Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe is Peppermint Chocolate Chip Meringues, a recipe I posted about a few weeks ago. The meringues are actually the last recipe on the schedule for Baked Occasions -- we've finished up another book! Our baking group formed in 2010 and first began baking through Baked Explorations; now we're going to go back to bake through Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. I've already baked a lot of recipes from the first Baked cookbook and it's the source of my rogue recipe selection this week: Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I rarely try new recipes for chocolate chip cookies because I'm convinced there are none better than the Jacques Torres recipe printed in The New York Times. And the recipe from Baked: New Frontiers actually looks a lot like the traditional Nestle Toll House recipe. You beat softened butter with granulated sugar and dark brown sugar; add eggs and vanilla; mix in flour, baking soda, and salt; and stir in chocolate chips. Compared to the Nestle Toll House recipe, this one uses slightly less flour, has a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar, has more vanilla and chocolate chips, and calls for the dough to be chilled for six hours before baking. I splurged and used Cacao Barry Chocolat Amer 60% callets for the cookies; the callets are larger than regular chocolate chips.
I used a #24 scoop to portion the cookies after chilling the dough and I got 28 cookies. My cookies spread a lot in the oven and came out very flat. They looked nothing like the photo in the cookbook (the cookbook photo is the same one posted here with the recipe). I'm sad to report that these cookies were very disappointing, and definitely below average for what I would expect even for just a Nestle Toll House cookie. The cookies were greasy and the edges of the cookies browned so quickly in the oven that the centers were slightly undercooked (and not in a good way).

After I made these cookies I did a Google search to try and find an online version of the recipe to link to this post and I happened to come across some relevant information on the Baked website about the recipe. Namely, in response to the question, "Why don't my Chocolate Chip Cookies look like the ones in [Baked: New Frontiers]?," the gentlemen bakers advise: "Don’t be discouraged! In earlier editions of our first cookbook, we forgot to mention that your butter should be fairly cold when you beat it with the sugar, and you should only beat the butter and sugar together until they are just combined."

So it might be my legal instincts showing, but I have to disagree with the characterization that this is information they "forgot to mention." My cookbook specifically says that you should use softened butter, which is what I did. So that's just an outright misstatement, not an inadvertent omission (sorry, I'm quite cranky about having baked a batch of sub-optimal chocolate chip cookies). In any case, I think this recipe would have been better with more flour and more chilling time, and perhaps butter than was not so soft. But I'm not going to bother making these cookies again. 

Recipe: "Chocolate Chip Cookies" from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Cookstr.


Louise said…
I totally agree with you regarding the Jacques Torres CC cookie recipe. I have one CC cookie on my "to bake" list, and I hope I'm not totally disappointed.
Anonymous said…
I actually think the Baked recipe is great BUT I add 1/4 cup flour. Not sure if that still counts as "their" recipe.