I am about to share with you one of my staple secret recipes. That’s right, secret. It’s one of those recipes that when people ask, I lie and say it’s a family secret and have sworn to secrecy. That’s how good these cookies are. In fact, this is the cookie recipe I’m most known for. I’ve always been big on the baking of cookies. To me, cookies are the ideal snack, breakfast, pick-me-up, mood lifter and general miracle worker. As a result, I have made a LOT of cookies and am very critical of each batch. Magically, these cookies seem to turn out perfectly each time. The really critical part is the cooking so don’t be afraid to hang out by the oven checking on them when you bake these for the first time. Just remember: food looks different in and out of the oven so when you check on these delicious morsels, remove the entire tray from the oven. Also, the cookies will continue to cook for about 3 mins after you take them out of the oven. My suggestion is cook each tray for slightly different times (i.e. 1 tray for 12mins another for 13 etc) the first time you bake them and then do a taste-off to get onto your oven. If you find you like the cookies best at the lower/higher side of the cooking time, you can use that as a general ‘cooking time rule’ for all cookie recipes. I know this all sounds like a lot of bother, but trust me, it’s worth it. One word of warning: once you make these cookies, there is no going back. This is your last chance.
This recipe is based on Jaques Torres chocolate chip cookies. I skip the cooling of the dough (really I’m just impatient to get these cookies out of the oven and into my mouth) and prefer cutting up semi-sweet chocolate instead of using chocolate chips so every now and then you’ll get a bite with a massive hunk of chocolate. YUM!
The recipe makes 90-100 cookies which is great if you’re baking for a large group, but I usually half the recipe. You could also freeze half the dough in single cookie balls, but I’ve actually never tried that. Any tips?
- 2 cups unsalted butter (unsalted is KEY. It has a different melting point then salted butter allowing for gooier cookies that will still stay together)
- 1 ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups + 2 tbsp pastry flour (unfortunately pastry flour is necessary. The cookies just aren’t the same with only all-purpose.)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt (don’t skimp)
- 1 tbsp vanilla (I usually don’t measure it, I figure more vanilla doesn’t hurt anybody)
- 2 lbs semi-sweet chocolate cut into chunks
- Before you even start thinking about making these, take the butter out of the fridge. It needs to be good and soft for this recipe. In a pinch I’ll admit that I cut the butter up in a glass bowl and place it in the preheating oven for about 2 mins, but this is not ideal. You end up with some melted butter and some that is still really cold. Allowing it to soften on the counter is much better.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (if your oven is a hot, non-convection one like mine, go for 325)
- Using a big chefs knife, carefully cut up the chocolate to pieces about twice the size of the average chocolate chip. Be careful because the chocolate chunks tend to slip away from the knife. Take your time and you’ll eventually get a technique going.
- In a large bowl, mix both flours in with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a VERY large bowl, I’m talking salad serving size, beat the butter in with the sugars until fluffy.
- Next, add the eggs and the vanilla and beat well scraping down the sides occasionally to make sure everything gets incorporated.
- Now add the dries to the wets ⅓ at a time stirring them in slightly before you blend to prevent covering your kitchen in flour. Note that this makes a stiff batter that is difficult to stir and deal with, but tastes fantastic.
- Finally, it’s chocolate chunk time. Hand stir in the chocolate chunks until they are evenly distributed. For this you’ll want to bring out your heftiest wooden spoon. This is a very thick dough and I’ve lost a few wimpy wooden spoons to this batter.
- Place tea spoon sized dollops about 1 ½ inches apart on a cookie sheet (mine are in pretty rough condition so I line mine with parchment paper) and roll them into a ball. Rolling the dough is key since the cookies will spread less during cooking making the centre gooier which is always a good thing. As a rule, I roll all my cookies before baking.
- Bake at 350F for 10-14mins. If you don’t have a convection oven (like me), only bake them on the top rack. I usually go for 13mins rotating the trays half way through baking.
- Place the sheets onto wire racks (or upside down muffin tins) and allow to cool completely.
- EAT and enjoy