Saturday, September 15, 2007

JACQUES TORRES' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies, Adapted

Jacques Torres is the name of an upscale chocolate shop in Brooklyn, owned by famous chef Jacques Torres.  His cookies are semi-crisp around the edges and soft and tender inside, and they are a sturdier cookie than your normal chocolate chipper. They're definitely good and worth making, but I have a preference for chocolate chip cookies with nuts.  Note:  White Lily is a southern flour, it is called all-purpose but if you check their website, you will find it qualifies as a pastry flour because they use a low-gluten wheat; bread flour is high-gluten and different from all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is usually a mix of the two wheats.  One more thing: read labels and packages carefully. Do not get self-rising flour.

Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Cookie Madness and Martha Stewart
Rating:  9 out of 10

1/4 lb. unsalted butter + 1/4 lb. Smart Balance buttery spread, rm. temp. (or 1/2 lb. butter)
1-1/2 cups sugar + 1 Tbsp. molasses
2 large eggs, rm. temp.
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. instant coffee dissolved in 1 Tbsp. coffee brandy (optional)
1-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. pastry flour (I used White Lily all-purpose; it's low gluten)
1-1/2 cups bread flour (I used Gold Medal) Note: do not try to substitute all-purpose
flour for bread flour -- the protein (gluten) content is different!
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 lb. good-quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely

Don't grease the baking sheet -- it might cause extra spreading. Measure coffee powder and coffee brandy into small measuring cup; add vanilla and eggs; set aside. Whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add chocolate and stir till combined; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butters, sugar and molasses. Add eggs and flavorings, in two batches, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture including chocolate. Mix till combined well but don't over mix. Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
Using a 4-oz. scoop for larger cookies or a 1-oz. scoop for smaller cookies, place cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake till very lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Check the cookies at 12 minutes for doneness, as oven temperatures vary greatly. Use a toothpick inserted in center like you would for a cake. If you hit chocolate, pick another spot or another cookie to test. When toothpick comes out clean or almost clean, cookies are done and should be removed from oven to cool slightly on baking sheets before being transferred to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 4 doz. 3-inch cookies using a 1-oz. scoop.

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