We are definitely going to talk about Jacque Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies, but first — weekend homework: Go see 100 Foot Journey.
I was skeptical. Mostly because I’m impatient. It’s hard for me to sit through an entire movie. That’s two hours guys. Of sitting still. Very difficult. I won’t give anything away, but it’s about Indian food crossing borders into France. Talk about two very different cultures and cuisines.
Here’s what’s to like about it: Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal (lead male). The former for obvious reasons and the latter because he is HOTTT (just wait til he gets scruffy in hour two, heyyyoooo).
But the foooood. They cook in these big tandoor ovens made of earth or clay. You can practically smell the food through the movie screen. You can just imagine the warmth and the aromas wafting around in big poofs, rising out of dishes, swirling through the open air.
And they taste the foods with their hands. Not fingers, like you’re thinking. We are all guilty of dipping our fingers into something. But they use their whole hands. Multiple fingers, and palms even, scooping food out of a pot for a taste. It is so food-world seductive.
“Food is memories.” That’s a good theme in there too. I’m getting all food nostalgic now just thinking about it. But we all know that’s true. A Russian friend gave me a home-baked poppy seed roll last year and I nearly cried when I bit into it because I suddenly had these memories of Grandma D, making Polish Makowiec, which I hated as a kid. “Food is memories.”
You will laugh, you will cry, you will drool over Manish Dayal (and the food too).
And so, I’ve got this very American dessert recipe for you. I’m sorry if you were expecting Indian food after all that. I will get around to it eventually. Where can I get garam masala?
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups bread 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 cups
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate chips at least 60 percent cacao content
- Sea salt
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Scoop dough onto baking sheet in balls about the size of a golf ball. Bake until golden brown but still soft, about 16 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Best eaten warm!
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Chocolate chip cookies are literally my favorite food and this recipe is THE BOMB. I think the key here really is to refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours. Do that! I know when you want cookies, you want them now. Trust me, I KNOW. But this is what makes these cookies PERFECT. When you shape them into golf balls and then melt and bake them in the oven, that is what gets them crispy on the outside, but still gooey on the inside — because the inside was so cold when you stuck it in the oven!
When I was a city-slicking waitress, my manager-friend and I would often bring each other treats. (He also had an affinity for chocolate and sugar and I had to stay on his good side somehow.) There was a Jacque Torres Chocolate near the restaurant, so this cookie became a regular. At the shop, they keep their cookies on a warmer all day and I have fond memories of nibbling on one while watching ice skaters at Rockefeller Center in the middle of freezer February. Food is memories.
The BBF’s rating: He ate about eight of them, soooo… that’s good right? I don’t even think I asked because if he gave them anything less than a 5, I would have been so disappointed.