“Life is short. Eat dessert first. ” – Jacques Torres
You can tell something’s going to be good when you start with three sticks of butter. I did a double-take when I saw the recipe. Three sticks? Really? Ok! I couldn’t help but feel more than a little guilty as I swooped my finger into the mixing bowl to snatch taste after taste of raw dough.
My first experience with Jacques Torres’s cookies was in New York at Chelsea Market. As I walked down the building’s long corridor, I nibbled (ok, devoured) the massive baked good. With only crumbs in my hands and streaks of chocolate on my fingers, I was pretty certain that I had struck gold. The ultimate chocolate chip cookie.
I must be honest with you, my dear readers. These cookies are just as good as they look. Slightly crunchy on the outside with a chewy inside. Loaded with chocolate. They’re so delicious, that I just went into the other room to do some crunches so that I could feel a little better about myself (unfortunately, it didn’t work).
Bake at your own risk.
Jacques Torres’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 36 large cookies
4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
1 ¼ cups plus 2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1⅔ pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Have ready four nonstick half-sheet pans, or line four regular half-sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone mats.
2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar, and beat until well blended. Add the eggs and beat just until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture a little at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When all of the flour mixture has been incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a silicone spatula, fold in the chocolate.
4. To shape the cookies, using a tablespoon, scoop out heaping spoonfuls of the dough and, using the palms of your hands, form them into 3-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared pans, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven, transfer the cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely.