Once in a great while, you have a bite of food that so transports you, that so delights your tastebuds, that (not to put too fine a point on it) tastes so #^@%ing good you just have to swear. When faced with perfection, the imperfect human resorts instinctively to rage.
These cookies may trigger that atavistic urge to rage. They have no business tasting this good, and I’m both angered and thrilled that they do.
I’m not arguing. Not yet.
I took some liberties with the recipe as presented in the NYT: since I keep neither white bread flour nor white pastry flour in the house (and bolstered by Orangette’s successful use of all-purpose flour), I used the King Arthur unbleached white flour I do stock. I didn’t have couverture chocolate lying around, either, so instead used a combination of bittersweet eating chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips. I also made half a batch, requiring some tricky math and half-assed measuring on the fly, which no doubt upset the ratios slightly.
Why, you may well be asking, am I toying freely with such a renowned recipe? Ah, but the recipe’s real revelation isn’t ingredients; it’s process. The dough must rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours; 36 would be better. (You should have thought of this yesterday.) This chilling period purportedly allows the flour to hydrate fully and gives the finished cookie a deeper, richer complexity of flavor than simple chewy sweetness.
note: The recipe calls for kosher salt in the dough and coarse sea salt dusted on the scooped cookie. Be aware that Morton kosher salt packs more densely than Diamond brand; skimp on the salt measurement if you’re using Morton. I didn’t, and my cookies were a leeeeeeetle too salty with the dusting of sea salt. Poor me, burdened with ever-so-slightly salty cookies — however shall I muddle along?
With unselfish devotion to SCIENCE!, The Fella and I threw ourselves into the sacrifice of research: I baked off two cookies from the unaged dough and — sigh — we had to eat them. They were delicious: sweet with crispy edges and hints of chewiness around the edge, but a bit too tangy from salt, with a limp frailness, and decidedly greasy.
Thanks to the time constraints of the Sandwich Party, I baked another test batch after 20 hours of aging, and I’m pleased to report a definite improvement: more balanced flavor with hints of molasses depth, firmer body, and though they’re still very buttery, I would never describe these cookies as “greasy.”
I’ll report back on the 36 hour batch, assuming we make it that long.
Once the cookies were baked and cooled, I gilded the #^@&ing lily: I made ice cream sandwiches. I spread slightly softened ice cream on the cool cookies, sandwiched them together, and popped everything in the freezer to set up nicely.
An hour later, the result: ice cream chocolate chip son-of-a-&!%*#wiches. Rich swirls of chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwiched between elegant sea-salt dusted chocolate-flecked cookies.
Uh-oh. I feel the rage coming on.
A salty cookie doesn’t have to mean salty language. In deference to the delicate sensibilities of our readers, I’ve expurgated the foulness of my filthy, filthy mouth.