As Thomas Keller writes in Ad Hoc At Home, his latest and fourth cookbook, "a crème brûlée is something you get introduced to, often when you're eating out: 'Oh, this is a crème brûlée.' But unlike crème brûlée, cookies have been there since the beginning. There's a comfort in things that are with us all our lives. My favorite? Without hesitation: chocolate chip. Ideally, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside." And so for his recipe, turn the page.
Chocolate chip cookies
Note: From Ad Hoc At Home, by Thomas Keller with Dave Cruz, along with Susie Heller, Michael Ruhlman and Amy Vogler. Keller notes that after you chop the chocolate, sift it to remove any tiny fragments to give the cookies a cleaner look. If you like softer cookies, don't underbake them, just mist them with water before baking.
Makes: About 30 3-inch cookies.
2 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 ounces 55% chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
5 ounces 70 to 72% chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark brown sugar, preferably molasses sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1. Position the oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
2. Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl. Stir in the salt.
3. Put the chips in a fine-mesh basket strainer and shake to remove any chocolate "dust" (small fragments).
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat half the butter on medium speed until fairly smooth. Add both sugars and the remaining butter, and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Mix in the chocolate.
5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the dough with a spatula to be sure that the chocolate is evenly incorporated. The dough or shaped cookies can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks. Freeze shaped cookies on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer containers. (Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator before baking.)