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Chocolate Chip Cookie Craziness

September 1, 2008

A little while back, soon after I stumbled upon TWD and then Dorie Greenspan’s own blog, I read a posting by Dorie about a write up in the NY Times on a chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Being from the family I’m from I wasted no time in clicking over to the NY Times article and RECIPE (!) for these supposedly perfect chocolate chip cookies.

Now I really must explain (if I haven’t before) that we are somewhat obsessed with chocolate chip cookies in my family.  They are a staple at almost every family get together on both sides of the family, and everyone (and I mean everyone in the family) seems to have their own favorite recipe.  Of course, having a favorite recipe doesn’t stop us from eating everyone else’s favorite recipe if they are there and the tupperware, or xmas tin has been opened, but as far as baking goes, we seem to stick to our own version everytime.  

When I put together a family cookbook a few years back I ended up with at least 4, maybe 5 versions all titled, “Best Choclate Chip Cookies” (or some such variation).  There was a Tollhouse version (Gma), a version that uses 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and always has nuts (mom), the dough needs to be chilled version (auntie), and the lots of butter and brown sugar version (mine– but really Barefoot Contessa’s).  And those are just the ones I can remember as I sit here.  I’m pretty sure another Auntie had a version and probably one of the cousins too.  There was also my husband’s family version, but his noni baked them like biscotti (double baked and extra dry and crunchy). They were great with the italian coffee, but I could never put them in comparison with the other chocolate chip contenders in my family as his family does not hold the same reverence or obsessiveness for them (they save that for their fried artichoke hearts and cold crab).  All in all, there is a lot of competition for the “Best Ever” title in my family with or without adding in my husband’s families versions as well, so you can imagine my concern and delight over reading about another “best ever” that looked even different from any of the 5 or so versions I had on hand.

So to the store I went.  Multiple times.  The thing I quickly realized about this recipe is that it wasn’t one I could whip up in 10 minutes in order to have cookies ready for movie night at our house.  Apparently a true “Best Ever” can’t be rushed.  First off you must locate the correct chocolate chips– well… disks or feves (?).  This for me took a couple trips– apparently this “perfect” recipe is not sweeping the nation as the stores aren’t stocking these too readily yet.  But I did locate some acceptablly shaped chocolate… eventually.  

Next I had to remember to get bread flour (this adds to the perfectness in some way I can’t remember– the article explains it all, so if you’re interested check it out).  Back from the store ( a few weeks later) I am ready to bake and mix all my dry ingredients and open the fridge to find…. I”m out of eggs.  Of course.  I was so worried about the chocolate and the flour, I forgot to check the standards (butter, eggs, sugar).  

I move the dry ingredients to a container and put in my cupboard.  And forget about it for a bit.  Then one day I’m inspired and think I will make them.  Butter.  Check.  Eggs.  Check.  Light Brown Sugar.   

Back to the store.

Eventually all the ingredients and myself were assembled.  After so much trouble I absolutely  had to make them (even if it was 6 weeks after seeing the recipe).  So yesterday I went to work.  The batter itself was pretty straight forward and I had prepared myself for the last bit of the recipe that could of really but me over the edge– it has to be chilled for 24-36 hours before baking.  

Well, so long a wait was rewarded.  I baked them up tonight (almost, but not forgetting the very unique and very important sprinkling of sea salt on the top of the cookies before baking) and they were good.  Very Good!  In fact, I might even have to admit that they are close to pushing out my favorite recipe.  The true test of course will be at the next family gathering when they must compete with the other “Perfect” cookies of my family.

I’d love to have some others give them a whirl and let me know how they stand up against your family’s “best ever”  recipe(s).

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