Jacques Torres, the famous chocolatier, published this recipe in the New York Times in 2008, and since then it has been regarded as one of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes of all time. I’ve been making these cookies since then, and as often happens with those tried-and-true favorites, I’ve adapted it to my taste to the extent that I can’t really pass it off as 100% his recipe anymore. To me, these are The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Known Universe.

What I haven’t changed:

  1. Using half bread flour and half cake flour somehow does create a better cookie than using straight AP flour. Trust me, I’ve tried both ways.
  2. The general formula for the recipe elements is spot on.
  3. Aging the cookie dough for at least 24 hours contributes a depth of flavor missing in other cookies.

 

What I have changed:

  1. I measure dry ingredients by volume. I don’t like the variation in consistency when using traditional measures for baking. You really need to use a baking scale to get this right!
  2. I use half butter and half shortening for a cookie that has more of a bakery-crisp texture.
  3. I double the vanilla and also add rum, which gives the cookies a touch more cookie aroma and warm brown sugar-y flavor.
  4. I cut back on the chocolate, and use a mix of chips and chopped chocolate with a higher cacao content. The original recipe calls for 2 ½ POUNDS of Torres’ 60% cacao féves, which are very large chocolate discs. I find that using a mix of chips and chopped chocolate, I can cut out a half pound of chocolate without any noticeable difference.
  5.  I freeze the dough in logs instead of aging it in the fridge. This is just way easier.
  6. I slice and bake instead of portioning out balls of dough.

 

I have never made just a single batch of these chocolate chip cookies, so I’m giving you the recipe for a double batch. Part of the joy of these cookies is having cookie dough in the freezer for fresh, warm cookies anytime! They’re great for last minute desserts as is or sandwiched with ice cream, and because they’re frozen in logs, you can just slice off a couple anytime the chocolate chip cookie mood strikes you. (Which is often.)

Through much trial and error, I have also developed a high-altitude version of this recipe which is included at the end of this article. If you’re above 5,000 feet, use that one!

You will need:

1 ¼ cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups butter-flavored Crisco
20 oz. firmly packed light brown sugar
16 oz. white sugar
1 Tbsp Diamond kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp rum
17 oz. cake flour
17 oz. bread flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
30 oz. chocolate, preferably 72% cacao, combo of chips and chopped
Optional: Sea salt for finishing

Add the butter, Crisco, brown sugar, white sugar, and salt to a mixer bowl and mix on low until incorporated. Then kick your mixer into high gear and whip it for at least five minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. This stage can take up to ten minutes if you start with colder butter. You really can’t overmix at this stage, so if in doubt, let it go a couple more minutes. You want your mixture to be very airy.

Scrape down your bowl, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and rum and mix well.

Sift in your bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cake flour. Sifting really does make a difference in the lightness of your cookies! Don’t skip it.

Since you’re adding the flour in this step, this is where the gluten enters your cookie dough. Overmixing at this point can start to toughen up your cookies. I like to switch to the dough hook on my stand mixer at this point, and mix just until it is blended in. There can actually be a couple streaks of flour and you’ll be fine, because you still have to mix in the chocolate. You just need it to be about 95% of the way to uniformity.

Add your chocolate to the bowl, then use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir it in. Make sure you get the sides and bottom of the bowl scraped into the mix so you don’t have flour pockets to deal with later.

Now comes the hard part: not making cookies immediately! But it really is worth it, I promise

Portion out the cookie dough onto parchment paper and roll into logs of whatever size you’d like. I generally do mine about about the same length as a tube of store-bought cookie dough, but fatter around (about 3-3 ½ inches across).

Once you’ve got your tubes wrapped in parchment paper, wrap again in aluminum foil (this will keep it from getting freezer burnt if it’s in the freezer for a long time). I like to write the baking instructions on the tubes, so I don’t have to look it up later. (I bake mine in a funky high-altitude air fryer situation, so stick with what the recipe says and not what I’m writing on these!

Let the tubes age in the freezer for at least 24-72 hours, or up to a year.

When you’re ready for some gooey chocolate chip cookies, preheat your oven to 350F. Unwrap a tube of dough (keep the parchment intact!!) and slice it into thick slices (about ¾ to 1 inch)

Put the parchment you used to wrap it onto your baking sheet because you hate doing dishes as much as I do.  Sprinkle your dough slices with sea salt and bake on the baking sheet for 16-20 minutes, or until the cookies are just slightly getting golden brown but still soft (underbaked is better than overbaked, just make sure the batter isn’t still completely raw in the middle)

The second hardest part is not eating these cookies straight from the oven, but you will burn your whole face off if you do. Give them 2 minutes to rest on the baking sheets, then transfer them to cooling racks for at least another 3 minutes. Then pour a big glass of milk and let the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Known Universe change your life.

HIGH ALTITUDE RECIPE:

Proceed as directed with the original recipe, using the following measurements.

1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, soft room temp
1 ¼ cups butter-flavored Crisco
18 oz. brown sugar
15 oz. white sugar
1 Tbsp diamond kosher salt
4 jumbo eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla
2 Tbsp rum
17 oz. bread flour
18 oz. cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 ½ tsp baking powder
30 oz. chocolate, preferably 72% cacao, combo of chips and chopped

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