Friday, July 2, 2010

W. RICHARD STEVENS’ ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE

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If you do enough internet surfing, you can find just about anything.  And if you’re searching for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, you have quite a few to choose from.  I picked this recipe, not because the ingredients are out of the ordinary, but because the author touted his technique as being the key to an extraordinary cookie. 
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The recipe, itself, is just a tollhouse cookie recipe with lots of nuts and chocolate chips.  He basically says that if you beat the batter to death and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours, you’ll get a phenomenal cookie.  And maybe you will.  I refrigerated the dough longer – about 42 hours – and that may have messed things up.  Everyone loved these cookies, especially my hubby, because of the abundance of nuts (I cut out 1 cup of the chocolate chips, but there were still plenty). 
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Stevens says he learned his creaming technique for this cookie from Flo Braker’s The Simple Art of Perfect Baking.  The trick is to add the eggs slowly, taking about 3-4 minutes.  This results in a fluffy batter, like whipped cream cheese.  My batter did indeed have that spongy, light texture.  But baking at 400 degrees didn’t work for my first batch.  At 9 minutes, the centers were raw and the bottoms were greasy.  When those cookies cooled and were rebaked at 350F for 10 minutes, it resulted in very crispy edges with a soft chewy center.  These were even better than the cookies baked at 350F which were softer all the way around. 
Some other glitches:  I had to add more flour, possibly because I live in the coastal south, or because of the high humidity levels, or could it be that he scooped and I lightly spooned and swept?.   I only got half as many cookies as Stevens did with my golf-ball sized dough, so his golf balls are mighty small. 

This recipe might be worth making again, but I have other less complicated recipes that I like better, so I probably won’t go to the trouble.   If you do decide to try these, please let me know by leaving a comment.  Maybe you’ll think these really are the ultimate. 

P.S.  Here are links to some of my favorite chocolate chip cookies:  Blue Ribbon Fair Cookies, Prize-Winning Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Dried Cherry Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Chocolate Chippers with Coconut Flour, Three Chip Cookies, Extraordinary M&M Cookies, Todd English's Chocolate Chip Cookies, Yockelson's Large and Luscious Two-Chip Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Gingerbread Drops, Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Copycats.

W. Richard Stevens Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
Source:  Squidoo.com and kohala.com
Rating:  8 out of 10
PRINTABLE RECIPE
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2-3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp. lightly spooned and swept (11.5 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/4 tsp. NuNaturals pure stevia extract + 3 Tbsp. sugar)
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla (I used 1 tsp. homemade vanilla extract + 1 tsp. homemade vanilla powder)
2 cups walnuts coarsely chopped (I used toasted broken pecans)
3 cups (18 oz.) chocolate chips (I used 1 cup Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks + 1 cup Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips)

Sift the dry ingredients together three times in a medium bowl.

Beat  butter in mixing bowl of a heavy duty mixer with paddle attachment until it is lighter and clings to bowl (30-45 seconds).  Add both sugars in a steady stream using medium speed.  Continue to cream butter and sugars for 4-5 minutes, scraping down bowl twice.  When done, mixture will be light in color and fluffy in appearance.

Whisk eggs with vanilla in small bowl and add to butter and sugar mixture very slowly, using medium speed.  It should take 3-4 minutes to add the eggs.  The mixture then appears fluffy, looking like whipped cream cheese.  Using lowest speed, gradually add dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate and nuts.

Using about 2 Tbsp. dough, shape into golf-ball-sized balls and place on cookie sheet right next to each other.  Cover with waxed paper, then aluminum foil crimped tightly at edges and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.  Remove and let warm to room temperature 30 minutes.  While cookies are coming to room temperature, heat oven to 400F. 

Place balls on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing about 3” apart.  Flatten a little to resemble a hockey puck, about  3/4” high.  Make edges go straight up and down, and make a slight depression in center with finger. 
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Bake 8-10 minutes (or longer), till edges are golden brown but center is 1” pale.  Let sit at room temperature 5 minutes before taking off baking pan. 
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Transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.  Yield:  18 cookies
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4 comments:

The Sugar Queen said...

By creaming the eggs in like it says, it doesn't result in a more cakey cookie? I'm always willing to try new things to get that perfect chocolate chip cookie, so maybe I'll give this a try. Thanks!

Valerie said...

Thank you, Judy. Yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe to add to the list. :D
These look perfect! Thanks for the information on the techniques.

MelindaRD said...

They look delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

Judy said...

Sugar Queen, No the cookies are not cakey. They're not totally chewy either. The best texture I got was when I baked them twice (see my notes above). But remember I aged the dough 42 hours. Could have been too long, who knows?