Whoah, yum! October was good. Very good. We did a lot of cooking and a lot of eating out. Basically, it was a month of stuffing our faces. Fresh ingredients (from the apple orchard and the Farmers Market), meals out (date night at Graffiato, sandwiches at Cowgirl Creamery, a bloggers' brunch at Kramerbooks) and some delicious junk (treats at The Apple House, dinner at Truckeroo). It was a food-filled month punctuated by a Halloween meal of Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings and a fist-full of Halloween candy.
In addition to baking lots of apple desserts, I also discovered The BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe. Now before I go on, I should confess something: I don't actually like chocolate chip cookies. I know, I know, that's un-American, or perhaps even un-human. And that's not to say that I dislike them enough to not eat them (they are cookies after all!), but the chocolate chip cookie is my last choice cookie. I'd choose a sugar cookie or a peanut butter cookie over a chocolate chip any day. (The exception to this is the dough - I love chocolate chip cookie dough. So much better than the actual cookie.)
So you have to believe me when I tell you that these cookies are phenomenal. To the point of me hoarding them. And considering punching someone in the face if they were to take the last cookie...
The recipe is from A Tender Crumb and is a variation of Jacques Torres' (aka Mr. Chocolate) famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. (I had bookmarked the original recipe years ago and didn't realize I was making a translation of Jacques' recipe until the cookies were already in the oven.) Anyway, these cookies are awesome. Most cookies taste best warm and straight from the oven, but these cookies actually taste even better once they've cooled down. And even better the next day - the centers are chewy and gooey with chocolate (you will end up with chocolate all over your face when eating these - no matter what your age) and the edges are delicately crisp. Perfection.
A few things to consider if you make this recipe:
- The Tender Crumb recipe is actually a doubled version of Jacques' recipe. It makes a boatload of dough. The dough is very thick and it almost busted my mixer and overflowed the bowl. I suggest using a powerful mixer and a big ass bowl.
- Holy chocolate, batman! This recipe uses a lot of freaking chocolate. TWO pounds to be exact. (Use broken up chocolate bars, not chips.) That will run you about $25. Yes. There is $25 worth of chocolate in this recipe. It's insane. And totally worth it.
- The Tender Crumb recipe omits this step, but I suggest sifting the dry ingredients together. The dough was so thick that I feared I wasn't getting all the ingredients thoroughly incorporated without sifting first.
- Yes, you do have to use both bread flour and pastry flour. Do not substitute all-purpose flour. The texture of these cookies relies on the fancy flours.
- Make big cookies! Bigger is better. I used golf-ball sized balls of dough and it yielded about forty 5" cookies. (Your results may vary if your willpower to not eat the raw dough is stronger than mine!) I got perfect results when they were baked for 16 minutes.
- Because of the aforementioned boatload of dough, I rolled all the dough into balls and put the extras in the freezer. (And then I put an alarm on the freezer should anyone try to steal my precious dough! It's mine! All miiiiiiiiiiine!) This way you can bake 6-8 cookies at a time and have pre-rolled balls of dough in the freezer ready to pop in the oven next time you have a cookie craving.
(Now back away from my cookies and make your own!)
What we were eating and cooking this month: apples and cookies (what else do you need?)
*This post brought to you by a big bottle of something from the liquor store - which I am headed out to get right now since my computer crashed and deleted this post multiple times. Cheers!