Friday, October 23, 2009

Nestle Toll House vs. NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie

Have you seen the recent NY Times article about the cookie diet? It sounds a bit gimmicky to me. I don't know about turning a cookie into a diet product, but I do need to find a diet out there for people who eat too many cookies. You know you have a problem when you are eating chocolate chip cookies and a banana for breakfast.

Thank God I am going to be away from my oven for a month. I think someone might have had to do an cookie intervention if I continued at this rate. I will share with you, however, two recipes for chocolate chip cookies while I am on a cookie detox.

JW, Wonster and I made a batch of these cookies last week during our cookie decorating party.

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Best-Loved Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg
1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixing bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

The recipe said that it made 5 dozen cookies, but we ended up with 3 dozen. I'm not sure how we were 2 dozen short. It's not as though our cookies were that big, they seemed regular size to me. As you can see from the picture, they were on the fat side. They didn't really flatten, so the edges were crispy and the center was soft. They were alright, but they didn't blow me out of the water ... as clearly all cookies must, right? =)
I personally think the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are better. However, the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie surpasses them both. It's a bit more time consuming to make, so I would save this recipe for special occasions and rely on the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies for your go-to recipe. I found this recipe last year and, up until that point, could never make a successful batch of chocolate chip cookies at home. I just thought what's the point of making homemade chocolate chip cookies if I can get better results from the premade, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookies they sell at the market. The NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie changed all of that for me. It's pretty darn amazing, if I do say so myself. And there is a reason why refrigerated cookie dough yields such good cookies. There's something magical that happens when you leave the dough refrigerated for at least 24 hours.

I recently got a bag of semisweet chocolate chips from Surfas, a really fun restaurant supply and gourmet food store in Culver City. They have a whole aisle devoted to just chocolate. They have bins and bins of chocolate chips, fèves and blocks. I must have spent like 20 minutes trying to figure out what to buy and another 20 minutes justifying my purchase. I've always been satisfied with my $1.99 bag of semisweet chocolate chips from TJ's, but I was curious how much better it could be with superior Belgium chocolate.

The recipe called for semisweet chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content. I couldn't find one with exactly 60% so I settled for a 2 lb bag of Callebaut Extra Bitter Chocolate Disks ($12). Yes, I had major buyer's remorse when I left the store, but it was well worth it after tasting the cookies. I later saw that Ghiradelli sells semisweet chocolate chips with 60% cocoa content for much cheaper, so I might try that next time. Much more friendly on the wallet.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from NY Times

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons

(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour (see note)

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 pound bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content

Sea salt.

Note: I didn't have cake flour on hand, so I substituted 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour and 1/4 cup of cornstarch for 2 cups of cake flour. I put in the all purpose flour and cornstarch in a zip lock bag, shook it like a Polaroid picture and took out my measurements from there. Also, I was able to find bread flour from Whole Foods.

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, 13 to 15 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. It yields about a dozen and a half of cookies.

The verdict: Even after the cookie cooled down, the cookie remained soft and the chocolate melted. Usually when you bite into a cooled cookie with regular chocolate chips, the chocolate by then has cooled and has hardened. It's like eating a really good buttery cookie studded with chocolate chips. The NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie, however, is a soft, caramel cookie with pockets of warm chocolate layered throughout in each bite. It takes more effort and extreme will power to not bake the cookies right away, but the end result is pretty darn perfect.


  1. oh my goodness... i'm not that big of a cookie person, but you've really been making me crave some cookies lately!!! make me a batch when you get back!!!!

  2. oh katter, of course I will bake you some cookies when I get back. I will be on the lookout for more cookie recipes. I hear there's a compost cookie made out of potato chips and pretzels. You might like it. =)

  3. the cookies that i got for my bday lunch.. were these the ny cookies? they were absolutely to die for....

  4. Yes, these were the cookies. I literally baked them right before I went out to meet you. I'm glad you liked them. They rested in the fridge for 24 hours before they met you. =)