It is said that the recipe for Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies is hard to make, fussy, time-consuming, demanding. The magic formula, which is all over the internet, calls for two kinds of fancy flours, neither of which is the one in your pantry. What’s more, the dough must be chilled no less than 24 hours, preferably 36 hours and, if you’re anything like me, you’re willing to risk 2nd-degree burns eating cookies right out of the oven. Wait? A whole day? Are you kidding me?
Admission is the first step to recovery and, at my age, I have come to terms with my character flaws, the biggest of which is my lack of patience. When I first read this recipe, it went something like this…
Oooh, HELL noooooo!
Then, I put all my whining, mumbling obscenities under my breath, foot-stomping childish antics aside and read the recipe again, firmly committing to obeying all (most) of Jacques’ instructions to the T and, you know why? Because a coworker who is eternally a more patient baker than I am made these and shared them with me. They were chewy in the middle, but gloriously crispy on the edges, speckled generously with different-sized chunks of chocolate everywhere.
Best yet, those luscious pools of melted chocolate that drip down your fingers as you bite into the cookie.. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?! It’s got to be magic.
Maintaining that liquid state hours after the cookies have left the infernal heat of the oven is something that escaped me for years, until I learned from Mr. Chocolate himself that the secret to achieving this miracle of quantum physics is simply in the chilling of the dough. Time allows the gluten to develop for that sink-your-teeth-into-it chewiness, but, more importantly, gives the chocolate chunks a chance to absorb some moisture from the batter so they don’t dry out as much in the oven. Good things do come to those who wait. Most of the batter went into the fridge for a long winter’s nap, but I did bake a couple of cookies right away to satisfy the devil in me!
It is important to note that the dough finishes to something of a sandy consistency as the only source of liquid is the butter, of which there is plenty. Don’t be alarmed. Have faith – It will come together beautifully in your hands. The original recipe is brilliant, but this is my simplified version, using just plain old all-purpose flour, a touch less sugar and the batter rolled into golf-balls, not baseballs, so the baking time is shorter, meaning you get to eat them sooner.
Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies
Note: The batter can be made and chilled up to 3 days in the fridge in advance.
Adapted from: Jacques Torres
Makes: 2 dozen 2-inch cookies
Prep: 15 mins
Chill: 8 hrs (overnight)
Oven: 350 *F
Bake: 10-12 mins
2 1/2 sticks butter, @ room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large free-range eggs, @ room temp
2 tsp vanilla
3 2/3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of coarse salt
1 1/4 lb bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
coarse sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
Cream butter and both sugars.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well each time.
Add chocolate and mix gently into batter by hand.
Sift flour, baking soda & powder and salt over the mixing bowl.
Mix just until dry ingredients have disappeared into batter.
Wrap batter with plastic right against dough and chill overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 *F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll batter into golf-balls and arrange 1-inch apart onto baking sheet, sprinkle with salt (if using).
Transfer to hot oven and bake 10-12 mins.
Let cookies rest 5 mins on baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
But, these are best eaten warm, fresh out of the oven with a tall glass of iced milk!
Recently, someone brought up the question of why we love eating cookie dough. I didn’t bother mulling through all the analytical responses from mental health professionals, because, in most cases, it’s simply the length of time required for the baking process. For these situations, there are delightful ways to enjoy raw cookie dough, such as these double-chocolate dipped truffles.
However, there are a mere handful of weirdos like myself who much rather prefer the finished product, because, after all, good things come to those who wait. While this recipe for Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Chip Cookies will certainly test your patience, the rewards you reap in the end may correct your character flaws, should you have any.