New York Times Chocolate Chips Cookies {from Jacques Torres}

I’ve been wanting to make the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies since 2008 and finally got around to it. Better late than never.

The Times recipe is adapted from Jacques Torres and some people refer to these cookies as ‘The Jacques Torres Recipe’ instead of the New York Times Recipe. Whatever title it’s given, the recipe has been discussed, dissected, and now I’m tossing my thoughts into the ring, too.

The recipe is full of nuances and uniquities, making it unlike any other chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve tried. The full recipe yields 18 five-inch diameter cookies that use a whopping 3.5 ounces of raw dough each. That’s two to three times the size of most homemade cookies and puts these squarely into the jumbo-bakery-sized cookie realm. We didn’t need 18 whoppers all at once, fearing they would go stale before we’d eat them all, and so I halved the recipe, yielding nine jumbo cookies and one slightly smaller cookie. You could likely make the full batch of dough and either freeze the pre-baked balls of dough or freeze the finished cookies. I’m sure either freeze similarly well to other doughs or finished cookies if you prefer to make the full batch.

Halving the recipe was a good choice because the cookies are great on baking day as expected, but by the second day they were so-so, and what lingered into the third day was not my kind of cookie. They were hard, dry, and a bit crumbly. Some people expect that cookies just don’t hold up into the second and third day, but I am used to the Cooks Illustrated Thick And Chewy Recipe and various deviations I’ve created with it over the years. Those cookies do stay soft for days, thanks to a higher ratio of brown to granulated sugar. Because brown sugar absorbs atmospheric moisture, the cookies, paradoxically, get softer rather than dry out, as time passes.

The NYT recipe is unique in that it calls for two types of flour, bread flour and cake flour. Bread flour has a higher protein level than other flour, about 12.7% protein, which is a couple points higher than all-purpose flour, which is usually in the 1o- to 11.7-percent range, depending on the brand. The higher the protein level,  the more gluten that’s present, the stronger the rise, and also the chewier the resulting item. Bread flour creates chewiness in bread, and as I’ve discovered it does the same for cookies and I loved the resulting extra chewy effect.

Cake flour is on the opposite side of the spectrum. Soft, downy, light, and airy. It’s what angel food cakes and tender-crumbed birthday cakes are made from and although it’s great in cake, it’s typically not used for cookies because it’s too soft and cookies baked with it won’t have good structure. However, because it’s paired in conjunction with the big strongman known as bread flour, the two balance each other.

The downside of using cake flour is that it has a powerful aroma and smells strongly of a box of cake mix. I love the scent of cake mix, and the smell of birthday cake or Funfetti cake, but not inside my chocolate chip cookies. I have a very keen sense of smell and with every bite of chocolate chip cookie, it felt like I was simultaneously eating a white graduation party sheetcake or birthday cake and I did not care for this.

An additional consideration is that the average person may not keep both bread and cake flour on hand. I do, so not a biggie for me, but a consideration nonetheless if you have to purchase two bags of flour just to make cookies. However, buy the bread flour anyway because I have lots of bread recipes coming and you’ll need it.

The next consideration is that using a digital food scale is nearly mandatory for these cookies. Many grocery stores sell them in the baking supplies aisle near the flour and sugar and if you order online, you can find deals. I use the EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale in red. It’s $25, I’ve had it for years,it’s not super fancy, but it gets the job done. I don’t bake by weight as much as smart people in other countries tend to do, but when I do, I’m reminded that I need to do it more often because it makes things so much easier, faster, and more accurate.

For example, bread flour is heavy and dense, and cake flour is light and airy. If measuring by volume in traditional measuring cups, ‘1 cup flour’ can be an inconsistent measurement, whereas measuring by weight on a scale is absolute. The scale also made halving the recipe a breeze. Halving numbers in ounces is much easier than trying to halve fractions and when I have cookie dough on the brain, I’d rather not try to halve fractions in my head with my stand mixer whipping and flour flying.

Additionally, there is no way I could have accurately guessed what a 3.5-ounce mound of dough looked like without using a scale. It’s much more dough than I would have guesstimated, and without a scale, I would have grossly under-estimated it.

The next nuance is that the dough must be chilled for at least 24 to 36 hours before baking. If you are in a must-have-cookies-now mood, these are not the cookies for you as they do require at least a day’s worth of advance planning. The chilled dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. In general, chilling cookie dough not only results in cookies that spread less when baked and that stay puffier, but in the case of these cookies, it’s been suggested this waiting period allows the flavors and flours to meld. Since I always chill my dough before baking cookies, sometimes up to four days beforehand, the chilling and waiting period was nothing out of the ordinary for me.

I actually find it easier to make cookie dough one day, store dough balls in the fridge in a little container, and bake them just before I want fresh and hot cookies. Sometimes I bake two balls of dough at a time because nothing beast a just-baked cookie. If within four days or so I haven’t baked off the dough, I toss it into a labeled ziplock and freeze it. When you’re ready to bake the frozen dough, you don’t even need to thaw it and I find baking for an additional minute or two is all that’s necessary.

The recipe also calls for specialty chocolate; chocolate disks which are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate, and Valrhona fèves, which are oval-shaped chocolate pieces, sold at Whole Foods. I cannot afford to use high end chocolate in cookies, especially in ones I wasn’t sure I’d love. Instead I used my trusty Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips and they were more than fine. Whatever kind of chocolate you use, you’ll need lots of it. Halving the recipe required 10 ounces of chocolate and so for a yield of nine cookies in the half batch, that’s over one ounce of chocolate per cookie. A standard bag of chocolate chips usually has ten to twelve ounces of chips in it; so for nine cookies, essentially a whole bag of chocolate chips is needed.

When mixing the chips into the dough, it almost felt like the dough couldn’t possibly hold one more chip and I learned by making this recipe that I can stuff more chocolate into other cookie doughs I make; it will all magically hold somehow. I loved that the cookies were bursting with chocolate chips and were intensely chocolaty. The one ounce-plus of chocolate per cookie is like eating a little chocolate candy bar baked within a cookie. Rich much?

When it came time to bake, almost two full days after mixing the dough, 44 hours to be exact, I weighed the dough balls to ensure I was doing everything as prescribed, down to the tenth-of-an-ounce.

The dough for one NYT cookie is like three of my normal cookies rolled into one massive hunk. Below are three one-ounce mounds that I smooshed together to create one bowling ball of dough. Well, baseball at least. The theoretical advantage to baking cookies this big is that the edges should bake up chewy, while the centers should stay soft. In reality, this theory did not work well with these cookies so I was very skeptical that the baseballs would give me the chewy-yet-soft results I wanted, but they delivered.

I learned something very valuable by making this recipe and if for no other reason than this discovery, I am glad I made these cookies. Since making the NYT cookies, I’ve tried making other types of cookies using two to 2.25-ounces of dough and realize I like them better than my typical one- to 1.25-ounce cookies. Sometimes bigger is better, to a point. I like cookies in the two-ounce range or slightly over, but 3.5 is just too big for a snack for me and is more like a meal, via one cookie.

I did not sprinkle sea salt on them before baking, a personal choice in the interest of taste-testing comparison. I wanted ‘classic’ chocolate chip cookies like I grew up with and since my mom and Grandma never baked cookies with sea salt, I omitted it here.

The recipe indicates to bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes at 350F. Because they’re huge, they need more time to bake than typical cookies. I baked the cookies one tray at a time because I have one ‘perfect’ rack in my oven and took no chances with these 44-hours-in-the-making bundles of joy. I baked the first batch of six cookies for 18 minutes and the second batch of four cookies for 16 1/2 minutes. I strongly preferred the 16 1/2-minute cookies and in my oven, baking for 20 minutes according to the recipe, would have ruined them. At 18 minutes, the edges were browned and the tops were on the glossy side; at 16.5 minutes the edges were slightly less browned and the tops were glossier, but still set. I allowed the cookies to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes, then I placed them on a wire rack. They firmed up very dramatically during the ten minutes and by the time I transferred them to the rack, they had essentially finished cooling.

In any recipe, I tend to use the lower end of listed ranges and treat them as guidelines, not absolutes. Let common sense and your personal taste preferences be your guides when you deem something done. I frequently calibrate and test my oven temperature, and know that it’s functioning up to par. However, I believe baking times in many recipes are too lengthy to create soft and chewy cookies. I prefer Mrs. Field’s style cookies, very ooey and gooey, and overbaking is not the way to my heart. With most any cookie recipe, if you wait to pull them from the oven until they look done, most of the time as they cool, they will set up firmer and crispier than ultimately desired. These were just on the edge of that cliff and in my oven, 16 1/2 minutes (below) would be the max for future batches.

I wanted to love-love-love these cookies and wanted them to be the last cookie recipe I ever needed. I wanted to give them an A+ and if I was going by looks alone, they look exactly like a cookie ‘should’ look to me, and for appearance they get an A+. But we all know life, and cookies, is about more than just looks.

On baking day, for taste, I give them an A+. Fresh and hot out of the oven, they were simply stunning. Then again, most cookies are. In terms of texture, they center is tender and the edges are very chewy. If you like a chewy, sturdy, firm cookie that you really have to use your jaw to cut through, you will love these. They are the opposite of these, which melt in your mouth. There is nothing soft and airy about them, thanks in large part to the bread flour.

My major complaint is that the cookies didn’t age well and by the second and third day they became far too dry, hard, and crumbly for my preference. Especially considering the NYT cookies are so big, and because no one can realistically pound down an entire batch on the first day (holiday parties and feeding football teams not withstanding), I expect the leftovers to hold up for at least 48 to 72 hours. This lack of shelf life is was disappointing and the Cooks Illustrated recipe wins by a long shot here.

The other major issue is that the taste of the cake flour was unpleasantly discernible. I love cake and I love cookies, but not a cake within a cookie when I just want a good, classic, chocolate chip cookie. I do have a sensitive palate and keen sense of taste and smell, and I think things like this may be magnified for me, but even Scott who isn’t a supertaster and normally doesn’t know his zucchini flecks from his chocolate chips, asked me why the cookies smelled and tasted a little bit like birthday cake. Ahem.

Overall, the cookies fall in the B+ to A- range for me. I recommend trying them because you may absolutely love them as millions do and they may become your A+ never-need-another-recipe chocolate chip cookie recipe. Don’t be dissuaded by the two flours, the extended chilling time, or any trepidations in my review. I am simply being very cautious about proclaiming them as the ‘best cookies ever’ because as a food blogger who bakes hundreds of batches of cookies every year, I am judicious and on the tentative side when handing out those solid A ratings. I don’t want every single cookie I make to be ‘the best cookie ever that will change your life’ as I see happen so frequently on blogs.

And on baking day, these were the best and who cares if it was short-lived. That means you’ll just have to eat your way through a batch of these cookies, quickly. There are far worse things.

New York Times Chocolate Chips Cookies {from Jacques Torres} - Soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies based on the very popular recipe. Is it worth the hype? I shared my thoughts about if they're the best-ever chocolate chip cookies or not...

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New York Times Chocolate Chips Cookies {from Jacques Torres}

The cookies are unique in that both bread flour and cake flour are used in the dough; the bread flour gives incredible chewiness and the cake flour keeps them light. The dough must be chilled for at least 24 hours, up to 72 hours, before baking the cookies. Although the active work time with these cookies is no more any other chocolate chip cookie recipe, be sure to budget in for the waiting period. They're jumbo, big bakery-style cookies, just like you'd find at your favorite coffee shop with extra chewy edges and soft centers and I halved the recipe as it's written below; see followup notes under the recipe.

Yield: 18 XL 5-inch cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: about 16 to 20 minutes

Total Time: 24+ hours, for dough chilling

Ingredients:

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (chocolate disks available from Jacques Torres or Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are available at Whole Foods; I used Trader Joe's semi-sweet chocolate chips)

sea salt, for sprinkling over cookie dough prior to baking

Directions:

  1. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt into a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds (I did about 20 to 30 seconds).
  6. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them.
  7. Press plastic wrap against dough (or place dough in an airtight container) and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours (I baked mine just shy of two days later, at 44 hours)
  8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
  9. Scoop six 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie.
  10. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. (I baked first batch of 6 cookies for 18 minutes, and baked second batch of 4 cookies for 16 1/2 minutes; I prefer the 16 1/2 minute cookies). Transfer baking mat or parchment paper 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. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Recipe from the New York Times, adapted from Jacques Torres

I made a half-batch of what is written above and this was plenty. Although the full batch 'only' yields 18 cookies, they are jumbo cookies and 9 jumbo cookies was all we needed at one time before they would go stale. The pre-baked dough or finished cookies will likely freeze as well as other types of dough or cookies if you prefer to make the full batch.

I highly recommend using a digital food scale for this recipe. Because bread flour is so heavy and dense, compared to light and airy cake flour, measuring by volume in measuring cups, i.e. '1 cup flour' can yield very inconsistent results; whereas measuring by weight on a scale is absolute. The scale also made halving the recipe a breeze; halving round numbers in ounces is much easier than trying to halve fractions. The cookies need to be baked in 3.5-ounce balls and there is no way I could have guessed this accurately without using scale.

Although the recipe calls for specialty chocolate, the Trader Joe's semi-sweet chocolate chips I used were more than fine. I did not include a sea salt sprinkle.

I baked the cookies one tray at a time because I have one 'perfect' shelf in my oven and wanted to use just that shelf. I baked the first batch of 6 cookies (all cookies were 3.5 ounces) for 18 minutes, and baked the second batch of 4 cookies (3 cookies were 3.5 ounces and 1 cookie was 2.5 ounces) for 16 1/2 minutes. I prefer the 16 1/2 minute cookies and in my oven, 20 minutes would have ruined the cookies. At 18 minutes, the edges were browned and the tops were on the glossy and opaque side; at 16.5 minutes the edges were slightly less browned and the tops were more glossy but still set. With cookies, if you wait to pull them until they look done, most times as they cool, they will set up too hard.

Related Recipes

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is the Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies. I’ve adapted that recipe to include M&Ms CookiesSoft and Chewy Smores CookiesSnickers CookiesTwix Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies, and many more.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies – The cookies call for melted butter, and no mixer is required. The higher ratio of brown to granulated sugar keeps them just as soft on day 4 as on day 1. Of all the cookie recipes on my site, people write to me the most frequently about these telling me they made them and really enjoyed them

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – This is essentially the chocolate chip version of the cookie above. The dough base is slightly different, but very similar. I love either version depending on my mood whether I want white or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Skillet Cookie – This is a play on the cookie above and combines three of my favorite cookies into one – chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal. The edges bake up crispy and chewy, and sweetened condensed milk is baked into the cookie, keeping the interior a literal hot, sweet, and gooey mess

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (gluten-free) – Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe – NO Butter, Flour, or White Sugar Used in these soft cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies averiecooks.com

Have you ever tried the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe? Are you tempted to try it?

What’s your favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies?

If you have a favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, please link it up and tell me why you love it so much. I want to find those buried gems.

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to date is the Cooks Illustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (with photo tutorial) on their site. Ironically, I have never blogged about that recipe. These are the closest.

Until very recently, I didn’t realize there are actually two Cooks Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes; the Thick and Chewy, and their newer Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. That recipe differs from the Thick and Chewy in that browned butter is used, slightly less overall sugar is used while maintaining a higher brown to granulated sugar ratio, and slightly less flour is used, creating a slightly smaller batch size.

What I enjoy about the Cooks Illustrated recipes are that the butter is melted rather than creamed and so theoretically I don’t have to dirty my mixer to mix the ingredients. However, if I have time, I do get better results when I cream, rather than melt, the butter. And although their recipes don’t call specifically for chilling the dough in advance, I always do; it’s habit and I get better results. The cookies are just the right thickness, the edges are chewy and the centers stay soft. Making them also feels more fun, with less scientific precision required.

However, I have recently been testing some other chocolate chip cookie recipes, and creating some other dough hybrids, and the more cookies I make, the less certain I am of my favorites anymore.

   

168 Responses to “New York Times Chocolate Chips Cookies {from Jacques Torres}”

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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — November 5, 2012 at 3:40 am

    gorgeous gorgeous cookies Averie. I’m glad the recipe was easy to downsize because like you, I don’t think I could find a use for 18 3.5 inch cookies! I am completely tempted to try it, yes, because if I were going to a party or a work luncheon, these cookies are sure to impress. I mean LOOK at them. They are beautiful- tender, chewy, soft, and melty from the oven. No one could resist a freshly baked CCC this size. But for an everyday CCC that will sit the the cookie jar for more than a day, I stick to the CI or cornstarch version. I’d be fearful at the sheer size of each dough ball – fear that they wouldn’t bake up evenly but surely, they do! Oh and TJs chocolate chips – i swear by them. slightly larger than Nestle, they are perfect for my CCCs. I’ve never used fancy chocolate in cookies before. it’s a cookie lol. I am VERY impressed by your NYT cookie report Averie! And the stunning photos. It’s clearly obvious your put a TON or time and research into it.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 4:53 am

      18 5-inch cookies is a bit much for anyone I think – unless you’re having a party!

      “I’d be fearful at the sheer size of each dough ball – fear that they wouldn’t bake up evenly..” <– that’s what happens to me with Tosi recipes. Her dough spreads b/c it’s highly butter dominant and the dough turns into puddles for me (and many people based on pics I see online!) And for an everyday CCC, I think I just found a dough base I love. But need to try the cornstrach version, stat.

      Thanks for noticing this post took me a little while :)

      Reply

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    little kitchie — November 5, 2012 at 3:51 am

    my sister-in-law and i made these this summer, and we made the mistake of making the WHOLE thing, and we had way too many cookies! i think we both gained 10 lbs in one day :) they were delicious though – yours look beautiful!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 4:50 am

      I knew from reading the ingredient list that I HAD to halve it! I always try to halve recipes b/c as a blogger, if I don’t, we are buried in leftovers & food!

      Reply

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    joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas — November 5, 2012 at 4:01 am

    I’m TOTALLY going to try that Cooks Illustrated recipe. I had similar thoughts about the NYT cookies. It was fun to try but I’m far too impatient and any slight improvements in the cookie from the aging weren’t really noticeable to me. Great review!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 4:49 am

      You’ll love the CI recipe(s). Like you, the NYT were fine but so many other recipes to try before remaking these!

      Reply

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    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — November 5, 2012 at 4:24 am

    I have seen these cookies before, and I think I actually might have made them! The one thing I took away was the “letting the cookie dough sit” factor. I do this with my cookie doughs almost all the time these days… bummer that you dough dried out as it sat though! For the record, they still look tremendous.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 4:47 am

      I like to chill my dough rather than ‘age it’, per se, as a normal course. But hey, sometimes by virtue of laziness it gets aged…ha!

      Reply

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    Kelli@kellird.com — November 5, 2012 at 5:38 am

    What a great review, so in depth! I have always thought about making these cookies too :)

    Reply

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    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life — November 5, 2012 at 5:45 am

    You definitely put a lot of time and effort into this cookie!! Good to know to half the recipe though…I have no use for that many that big. Although I am intrigued at the amount of chocolate chips…over an ounce per cookie. That’s my kind of cookie:-)

    Reply

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    marla — November 5, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Yes! These do look as perfect as perfect gets!

    Reply

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    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — November 5, 2012 at 6:07 am

    oh yes Please!! They look mouthwatering

    Reply

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    jackie @ marin mama cooks — November 5, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Hi Averie. I find that most chocolate chip cookies, even the Cooks Illustrated ones, are best day 1 or two. The only cookie that I think gets better with age is a ginger snap cookie. I think the dark blackstrap molasses helps keep them moist, but what do I know?
    I always pull my cookies out a bit under baked looking, but they do firm up as they cool. I always get nervous each time I do it though, wondering if they are really going to firm up this time! I think as food bloggers we have very sensitive palates. I know if something is going to be good, such as a baked good, by the way the batter tastes. If the batter doesn’t taste good, then I know the end result won’t either. This has worked for me on so many occasions. I also feel like we can become to overcritical. If the recipe doesn’t taste perfect to us, then we assume that it’s not blog worthy. There are many recipes that my family and I have made that I haven’t blogged, but friends of mine LOVE! They always ask me, why didn’t you blog that recipe? I have to love it in order to blog about it though, or else I won’t feel right. I think that is why I only have a little over 100 recipes on my blog. My kids are becoming foodies as well and can be quite picky. There was one cookie recipe in particular that I made last year that had m&m’s and chocolate chip cookies in them. They were so beautiful and fun looking, but my kids gave them a B, so I never blogged them (don’t worry, they were not your cookies). I wanted to because I had this amazing picture, but I would of felt weird posting a cookie recipe that my kids didn’t really like. I mean what would I say? “Here’s a so-so cookie that you should try?” Anyway, I love that you gave a reality check on these cookies and gave us all the nitty gritty pros and cons! You are honest in your review and people can appreciate that!
    Xoxo,
    Jackie

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 10:09 am

      I have blogged plenty of recipes that I don’t love-love-love. They’re fine, they’re very good, but they are not A++ Not every single thing I make, or anyone makes, on a random Tuesday will always be a 5 star dinner. Sometimes, it’s just…dinner. It’s a good dish, but it’s not going to change my life. But I still blog about it because to someone, they may need a Tuesday dinner or a Thursday cookie :) and it may help them out.

      It may not be the best they’ve ever had but it was tasty. I would never post something that was was just so-so or mediocre. And I find it’s the recipes that I was just whatever about…that end up taking off! So what do I know! It’s a balancing act. I don’t have 365 days of A+++ recipes. Some days a recipe is a B+ for me, but it may be someone else’s A+. And my A+ may be someone else’s B. You just never know. Post your B’s :)

      Reply

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    vanillasugarblog — November 5, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I adore large cookies!
    Love your review girl.
    I have made these before (long ago) and they are good.
    It was one of the cookie recipes that made me use cake flour

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:35 am

      I liked them but so many recipes for CCCs and now I can check this one off my list and keep trying more! Glad you tried them a long time ago!

      Reply

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    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — November 5, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I have been thinking of making these cookies too but keep postponing it because I don’t have the flours. I also just posted about chocolate chip cookies – I made the latest recipe from Saveur which calls for layering cookie dough with chocolate chunks (instead of mixing it all together). They turned out pretty well :) http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/chocolate/cookie-quest-chocolate-chunk-cookies

    Reply

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    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — November 5, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Those do look pretty perfect! There’s just nothing like a GOOD chocolate chip cookie…

    Reply

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    Paula — November 5, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I grew up on Nestlé Tollhouse so always used that recipe as my old “standby”. I have enjoyed learning about the effects of different ingredients in baking ( especially from your blog). I never would have thought to use bread and cake flour in a cookie recipe–so that really piqued my curiosity!! I also never considered the taste of cake flour so I also want to see if I can detect a difference. As for the generous amount of chocolate chips in the recipe, well, the more the better!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:34 am

      If you make them, I HAVE to hear your thoughts! I have another recipe next week with bread flour that I came up with after these that I am in love with :)

      Reply

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    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — November 5, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Dang, girl! This post was awesome! I could tell you put a lot of research into it and it shows. I’m always on the hunt for that “perfect” CCC. I love the CI version or the one with cornstarch because it delivers that perfect cookie for me–tender, chewy on the inside yet slightly crisped on the outside… and an absolutely perfect balance of choc chips to dough :) but it’s worth trying these since they’re MONDO big and they look fantastic!! I can’t resist those golden edges or that gooey, gourmet chocolate stuffed inside. Gorgeous post Averie!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Do you know which CI recipe you make? The Chewy or the Perfect? The chewy has 2 c 2 tbsp flour and the perfect has 1 3/4 c. Chewy has more sugar and regular butter. The perfect has less sugar and browned butter. I havent ever tried the Perfect, only the Chewy. And the cornstarch ones are my next project! This week probably! Between the CI ones you make and the cornstarch, which do you prefer? And yes…this post had some huge research and time invested :)

      Reply

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    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — November 5, 2012 at 7:57 am

    These look absolutely perfect! There is a Jacques Torres near my office and this summer we were all addicted to the ice cream sandwiches – essentially these amazing chocolate chip cookies with sweet, creamy ice cream in the middle. So decadent and a wonderful summer treat :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:31 am

      I cant believe there’s a J.T. by your office. Wow….now THAT’S gotta be temptation walking by that :)

      Reply

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    Erica — November 5, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I’m going to make these right now! But I’m going to make regular sized cookies instead! I’ve been wanting to make them too and you’ve provided me the kick in the pants to do so!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Ok DON’T make them regular size…that’s a no-no for this recipe b/c it’s the surface area and overall gravity principles, internal cooking temps, etc that really are instrumental in getting the cookie to turn out the way it should. I researched these FOREVER and any I saw that tried to scale down the size of cookie ended up with very meh cookies. So halve the batch like I did, but when baking them, you really HAVE TO bake them up at full size or the chewy edges/soft center won’t hold true. After 2 days of waiting to bake them, trying to save you disappointment!

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    Erin@LawStudentsWife — November 5, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I made these a few years ago (with Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips) and totally agree with a lot of your review points. (I’m with you that refrigerating cookie dough is a must as well!). I loved the texture, but overall, they were just a bit too rich for me, which I previously did not think was possible. My friends went nuts for them, but I still love the classic Tollhouse recipe above all. My sister swears be these, but I haven’t tried them yet.
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-big-fat-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookie/detail.aspx

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 10:14 am

      That’s the Cooks Illustrated recipe! That’s the one I swear by, too! The differences from that and the original is that the orig calls for 2 c and 2 tbsp flour (rather than just 2 c) and the Allrecipes indicates to cream melted butter together with the sugars, etc. It’s sort of hard to ‘cream’ melted butter and the CI just says mix. I find I get best results to just cream the butter like normal, skip melting. But melting is easier b/c if I melt, I don’t even have to dirty my mixer and mix the whole thing by hand!

      Glad you tried the NYT and came to similar conclusions as I did. Very good, but a bit too much. I dunno..something about them…make the ones your sis swears by and LMK!

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    Ashley - baker by nature — November 5, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I made these last year and LOVED them! Your gorgeous photos are tempting me to make them again very soon!!!

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    kris — November 5, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Great post Averie!! I’m glad you reviewed these cookies – they’ve been on my radar for quite a few years, but I’ve just never felt like taking almost two days to make one batch of cookies..,along with having to measure everything out on a scale. And just the precision of it kinda threw me off. Maybe one day, but for now I think I’ll try the cooks illustrated recipe first.

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    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:28 am

      I would definitely try the CI recipe if you havent already. And the Times were a ‘bucket list’ recipe. Glad I tried them and can say I know what they’re all about now!

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    cathy @ Noble Pig — November 5, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I love chocolate chip cookies and I have never tried this recipe. I am also picky about how my cookies turn out and remain days after. The only recipe I ever make is this one http://noblepig.com/2009/05/the-great-debate/ . The key is having cold dough going into the oven and these cookies are so amazing. Thick, soft and loaded with chips.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:27 am

      I was just staring at all those chips! Chocolate galore – love that. And yes about COLD dough going in! Creates that nice rise and puff!

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    Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 5, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Wow, what a review of these Averie! I still haven’t made them but they are on my list too! I have been using bread flour in cookies since starting the Milk Bar recipes and have found that it makes all the difference. These do look really good!

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    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I approached these like I approached the Tosi cookies and recipes – with extreme precision! I wanted to know exactly, down to the letter, what they were all about. I think you’d like them but knowing you and your love of the CI recipe, I would say stick with that, and try bread flour in it. I know you make the Thick n Chewy CI recipe (and til recently I didnt know there were two!) but if you’ve ever tried The Perfect recipe of theirs, would love to know your thoughts. It’s the browned butter version with slightly less sugar & flour overall.

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      • Cassie | Bake Your Day replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 9:34 am

        I actually have been using bread flour in our favorite CI recipe and do love it. I’ve also browned the butter (always awesome) and made it with just room temp butter. I prefer melted to room temp but the bread flour really helps the chewiness in my opinion.

        I do want to try this one though!

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    Olivia @ Liv Lives Life — November 5, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Wow, what a great and helpful review. The pictures are amazing and it must have taken you a loooong time to write! I’ve been hearing more and more about this recipe, but after hearing your thoughts, I think I’ll put off making them for a bit longer. I have a trusty old CCC recipe that I’ll stick with for a while. :-)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 10:19 am

      It took…ridiculously.long. Like, I won’t even tell you it took me so long but I can check it off my life’s bucket list now. Thanks for noticing :) And glad you have your trusty CCC recipe. Those are worth their weight in gold!

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    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — November 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I love this recipe. I’ll never make cookie without bread flour ever again. I think it’s a must make for all cookie lovers! Just reading about WHY he did what he did, I learned so much about cookie making.

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    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Glad to hear you are a big fan of bread flour in cookies. I have been trialing new/other cookie recipes since making these and I LOVE the addition of bread flour in my trials. If for nothing else, making this recipe turned me onto that baking gift!

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    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance — November 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Jacques Torres is a genius, enough said.

    You truly practiced your will power by waiting so long to actually bake these cookies. I am not a fan of crunchy cookies, as I enjoy soft, chewy, moist cookies. Love the break down of the recipe and the analysis you gave of each ingredient, as well. Very thought out and forward.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Well I wanted to stay true to the recipe and so I waited!

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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Oh my goodness, these cookies look like chocolate heaven! Wish I had a few right now!

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    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — November 5, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Reading this, I’m happy I used cake flour substitute (ap flour + cornstarch sifted a few times)! I adored these cookies (even leftover, but I heated them up which helped keep the texture from being too crumbly), and yours look delicious-even if they weren’t an A+ :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Nuking for a minute or two was the only way I wanted the leftovers. Scott was happy to take them off my hands. They were ‘his’ kinda cookie!

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    Joanna — November 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I recommend splurging on chocolate discs (any brand) to try with this recipe! When you form the cookie dough balls, make sure to have all of the discs laying horizontal within the balls of dough. As they bake, you get these amazing layers of chocolate and cookie dough, almost like the layers of butter and dough in a croissant and the texture and taste are the best. When you bite into it you can see the thick layers of chocolate in the cookie. Jacques original recipe is a special one, though the cookie definitely tastes great no matter what chocolate is in it! Can you tell this is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe!? ;)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 11:57 am

      For the first time with a recipe that I didn’t know if I was going to ‘love’, I couldn’t afford a potential cookie-catastrophe with a wasted chocolate situation. I had previously made some ‘famous’ jumbo bakery style cookies from another recipe with very limited success, and would have been crushed to spend all that money for nothing but good to hear you feel they’re worth it.

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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — November 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I feel like I’m the last person on the planet that hasn’t made these cookies! Must make asap!

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    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — November 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, Averie! I’ve always wanted to try it. Your take on these cookies is mouthwatering… I want them all!

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    Elizabeth — November 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve wanted to make these for a long time! They look delicious!

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    Rolanda — November 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Is this the recipe of the cookie that Jacques Torres sells in his stores? Because that cookie is truly a unique and amazing cookie. The difference, though, between using chips and the feves is that the feves cause the cookies to be layered with chocolate, rather than the regular chocolate chip cookie. The layers of the chocolate also gives the cookie a very unique texture and it is really good even the next day. It’s what really sets the cookie apart. Maybe using shaved chocolate could yield a similar result while not breaking the bank.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      I have never had the cookie he sells in his stores so can’t speak to if it’s the ‘same’ but I think the recipe is supposed to be the same – whether one can get in-home results comparable to commercial grade kitchen results, is always a mixed bag. I am sure the chocolate is lovely and if anyone wants to mail me super high end fancy chocolate to use and bake with, I’d be happy to give you my address. I unfortunately don’t have the budget for it on my own :)

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    Valerie — November 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I must have given my cookies away (or enjoyed them all by myself!) the last time I made this recipe because I don’t think I had any leftover by day two. :D What I do remember is my KA stand mixer dancing around the counter and shaking so much that I though she’d throw her gears and gadgets across the kitchen. And I remember how great these cookies were straight from the oven! *purr* Thanks for the analysis…you are so right about cake flour having that “boxy” scent! When I bake with it, I kind of lose my appetite for a while (that’s rare!). :P

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      I totally lost my appetite for sweets after baking with it for a few days and that is…unheard of for me! lol There is something about it, meh, I did not like. I hadnt baked a cake with it in years and now I wonder if I’ll ever use it again…not sure. I can only imagine that your KA was dancing! I have the newest, biggest, HUGE KA, the biggest one they make now, and at even a half batch my mixer was pretty darn full! Thanks for the Pin my friend :)

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    Maria — November 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Great review and pictures. I made these cookies twice and I didn’t think they were the best cookies. I made some with the salt and some without. I know salting cookies is very IN right now, but I can’t decide if I really like it. I do need to invest in a scale, so maybe that would help my end result. I have also made the CI version (but not the new one with the brown butter) the version you discuss was my “go-to” recipe for a while. I have also tried CCC recipes with pudding in them…didn’t like them and the cornstarch – didn’t think they were great. Have yet to try the Alton Brown CCC recipe which I have read is very good. That’s the next one for me to try. I have been using dark chocolate chips and really like the flavor they add to the cookies.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      I love your feedback! “I know salting cookies is very IN right now, but I can’t decide if I really like it.” — I am extremely salt-sensitive and my husband can’t have much salt – so really, the less salt I add to things, the better. The exception is doing a salty ‘n sweet twist, i.e. pretzles dipped in chocolate, or even potato chips in cookies I’ve tried; but really, I am all about the classics these days and trying to get back to some things my grandma would recognize :)

      As for the CI recipe, the one you mean is called the Thick and Chewy, the new browned one they call The Perfect. I havent tried it, only the classic/thick n chewy and it was my fave. I have tried pudding cookies but that’s not a good old fashioned cookie to me – it has too much ‘help’. I dunno…

      Then the cornstarch cookies – made a batch of that dough…today! But havent baked them yet. And the Alton Brown Chewy, I have wanted to try it!

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    Carole@The Sweet Chick — November 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Very informative Averie. I have not tried these cookies yet, but have seen them everywhere. I don’t know if I can wait a day or 2 to bake them.

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — November 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve made them and I wasn’t too impressed.

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    Deborah — November 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I made these quite some time ago. I failed to make them the giant size, so I only found them so-so, but I’ve heard that the size is a major factor in how well these turn out. I loved reading your thoughts on them. I actually don’t like cake flour, but don’t remember being able to taste it in these, but then again, it was some time ago that I made them!!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      As I told another friend, the ratio of surface area and mass of dough to how that all bakes up, or lack thereof in the centers, while edges get chewy is key so you can’t skimp on dough size BUT…I learned the hard way from another famous cookbook that that ‘theory’ doesn’t always hold; sometimes a dough ball that big is destined to do one thing: spread like a pancake! And cake flour – something about it & cookies – do.not.go.together for me!

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    Laura Dembowski — November 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    It seems everyone is making this recipe lately. You have a very different take on it; it’s refreshing to see someone think differently about such a popular cookie. I love giant cookies and almost always find cookies need less baking time than called for, making me certain these recipes just aren’t tested enough. I have and like my food scale, but only make recipes that require it when I’m extra ambitious.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      It’s a peeve of mine to say every.single.thing is ‘amazing’. They are very good, I mean, yes, look at the pics – not exactly bad :) But are the last cookie recipe I will ever trial b/c they are THAT perfect? No. As bloggers we have high standards and are always searching for both perfection and novelty I think. And yes, baking times listed usually would burn or dry food out horribly! I want Mrs Fields kind of cookies!

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — November 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    These look great, a fun take on the recipe and fun pictures. I’m terrible at baking cookies, I usually burn the edges and/or they’re too mush inside. So it was nice reading your thoughts on the process.

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    The Squishy Monster — November 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I’ve got to get on this gravy train…these are always such beautiful cookies–thank you for the delicious reminder =)

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    Ruth M — November 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I made these cookies once, after seeing them on The Chew. I must have not noticed the refrigerate for 24 hours part, because I baked them right away. I couldn’t find the feves, but I used some 56% cacao chips that were a bit larger than usual (the chocolate did seem to be in layers). I absolutely LOVED these cookies, esp. the sea salt on the top. I highly recommend the sea salt – it was such an unexpected taste with the sweetness. I will definitely make these again, just not sure when. Eighteen cookies is not enough for me!

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    Suzi — November 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Your chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal cookies have become my new favorite. I don’t even need to try anything else right now! :o)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Aww, thank you! So glad you love them! They’re a fave of mine, that’s for sure!

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    Karly — November 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    My word, you sure did get science-y about cookies. I liked it.

    I’ve tried this and thought they were okay. I still haven’t found a recipe to beat out my favorite CCC, but that doesn’t stop me from looking.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      If I was going to make these things, by golly, I was going to get all science-ey…otherwise, it would have felt a little unfounded or not well-researched. Did I mention that I adore Alton Brown? :)

      And now I need to go stalk your site or ask you what your fave CCC recipe is?

      Reply

      • Karly replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

        Right here: bunsinmyoven.com/2010/12/01/my-favorite-chocolate-chip-cookies/ :)

        We love Alton Brown here too. My son is an especially big fan.

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    Jenn@slim-shoppin — November 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I love your explanation of the cookies. that’s a lot of work for a cookie – but they look amazing!

    I may have to try your thin mints!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      It was a ton of work, but it was a life’s bucket list recipe that I can now check off my list. For as complicated as these were, the Thin Mints are the polar opposite – so easy! Hope you try them!

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    Steph — November 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I just tried making the NY Times cookies too after having them on my must-try list for what seemed to be the longest time. After combing through different sites and reading others’ experiences, I decided to portion out 2 oz dough balls. This allowed for cookies that were bigger than your average CCC yet not overwhelming in size, and still achieved that sought after crisp perimeter and soft, chewy interior. I really enjoyed the cookies and think the sea salt and bittersweet chocolate combo is key, so perhaps you can try again using those components? I also kept mine in a tupperware and 3 days later, they were still chewy!

    I’m going to try the Cook’s Illustrated CCC recipe you recommended next…who knows, maybe I’ll end up enjoying those more! “Thick and chewy” sounds great to me :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      I did put them in a little tupperware but it’s so dry here in San Diego, like bone dry, that contributed to the problem, I’m sure of them drying out even wrapped in plasticwrap inside a tupperware.

      Good to know you had success with the 2 oz portions!

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    Michele Sparrow — November 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Wow, Averie. Thank you for such incredible detail and thought put into this post. You obviously took a lot of time. Thanks!

    Those cookies look GORGEOUS! I want to eat one so badly right now. I have cake flour and bread flour, but do I have the patience to make these??! Your photos make me want to try! Who can resist giant, soft chocolate chip cookies??!! YUM!!:-)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 5th, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks for the sweet comment and yes, took me more than a few minutes to assemble this post :)

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    Mai — November 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    oh my gosh. i wish i could reach through the screen and eat one of those chocolate chip cookies.

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    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — November 6, 2012 at 5:11 am

    I’ve heard of these cookies, but have never made them– my mom’s cookie recipe is the best :)

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    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — November 6, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Glad to see your review on these cookies. I actually did a whole series on finding my fav ccc and I had similar thoughts on these. Cook’s are my favorite and it’s going to be a long time before I will try to change that.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 6th, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Trust me, I have read, re-read, and re-stalked your CCC Monday posts! ALL OF THEM! Comparing, contrasting, reading your feedback. I love the pics of your CI recipe. You make the ‘new’ one; the Perfect as opposed to the Thick and Chewy, which is what I’ve always made. I need to try the Perfect and I know you also use bread flour in it, which gives a sturdier, chewier result. But you have one pic of that cookie and it’s like the best.looking.cookie.ever.!

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    Kelle — November 6, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Hey “Averie” (sorry I forgot your actual name!), my name is Kelle. *Please email me back as soon as you have a sec*….
    So here’s the deal-y….
    Ok, so I recently I subscribed both my mom and I to your blog. I did this, bc I have looked up quite a few cleaver /simple as well as good recipes here, and did a little reading, & read that you were a High Raw Vegan, and avoided Gluten mostly…. I also thought, well, you have a killer Body and are a pro Yogi, and have a passion for photography (and fun, pretty, vibrant, likely vinage kitchen “props”- dishes, eclectic cutlery and so forth)… I thought, schweat! I am a very very very high raw vegan, (always enjoy trying gluten-void recipes too), just had the worlds most amazing baby, & went from very svelte,& active to much more sedentary and a little too chunky/curvy for me, & am both super anxious to get back into my yoga (Ashtanga) practice that I have been out of for quite some time… As well as my old bod! I thought, damn, I could use all the encouragement, pointers & inspiration as possible… Plus, raising my handsome wonderful little guy as an 100% raw vegan, I fig, recipes recipes and recipes are my new best buds. And will help my mom be the coolest, happiest Nana for “her” little guy too. Since subscribing, though, I am totally saddened and disappointed bc literally nothing has been raw, or even close to vegan for that matter… except for maybe one savory cooked diner dish…. So, whats the scoop? Am I in some parallel universe and subscribed to the wrong blog, or did I just find a little section of goods, & that’s all, and you spend you day in butter, cream, white flours and all things against raw veganism? So pleased get back to me with the low down on this, bc if we can only get vegan recipes I am all about it, and if not, guess I can just pop back in from time to time and look thru your recipes… if its organized by raw/ vegan and vegan, and vegan/ GF/ raw options… ?? Anywho, you seem like a pretty cool chick & mom, and if we lived somewhere near you, we’d prob be pals, and hangout, but we are in sunny south florida… and I just started working at a world renowned healing health institute thru raw organic ripe vegan goodness, where I work as, of all things- a raw vegan chef! (Hippocrotes Health Institute) and am kinda into raw/vegan choclateering madness…. Thanks and thanks for rocking some amazing raw*gan tacos!! what what!!

    Thanks so much!!
    -Kelle

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    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — November 6, 2012 at 11:51 am

    These seriously look like PERFECT chocolate chip cookies. I love the size, shape and chocolaty-ness of them. And I like that you made a half-batch – I seriously wouldn’t want a bunch of these hanging around my house for too long… gorgeous pics as always, A.!

    Reply

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