Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: David Lebovitz's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, April 26, 2010

David Lebovitz's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies are the perfect dessert to me because are bite-sized and always delicious. There are so many desserts that I love: a bite of creamy Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, or the sugary heaven of creme brulee, or even a tasty Tropical Carrot Cake, but there's nothing like a simple chocolate chip cookie. I thought that Alton Brown's The Chewy was the ideal recipe until I came across David Lebovitz's recipe. He's a famous pastry chef that worked at Chez Panisse and certainly knows his a way around the sweet recipes. My next book purchase should be his latest endeavor, Ready for Dessert, where he has updated several of his recipes. The chocolate chip cookie recipe is pretty standard compared to other ones, but there's one step that sets it apart. After you assembled the cookie dough, you roll them into logs and refrigerate for 24 hours. It's a process common with the refrigerator/freezer cookies, but it was worth a try.

If your ideal cookie is slightly crispy on the outside, chewy and gooey in the middle, lots of chocolate chunks, and that all around sweet chocolate chip & nutty flavor...this is the cookie. One of these days, I'll do a side by side comparison of The Chewy, Tollhouse cookies and these ones. You don't have to make all the cookies at once if you don't feel like it, make smaller batches of them all throughout the week if you want. But that's insanity in your fridge, all those wonderful cookies waiting to be baked. That's a crime in my kitchen!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Serious Eats
Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz
2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (215 g) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (about 225 g) nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, or macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped *I used walnuts*
14 ounces (400 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/2- to 1-inch (1.5- to 3-cm) chunks *There are chocolate chunks available.*

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and chocolate chunks.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a log about 9 inches (23 cm) long. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, preferably for 24 hours.
4. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
5. Slice the logs into disks 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick and place the disks 3 inches (8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the nuts or chips crumble out, simply push them back in.
6. Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are very lightly browned in the centers, about 10 minutes. If you like soft chocolate chip cookies, as I do, err on the side of underbaking.
7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.

Yield: 48 cookies...and you'll eat them all.

Review:  I'm adding this as my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies because it's the best cookie I've ever had in a long time, and they are marvelous. Gooey, sweet and perfect for dunking in a glass of milk. That's my kind of cookie.
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