Monday, August 15, 2011

I am not a patient person...

There I said it. I am, very often, not in the least bit patient.  Rephrase. I am not patient when it comes to baking.  I am enthralled by the idea of spontaneous baking. The type of baking that involves early mornings, aprons, last minute house guests, and the kind of recipe you've made so often you don't even need to reference the tattered hand-written recipe card. And while this past week did include whipping up a batch of banana bread at 6:30 in the morning, I am starting to realize that somethings are just worth the wait. Some cookies are worth the wait. Specifically,  these cookies are worth the wait...

I have baked a lot of chocolate chip cookies in my life.  I have also baked a lot of not so great chocolate chip cookies.  Luckily for me, my father is an ardent lover of all things sweet and homemade and easily impressed. He also doesn't discriminate between chewy and crunchy (and I mean burnt) which is great because I have been know, in the past, to be easily distracted in the middle of baking. I have to say now that I live on the other side of the country these cookies may just be worth a plane ride.

Just maybe.  In fact, in the time it takes to prepare these cookies, you could leave Vermont, drive to New York, hop on a plane, arrive in Seattle, jump on the light rail, catch the 5, and arrive at my doorstep just in time for gooey-fresh-baked cookies. Just saying...

Here's the thing with this particular cookie recipe. THEY TAKE 36 HOURS TO REST.  That is a long time. It's a long time for cookies. It's a long time for me. Furthermore, it really shoots my romantic notion of spontaneous baking in the proverbial foot.  However, rather than find another recipe I am resolved to redefining my definition of spontaneity.

Things to know about these cookies: 1. You should really just read the article PERFECTION? HINT because it is well written, detailed, and full of little chocolate chip cookie trivia. 2.  Be patient. Don't bake them right away. But, if we are being honest,  I only made it 30 hours... 3. I used a mix of semi-sweet choc chips and crumbled 60% chocolate. I like the variety in texture the combination gives, but I would like to try a batch with the recommended chocolate disks. If only for the fact that I like some consistency.  4. Don't forget the Seat Salt. I did until I had baked off almost the entire batch of dough. While it was tragic, somewhat salvageable, and yummy nonetheless, I suggest a good sprinkling of sea salt just prior to placing them in the oven.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
New York Times 

2 cups (minus 2 tablespoons) Cake flour
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1.4 light brown sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/4 pound bittersweet chocolate choc chunks, chips, or disks

Sift together dry ingredients, whisk, and set aside.  Cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time. Mix.  Stir in Vanilla. Add in dry ingredients. It will get messy, flour will most likely go everywhere, and will definitely poof up in your face. Get ready.  Add in chocolate pieces, cover tightly, and place in fridge for 24 to 36 hours.  If you forget about it, which you won't I promise, or if you want to bake in batches, which you may, the dough will stay fresh for 72 hours in the fridge.  Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350 for 18 to 20  minutes on parchment paper. Cool. Eat as you will.

I happened to bring this particular batch to a dinner that included fried chicken, biscuits, gravy, and watermelon.  I'd say that's about right!

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