blogged about New York Times: chocolate chip cookie recipe.
As I am on what seems like a never ending journey to find the ‘best of’ recipes of a number of different baked goodies, this recipe is my kind of nirvana. The tingle of excitement at the prospect of laying down the spatula on a recipe is quite exhilarating.
Earlier this year I had discovered my best, white choc chip recipe, with cranberries and pecan nuts, so my search there is over.
As you may have gathered I’m passionate about baking, but I’m not that passionate about recipes from countries that are not ‘metricised’ (I know this is not an actual word, but think it should be), where they have not moved onto the metric system. Baking being the science that it is, precise weight is of optimal importance. I get out the tables and do the conversions, but hate the extra hassle. Mathematics is not a strong point and its the last thing I want to be bothered with when I’m in baking mode.
I have learned to adjust and even enjoy the use of ‘cup’ measures that is common in American recipes. I like the convenience of it, and in a way prefer it to non metric weight measurements, which require a calculator. Although this is not completely accurate because if you shake a cup of flour it will weigh more than a scooped, not shaken cup etc.
I do have a particular aversion to recipes that use cup measures for butter. To have to smush the butter into the cup, filling all edges, smoothing out, then trying to scoop it all back out again, irritates me to the point of distraction.
I have adjusted to the use of butter ‘stick’ measurements, even though in South Africa no butter is made or packaged in sticks. I have established via research the weight of a stick. See below details.
So this NYT choc chip recipe was one where I had to do major conversions and calculations and due to the vast amount of chocolate and thus cost, it was a recipe I didn’t want to screw up.
Screw it up, albeit it slightly, is exactly what I did.
The dough felt a bit dry and hard, and I re read the recipe after making as is standard baking practice to me, to check that I have added EVERY ingredient, and it looked like I had.
I love raw cookie dough and this recipe raw is one of the best.
I took it out the next day and baked off my first batch still thinking the dough was too hard. They baked ok, but didn’t melt and spread like they should. At that point I went back and re weighed the remaining butter and figured out that for some reason I only added 190gms instead of 290gms.
I had baked about half the mix, so made adjustments, added the butter, remixed it into the dough and baked off the rest. The results were much better but still the dough did not spread quite as much as I would have liked or expected. The last batch was the best, I took it out before very golden and these were a bit softer and chewier.
I am not going to re write the recipe. You can find it here. The butter is 290gms.
I used chocolate chips rather than the chocolate discs which are not available,to my knowledge in SA. I used the 566gms (Callebaut, 70% chocolate callets).
Butter conversion/ measuring info:
- 2 cups = 4 sticks = 1 pound
- 1 cup = 2 sticks = 1/2 pound (8oz or 226gms)
- 1 stick = 113gms
- 1/2 cup = 1 stick = 1/4 pound
- 1/4 cup = 1/2 stick = 4 tablespoons
These cookies taste fantastic. I love the salt but ensure that you use a very very light sprinkle. About one Maldon flake, broken up per cookie.
Aside from the texture issue that I experienced, these cookies are pretty much IT. It makes a huge batch, so in future I will play around to see if the recipe could be halved or alternatively freeze the cookie dough balls and bake off on a later occasion.
I’m not sure if my spatula is completely laid down on this one, but we are getting really close
A fab online conversion link.