Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ooey Gooey

I wish you could smell it in here right now. It's kind of like when you're walking around an indoor shopping mall, trying to figure out how quickly you can do what you need to do and get the heck out of there, and then you suddenly smell the Mrs. Fields cookie shop, and you realize you need to go home right away despite the fact that you still haven't found what you came for and bake chocolate chip cookies. Yeah; it's kind of like that. But better. Because, thankfully, this is my apartment, and not a shopping mall. It's breezy in here, and warm, and having the oven on has made me a little sweaty, in a good way. It's the middle of summer in Brooklyn, and I'm baking David Leite's chocolate chip cookies as if it's winter and our breath is freezing outside.

After making this recipe several times (they're that good), I have a few tips for you: Use good-quality chocolate chips for this recipe, if possible. I've used both Callebut 60% and Ghiradelli Bittersweet, and I slightly preferred the Callebut. Do include the salt on top; that's one of my favorite things about these cookies. Also, these really do taste best after at least 24 hours in the fridge. A final rule: Make these cookies only for people you really like.
David Leite's Famous NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from NY Times

3 2/3 cups minus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or feves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt

First sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes (really). Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping the sides 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 stir them in without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough can be used in batches and refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

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

Scoop 6 mounds of dough the size of golf balls onto baking sheet using an ice cream scoop, 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. Definitely eat these warm.

Yields 18 5-inch cookies, or a whole bunch of smaller cookies.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hello, There! We've missed you.

Well, we've certainly been absent for a while, haven't we? There's no excuse. There isn't. Okay, well, I'm going to try to make an excuse now. Here it is: For my part, I've been thoroughly consumed by the people and places of summer in New York City and beyond. I've been disengaged from the computer, and from cooking, and from writing on the computer about food. But finally, after long last, my inspiration to cook and write and share all of that returned. Phew.
So, hello there! I've missed you! And Adriana? Well, she has a really good excuse for her absence, but I'm not going to tell you now. It's too good; you're going to have to wait for her to give you the news.
For now, here are some glimpses of summer so far through my eyes.

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Adriana Willsie and Kylie Springman ©2009