Look, you guys know me well enough by now (and some of you know me even better) to be a person who loves a cookie. If you couldn’t tell, the last few posts should have been indication enough.
But I grew up in a house full of people. People who, while they loved some celebration and they loved some pretty cake, mostly just wanted something to shove in their gobs. (Yes. I have brothers. Three, in fact.) We wanted something we could bring to school, shove in our back pockets, something to come home to and eat on the way back out again. We didn’t want to deal with forks and spoons and whipped cream and icing. Not yet, anyway. That was for a sit-down dinner, a birthday, a special occasion.
Cookies, on the other hand, are easy to make, do not take too much time, and are perfect for people on the run. Like my entire house in the mornings. Hey, we’re students, right? So that means we roll out of bed, blearily make some coffee, maybe shove some muesli down our gobs and tear off for class, hoping we won’t be late. Lunch? Well, depending on your amount of foresight. Snacks? Only if they’re very easily accessible.
And now they are, in my amazing cookie jar. (One day, I swear, I will put a photo up. I just want to do it justice, people! And hey, if you really want to see it, just come over to my house!
Just contact me first. So I know you’re not a stalker. K?
All that aside, chocolate chip cookies are like the ultimate cookie in themselves. The most popular, easy to make, universally pleasing cookie out there. See, chocolate chip cookies are the bomb. That’s all there really is to them.
And every girl and her poodle makes them. So one day, David Leite decided to go out and figure out what it was about chocolate chip cookies that made them so darn wonderful. He went in search of the consummate chocolate chip cookie. And he found it.
Ruth Graves invented it. According to Hervé Poussot, it’s not a recipe you need per se, but an approach; what goes into the making of the cookie. You need to let it rest overnight, it must be served warm, it has to be big, and for the love of all that is chocolatey and wonderful, don’t forget the salt!
Who knew that a chocolate chip cookie was so darn complicated?
Well, it doesn’t have to be (when in doubt, add more chocolate!) But being the person that I am, I did have to try the end result of all this to-ing and fro-ing about the chocolate chip cookie. I didn’t actually follow the recipe as precisely as I could have (and yes, I will be going back to re-make the cookies with the right flour, remembering the salt on top and making them bigger – no, I can’t just leave well enough alone) but these are darn good cookies nonetheless. I suggest you eat one warm.
The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
I first heard about this from Smitten Kitchen. The recipe is in the New York Times and on David’s website. The article is also in both places. Read it. Make the cookies. Eat one warm and swoon. Then get back up and try to stop yourself from hiding the rest from your housemates.
Adapted from David Leite
3 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups raw caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
500g chocolate – I used 250g each of Whittaker’s Dark Ghana and Creamy Milk lines and cut them up into chunks
Sea salt, to sprinkle
Sift flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugars until very light. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add half the flour mix and stir with a spatula until almost incorporated; add the other half, mix until almost incorporated and finish with the electric beaters, if necessary. Fold in the chocolate chunks (I had to use my hands for most of that part).
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 36 hours (I managed about eighty – I kept not having time!) When almost ready to bake, preheat oven to 180º and line baking trays with baking paper. Form the batter into large golf-ball ish sized balls and give them room to spread on the trays. SPRINKLE WITH SEA SALT (can you tell I forgot that part? I only sprinkled on one tray). Bake 18-20 minutes in the oven.
I had two trays in at once and rotated them at about ten minutes. My last tray was all by itself but still needed 18 minutes.
I cool mine on a wooden chopping board because I don’t have a cooling rack (I want one of those three-tier ones!) and they were fine. Eat warm, with a big serviette.