I recently “tried” The New York Times chocolate chip cookies recipe.
That is, I virtually tried it.
Wait. Wait. Not virtually as in almost. Virtually, as in…
My sister (who’s in New York) messaged me (I’m in Maryland) that she was trying a new chocolate chip cookies recipe.
She shared the link to said chocolate chip cookies recipe, and then—after drooling a bit—I promptly asked her to photo-document the whole thing so that I could share them with you, dear readers, for the real life, “Yeah, but how good are they really?”
Because, as we all know, there are often recipes and food photos that look terribly delicious, and don’t always pan out the way you hope.
And I was wondering.
It took me about ten seconds to skim the accompanying recipe quip and notice two things that made me go, “Hmmm…”:
1. The recipe is labeled as “Easy.”
2. It includes the following message:
It’s a little more complicated, and you’ll have to plan ahead: after assembling the dough, you must chill it for at least 24 hours before baking it, and preferably up to 36.
It’s not that I immediately thought The New York Times chocolate chip cookies recipe would be bad, of course.
It’s just that “easy” and “it’s a little more complicated” don’t always go into the same sentence together.
So, maybe I entered into the wait-and-watch with a little skepticism.
YOU HAVE TO WAIT AT LEAST 24 HOURS TO EAT THE COOKIES AFTER MAKING THE DOUGH.
I’ll come back to that, and whether they’re worth the wait, later.
The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
My sister made the dough almost exactly like the recipe dictated.
There were, you see, a few areas where practicality and … preference … encouraged a little switcheroo.
Like me, she has issues with unsalted butter.
As in, we think it tastes like dish water.
Like, pasty dingy dish water.
Obviously if you’re using salted butter in recipes, you need to account for the extra salt, and adjust accordingly.
We do that. It works. Even in baking.
Die-hard unsalted butter purists will say that you can’t.
That controlling the taste of baked goods (or any other recipe) is pivotal on the use of saltless butter.
I’ve tried to live the life of having both salted and unsalted butter in the fridge (because I’m not going to use unsalted butter on warm, crusty bread … I’m just not), and it didn’t work for me.
The unsalted butter never got used.
In fact, if memory serves, I gave the unused unsalted butter to our neighbors who happened to be on the side of the unsalted butter lovers.
They were happy; I was happy.
But, enough about butter.
The other switch was with the flour.
Instead of cake flour (Who keeps that in their pantry? Maybe the unsalted butter users…), my sister used a cake flour substitute she found online (a magical mix-up of all-purpose and cornstarch), along with the bread flour.
Everything else matched up with the recipe’s directions, including making the dough and letting it rest in the fridge for twenty-four hours before baking, and weighing the dough in precise scoops before placing each of the perfect scoops on a lined baking sheet.
Once they were done baking, she described the cookies as, “Crispy just at the edges and gooey chewy in the middle. Huge. Perfect for ice cream sandwiches.”
So I had to ask:
Were they worth the precise measurement, the twenty-four hour wait, and all the ingredient subbing—would she make The New York Times chocolate chip cookies again?
Yes! I’d make them again, they taste REALLY good. Maybe the best I’ve made. But it isn’t an, “Ooo I want to make cookies!” recipe, because you have to chill the dough so long. It is easy though. The steps give a good amount of detail.
There you have it. I may have to forgo my usual chocolate chip cookie next time in favor of the fancier “chocolate chip cookies of The New York Times” recipe. At least once.
Either that or make a giant batch of dough and keep it in the fridge for cookies whenever!
(PS: I wonder if freezing them in scoops is an option?)