Okay, so I was planning on writing up another ‘How to wear…’ post, but that can wait. This week my very expensive and more-valuable-to-me-than-my-arm phone was stolen, and me and the boyfriend also got a bill from N-Power for £500. Combine this with my usual placement stress and the fact that deadlines are rife at the minute, and this week has not been a fun one: as a result, comfort food is very much needed.
Comfort food in the form of these.
According to the New York Times, they’re the world’s best chocolate chip cookies (I obviously needed to capitalise it in the post’s title), and you know what? I think they might be right. I’m not really a cookie kind of girl, but these badboys are out of this world. They take a couple of ingredients which you might need to buy specifically, and you DO need to chill them for a while, but it’s worth it. Just trust me on this. They’re crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and are the perfect combination of salty, sweet and chocolate-y. Perfect for those weeks when EVERYTHING just seems to go wrong (and lets be honest, those weeks when it all goes right too). Those photographed were my second batch – I’ve just made a third which are probably my best, but as I have no way of taking photos now, you’re stuck with these! The ones in the photo didn’t have enough butter in, so they were a bit drier – normally they’d be a lot flatter and less chunky, and look more like this.
Anyway, here’s the recipe. You need to make them sooner rather than later. It is the New York Times one but I halved it, and also converted it into grams for us accurate UK folk.
- 140g butter (I use salted)
- 140g light soft brown sugar
- 110g granulated sugar
- 1 large free range egg
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 120g cake/sponge flour
- 120g white bread flour
- 0.75tsp baking powder
- 0.75tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 0.75tsp salt
- 250g chocolate chips
Okay, bit of an explanation. You need both types of sugar – one adds grit, one adds a caramel-like taste. You need to go free range on the egg, for reasons which should really be obvious. If you use vanilla flavouring rather than extract, I’m coming after you. You need both types of flour – the sponge flour is lovely and fine, and the bread flour has gluten in it. Baking powder AND bicarb – yes. If you use salted butter you could probably forego the salt but I like it. And yes this is a lot of chocolate chips. Yes, it’s vital.
1) Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s all combined, and nice and fluffy. Same as always.
2) Add the egg and beat until it’s completely incorporated. Do the same with the vanilla extract.
3) Add all the dry ingredients together, and mix until it’s just combined. Don’t beat it – it’s not a cake, people. You want to make sure the ingredients are just incorporated into eachother and it’s no longer floury.
4) Add the chocolate chips, and stir them in until they’re all distributed evenly.
5) Okay, now for the tough part. You need to chill this mixture, for quite a while. Wrap it in clingfilm or foil and whack it in the fridge – for this reason, I like to make up the dough just before bed, then by the time I’m finished with uni or work the next day they’ve had a good 18 hours or so to chill. The chilling is important – it helps all the flavours develop and meld together – just believe me when I say that it makes a big difference. You need a minimum of 4 hours (the dough needs to be cold before you bake it, and it’s very dense so takes ages to get to this stage), and a maximum of 72 – I like them best at around the 24 hour mark, but 36 is pretty good too.
6) When you’re ready to bake them, preheat your oven to 170c. Line a baking sheet with baking/greaseproof paper. Roll your mixture into balls – I like mine about the size of a v. small plum. Place them on the sheet, about 6 per time because they’ll need lots of room to spread. Don’t flatten them at all – the ball shape is what ensures the outside gets crisp and the inside stays really soft. They’ll flatten while they bake.
7) Sprinkle with a little sea salt (I like Maldon).
8) Bake – for my oven it takes around 13 minutes, but you’ll need to keep an eye on yours to determine the best time. Take them out when they’re light golden around the edges only – the middle might still look raw but they’ll continue to cook and harden after you’ve taken them out.
9) When you’ve taken them out the oven, leave them alone!
10) When they’re almost cool, demolish them.
You can thank me later.