Makes 1-1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies
Time: 45 minutes, plus at least 24 hours for chilling
- 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 (see note)
- Sea salt
2. Using a mixer fitted with the 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.
3. 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.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
5. Scoop 6 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.
Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate (www.jacquestorres.com); Valrhona féves (oval-shaped chocolate pieces) are available at Whole Foods.
Visit www.leitesculinaria.com, David's James Beard award-winning Web site for more of his articles and recipes.
The secret is letting the dough rest in your fridge for 24-36 hours. There’s a whole scientific explanation as to why this makes better cookies – it has to do with the allowing the dough to fully soak in the eggs, which makes for a dryer dough and a cookie that gets brown more evenly. It also changes the taste of the cookie. Check out this article for the full explanation. It’s actually really interesting: