Searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie has been a pet project of mine for a while, and over the course of the past year I have gone through more pounds of butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips than you can possibly imagine. Honestly, I don't think there's been a cookbook containing a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I haven't tried out for myself.
Even before I received a copy of Ready for Dessert I'd heard a lot about David Lebovitz's chocolate chip cookie recipe and was really looking forward to testing the recipe to see how they measured up.
While the ingredient list for Lebovitz's cookies is pretty standard, there's a step that sets this recipe apart from others I've tried. Once the dough is assembled it's divided into four pieces, rolled into logs and refrigerated until firm. This technique is most commonly associated with icebox or refrigerator cookies. I was curious to see what effect it would have on these otherwise classic chocolate chips.
I sliced up my chilled dough and baked the cookies until just a touch under; Lebovitz advises to pull them out a little early for a softer cookie. How were they? Pretty damn good.
They had my ideal cookie texture profile—crisp around the edges, chewy in the center with plenty of chocolate chunks of varying sizes. Chilling the dough resulted in cookies that didn't flatten into wafers or spread into each other. The size was perfect—small enough to eat a few with a good conscience. I think these just might be my new favorite chocolate chip cookie, sorry Thomas Keller but Lebovitz's cookies have got yours beat.
- 2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (215 g) packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups (about 225 g) nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, or macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 14 ounces (400 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/2- to 1-inch (1.5- to 3-cm) chunks or 3 cups (340 g) chocolate drops
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and chocolate chunks.
On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a log about 9 inches (23 cm) long. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, preferably for 24 hours.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Slice the logs into disks 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick and place the disks 3 inches (8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the nuts or chips crumble out, simply push them back in.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are very lightly browned in the centers, about 10 minutes. If you like soft chocolate chip cookies, as I do, err on the side of underbaking.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Make-ahead and Storage
The dough logs can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. The baked cookies will keep well in an airtight container for up to 4 days.