…and then some
Are you up to date with the chocolate chip cookie war? Have you sampled the wares of the contenders? You, like me, may be trying to fit into a wedding dress soon, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t at least try them. And if trying involves making, baking, spooning globs of batter into your mouth, well hey, I won’t tell. I mean, you have to judge these heavy-weights in all stages, right? With part of the flour sifted in, all of the flour, with the chocolate chips in, just out of the oven, (in two minute intervals–the taste changes!) finally cooled, the next day for breakfast and lunch and dinner, cause you know, they age.
So, I’ve mentioned these guys before, as has The Washington Post, Molly Wizenberg, Heidi Swanson (she did hers in a skillet–one HUGE cookie!) Every thing everyone has said about them is true. And yet they still look humble and homely.
After reading this post over at The Traveler’s Lunchbox, and scouring the comments, it seemed clear to me that a face-off was necessary. With a photo like that and a post titled “The Holy Grail of Cookies,” the Indiana Jones in me was summoned. And my belly grumbled. I’m pretty sure it said, “Refined Sugar, getinmybelly!” Don’t have to ask me twice. There might have been a few picket signs.
So, I begin with Kim Boyce’s legendary whole wheat chocolate chippers. I used Orangette’s adaptation of the recipe, which I’ll repost here. I toss my butter in the microwave for about 15 seconds because I am so last-minute (or impatient). If you let the dough firm up in the fridge as Molly suggests, no hay problema.
And seriously, if you don’t pop whole globs of the batter into your mouth, please send me the name of your therapist. I’ll be doing tasting intervals and taking copious cookie notes. Next week, I’ll be back with part deux of the cookie wars with front-line reporting.
Until then, I’m off to San Diego for the week. Don’t you worry, I’ll pack me some WWCCCs in a bag for the flight. (And the baggage claim, and the taxi ride, and…)
Kim Boyce’s Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted by Molly Wizenberg:
3 cups whole wheat flour (LK’s note–ww is a must for these cookies to make you squeal. And to make them appear healthy. So you can eat more. 😉
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes (see note above)
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into ¼- and ½-inch pieces, or bittersweet chips
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. (If you have no parchment, you can butter the sheets.)
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk to blend.
Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl, and blend on low speed until the flour is just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the chocolate, and mix on low speed until evenly combined. (If you have no stand mixer, you can do all of this with handheld electric beaters and/or a large, sturdy spoon.) Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and then use your hands to turn and gently massage the dough, making sure all the flour is absorbed.
Scoop mounds of dough about 3 tablespoons in size onto the baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie. (I was able to fit about 8 cookies on each sheet, staggering them in three rows.)
Bake the cookies for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly browned. Transfer the cookies, still on parchment, to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
**Linsey’s recommendation: Prepare the dough, (eat a bunch of it), go for a run (so you can feel okay about eating more of it), bake the cookies, and find a neighbor, lover or friend who will match you cookie for cookie. Otherwise, I’m afraid you’ll (if I’m any indication) eat every last one of them. And then you’ll never fit into that god damn wedding dress.