Most people won’t say no to chocolate chip cookies, whether overcooked or store-bought. Chocolate chip cookies are an American classic and definitely a recipe I have made and eaten thousands of times. Maybe the internet is to blame or maybe it’s just my curiosity for baking, but despite the number of times I’ve made the chewy, gooey hand-held dessert, I still sometimes feel the need to try a new recipe. Social media tends to make us feel pressured to constantly achieve bigger (or smaller) and better whether through our perfectly toned and tanned bodies, our flawlessly frosted cakes, or our carefully crafted home decor. Yes, your chocolate chip cookie recipe may already be amazing, but the lure of the internet will lead you to believe that this one is the best.
I like chocolate chip cookies as much as the next person, but I’ll admit I can be picky about my cookies. I like them soft and chewy, and preferably with a good, dark chocolate (though I’ll admit to happily eating cookies made with a familiar favorite brand that comes in a yellow bag…)
Anyway, the point is I am not immune to the seduction of new cookie recipes found online or in pretty pictures in catalogs and this recipe is exactly that. A few years ago my dad bought me a subscription to Saveur magazine. I enjoyed flipping through the pages, taking note of recipes to make in the future and drooling over recipes that I’d unlikely ever make. One such recipe is this one for chocolate chip cookies, which I thought I’d never make because it seemed fussy and required egg yolks instead of whole eggs and I filed it away in my brain as something to dream about eventually.
Well I finally brought that dream to life thanks to some leftover egg yolks I had to use up after making meringues, (see this post or this one about my obsession with using things up) and just like the waffles I wrote about last post, the recipe really isn’t that fussy at all. Sometimes just the passage of time and my distorted memory of the recipe can help me change my mind about its feasibility. I did make this recipe once before and I seem to remember it turned out slightly better last time. I think I may have refrigerated the dough longer, which is said to allow the dry ingredients to better absorb the wet and to allow the flavors to really deepen and mature. It sounds weird when talking about cookie dough, but it does make a difference.
The main unique technique in this recipe, however, was inspired by puff pastry, where the thinnest layers of dough become flakey and distinct with the heat of the oven. The goal here was to create some layers in the cookie dough, so that instead of scooping the dough into mounds, the dough is sandwiched with chocolate chunks and cut with a round cutter to keep the layers, making for a more textured cookie. The picture in the magazine looks much more layer-y than mine turned out to be, but if you don’t roll your dough as thin as mine, perhaps you’ll have better luck. Regardless, they will turn into chocolate chip cookies and they will be delicious and no one will complain about that!
In case you forgot, I am pregnant and approaching my due date, thus the reason I may be posting back to back posts this week (and next week if this baby still decides to wait!) Any requests or suggestions of what else I should make in my last days before becoming a mom?
Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Saveur magazine October 2012
1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/8 cup brown sugar, packed
3/8 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/8 tsp. salt
2 egg yolks
1 cup + 2 T. all-purpose flour
3/8 tsp baking soda (a little less than a 1/2 tsp)
3-4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped*
In a medium bowl add your butter, sugars, vanilla and salt. (I like to add the salt now so I can taste the dough before the addition of raw eggs and flour and make sure it’s not too salty or needs more salt.) Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat another 30 seconds or so. Add flour and baking soda and fold in with a spatula or beat on low to blend. Gather and divide the dough into three equal balls, flatten into a semi square and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and as long as 24-48 hours for improved flavor. If you refrigerate them longer, it may be harder to incorporate the chocolate so keep that in mind and allow them to soften slightly if necessary.
Meanwhile make sure your chocolate is ready and chopped. You can use chocolate chips if you want, but having nice shards of chocolate really makes a difference. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface lay out one square. Top with half of the chopped chocolate or as much as seems to fit. Press it gently into the dough. Top with another square of unwrapped dough. Add remaining chocolate, press into dough and top with last square of dough.
Flour the top of the dough if it seems too sticky and carefully press your layers together and roll with a rolling pin until the dough is about 1 inch or so thick. Use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to cut out 2-inch rounds of dough and place on prepared cookie sheet, spacing at least an inch apart. Form remaining scraps of dough into rounds. Press extra chocolate chunks into cookies if they are looking too bare.
Bake for 11-14 minutes, rotating halfway through if your oven tends to brown unevenly and checking early so as to not over bake. Cookies will be done when they start to brown lightly on the edges but still look semi-soft in the middle. Remove and cool. Makes 1 dozen. Original recipe is doubled.
*Note: The original recipe called for way more chocolate than I felt I needed once I started to sprinkle it over the dough. However, some of the cookies looked like they could have used more chocolate after they were baked so if you can squeeze more in, by all means do!