Saturday, August 27, 2011

jacques torres' chocolate chip cookies and hurricane irene

Provisions to last me 3 - 5 days? check
Valuables gathered from the basement? check
iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry charged? check
Flashlights, batteries and candles? check
Bathtub full of water? check
A "to go" bag packed? where am I going?
Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies? CHECK

So I've definitely fallen off my white sugar wagon but I DID make these giant cookies from organic sugars. Which is OK in my book and under the current circumstances I'm in, why the heck not?

It's no secret that some of the states along the East Coast are about to be hit with Hurricane Irene. Who knows if all this "talk" is a bunch of hoopla, but I guess it's better to be prepared. And when I say prepared, I mean baking up a batch of Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies. Well, I admit I didn't just whip these up because you need to let the dough rest for a minimum of 24 hours and up to 72. You see, I was supposed to bring these to my co-workers today but thanks to Irene, I'll be hunkered down in chocolate chip cookie heaven.

Chocolate Chip Cookies a la Jacques Torres
Thank you NY Times for posting the original recipe in 2008

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt ***Rats!!! I totally forgot to do this today!!!***and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods or online here.

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