The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie!

I'll be the first to admit it:  I'm obsessed with all things Martha.  How can you not be-- she's THE female version of MacGuyver. Instead of saving people from dangerous car explosions at just the opportune time using creative genius, she is saving us from ourselves in our kitchens.  Pie crust flat? Chicken too dry? Missing a key ingredient? Martha to the RESCUE. 

I've mentioned it before, but I'm a bit of a Sirius satellite radio addict.  And there is just the ONE station I listen to:  yep. Martha Stewart Living Radio.  I recently participated in another of Mario's weekend cooking challenges (he's the host of Living Today on MSLR radio station).  This time the challenge:  The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Now, I consider myself more of a cook than a baker.  Basically because I cook more than I bake.  Why is this? 
A) I'm a messy, messy cook, and a baking mess is exponentially worse. 
B) I may be scarred for life from making a wedding cake 7 years ago, which for the record totally turned out amazing. 
C) I'm not the MOST patient person, and I'm also not the MOST particular person when it comes to measuring "stuff". 
D) I kind of would rather have a glass of red wine than dessert. 

But, now and again, I put on my baking "cap", and hit the ground running.  I'm always up for finding a great cookie recipe, and who doesn't like chocolate chip?!  So, here is the recipe, courtesy of David Leite:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (Buy it)
  • Sea salt 

    1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

    2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

    3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

    4. Scoop six 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

This is a fantastic recipe.  Being the Martha/Macguyver improviser that I am, I used regular flour instead of cake and bread flour.  I don't know how this changes the scientific structure, or texture of the cookie, but I don't really care since they turned out AWESOME anyway!! 
My oven is funny too.  Not like a comedian oven (what do you call a peanut in space?  An Astro-Nut!).  No, that was my last oven.  This oven is "funny" because the thermostat is all over the place, which isn't funny at all, kind of like that space peanut joke.  So, I had to adjust the cooking time by a few minutes less than the recipe directed.

Here is the link to the cooking challenge page with the recipe.  My photo made it onto Marth's blog!  It's pic #5, Laurie.


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