Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

Last year, food writer David Leite went on a quest to find and create the perfect chocolate chip cookie. In this mouth-watering article, he described how he investigated the best cookies in New York City with the precision of a fine detective. The result: a cookie recipe that strays far from the familiar recipe on the back of a chocolate chip cookie bag. And the resulting cookie, both cakey and crisp with a remarkable balance of salt and sweet, is fantastic. It is one of those never-fail recipes that impresses anyone who is lucky enough to eat a cookie before said cook devours the batch. It stores perfectly for picnics and stays for a few days (again if you don't eat them in one night.)But what Mr. Leite didn’t point out was that with just a few tweaks, this is just the perfect recipe for harried parents. Because this delicious cookie not only can be made in advance, but the dough actually improves with flavor if it rests for 24 to 48 hours. In fact, unlike typical cookies that need to be eaten while the chocolate is still oozing, my husband insists that the cookies are at their best when they have cooled down.

Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients. I have yet to send the money for the “feves”. Instead I have had success with all of the following: chocolate chips, chocolate chunks and even chopped up chocolate bars from Trader Joes. As for the bread and cake flour, they are easily available at supermarkets. And once you have both flours in the house, you will find yourself turning to them again and again, whether for bagels, or cupcakes.

Lastly, if you haven’t yet at a chance, discover David Leite. He is an outstanding food writer, and creator of the foodie website, Leite's Culinaria. He is also the author of a Portuguese cook book, The New Portuguese Table, that will be out on August 18th. Finally, I can attest from personal experience that he is a gifted teacher. While he isn’t currently teaching any courses, I was lucky enough to take a “virtual” course with him last year. Just check out his website for more information.

As for the recipe, after Leite's article, my favorite blogs interpreted his recipe. Molly of Orangette cooked them here, while Deb of Smitten Kitchen created her adaptation here. I have tried all versions and they are all so very good. However, here is the original.

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