Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies...Ever.

Best chocolate chip cookies in the world. Full stop. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. David Leite, who set out to find the consummate chocolate chip cookie by speaking to all manner of baking experts, came up with this recipe deemed "perfection" in his entertaining New York Times article. And he is correct. Every time I've made these (which is more times than I'd like to admit), they have come out plump and nubbly with chewy centers and crispy edges, cracked on the top and tasting of caramelized butter-chocolate heaven. The clincher is their subtle sprinkle of sea salt on top before baking; it just makes these babies sing.  This is your classic chocolate chip cookie but with a complexity and depth of flavor that always prompts their lucky recipients to beg for the recipe and/or another cookie. There are some tricks to making these right, and they require patience, but I promise they are worth the 36 - 48 hours of self-control. I skip the recipe's recommendation to use chocolate disks, or fèves - mainly because I'm just not that fancy and because I think there is something nostalgic about regular chocolate chips, but otherwise, I follow the Leite's instructions exactly. If/when you make them, make sure to do the following: Bring butter to room temperature before starting, let the dough chill for 36 - 48 hours in the fridge (I went the full 48 this time and they were magnificent), use the mix of cake and bread flours as the recipe instructs - it does something magical, and give away as many as possible if you want to fit into your pants in the morning. I have to confess that I have overdosed on these, and can't be trusted alone with them. I enjoyed a couple this afternoon with a glass of cold milk and have the rest packed up for delivery to friends and co-workers. If you love chocolate chip cookies and are left alone with a batch of these, be prepared to do something immoderate. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

PS: Way more important than chocolate chip cookies, Miley Cyrus, and most other silly things occupying my brain space is the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s
I Have a Dream speech. I played it in my classes today and each time, students and I were moved to tears. It is still so raw and relevant, 50 years later. 

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