Tomorrow (as you’ll see in the next post) I’m hoofing it to Baked in Red Hook so I can do a live-streaming interview with Eric Wolitzky, everyone’s favorite contestant from the debut season of “Top Chef: Just Desserts.” You probably didn’t know this, but I met Eric years ago at my friend Jimmy’s apartment. It was a holiday party and I remember Eric brought these divine chocolate truffles and I thought, “This guy’s got talent!” Even though he was just eliminated, Eric’s performance on “Just Desserts” was truly remarkable; he had fancy pants three-starred Michelin pastry chefs wowed with his “humble” (humble? hardly!) bakery treats. One such treat was this chocolate chip cookie.
I didn’t mean to recreate this chocolate chip cookie at home. But last week I found myself on the “Just Desserts” website and there was a video of Citizen Cake owner/baker Elizabeth Faulkner recreating Eric’s cookie. (Somehow, I can’t find that video anymore on the site, but here’s the link to Eric’s recipe, which I’ll re-type below.)
Two things intrigued me about this recipe: (1) you melt the butter first; and (2) you do everything by weight.
Part 2 of the above sentence shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s ever baked professionally. Almost everything is done by weight: it’s way more exact. Only I’ve never baked anything by weight and now that I possess my own kitchen scale, I felt like it was time to try. So that was appealing. And (1) melting the butter? What’s that about? I had to give these cookies a whirl.
The results, as you can see in the above photo, were pretty spectacular. True, I normally prefer a flatter chocolate chip cookie that’s crisp and caramelized on the outside and chewy in the middle (see: The Best Cookies of Your Life) but these were more like a comforting mound of chocolate chip cookie goodness. The kind of cookie you’d be happy to find wrapped in parchment in your lunchbox at school. The kind of cookie that stays chewy for several days after you bake it.
So here’s how you do it.
[Note: I halved the recipe and even that was a lot; I froze the cookies I didn’t bake on a cookie sheet in the freezer and then slipped them into a freezer bag. Now I can have hot chocolate chip cookies whenever I want which is why, next time I make this recipe, I’m going to do the full recipe and freeze all the extra.]
340 grams butter
200 grams sugar
400 grams brown sugar
21 ounces flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
21 ounces chocolate chips [I used Ghiardelli bittersweet chocolate bars that I chopped by hand]
1. Melt butter, cool slightly.
2. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the sugars with the melted butter just until incorporated (you don’t want to work in too much air.)
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
4. Add the eggs to the mixer bowl slowly, one at a time, until they’re all incorporated.
5. On very low speed, add the flour until almost fully incorporated and then add all the chocolate. Mix until just combined.
6. Using an ice cream scoop, mound the dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets and (this is my own technique) wet your hand and flatten the cookies slightly.
Bake at 325 for 14 minutes or until golden brown. Voila! Now you’re a superstar chocolate chip cookie baker, just like Eric.