Sunday, June 14, 2009

SMS: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Almonds


This week’s Sweet Melissa Sunday treat was Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Almonds. Yay! Who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies? At any given time I have a backlog of about five CCC recipes I want to try, since there are so many “best” and “favorites” out there. As most readers of this blog are probably aware, last summer the New York Times published this article and accompanying recipe about the consummate chocolate chip cookie, revealing two key components: twenty-four hours of chilling time and salt. I know it has become my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and from my anecdotal data, gathered from reading various food blogs and talking to other bakers, I would I’m not alone.



This recipe only for two brief chilling periods: first an hour, then another half hour after the dough was formed into logs. As thrilled as I was about the prospect of having cookies in less than two hours, I decided to experiment and bake these cookies in different intervals to see if the flavor and texture were enhanced with extra chilling time. The first batch was baked on Friday evening after the dough had refrigerated for about three hours and they were wonderful! I made the second batch on Saturday morning (fifteen hours later); neither Mr. Penpen nor I could distinguish any noticeable difference in texture or flavor between the two batches. I had pretty much decided that our palates were not sophisticated enough to discern subtle nuances in baked goods and give up on the project, but I still had a lot of dough, so I went ahead and made more on Saturday evening. And I’m glad I kept going, because at twenty-four hours, there was a difference: the carmelly brown sugar flavor was much more prominent. (Although the NYT recipe is taped to my refrigerator, I hadn't looked at the article again until today and it says twenty-four hours is where things get "interesting." I will also have an opportunity to try the cookies at thirty-six hours when I host my book club tomorrow night.) But really, I thought they were just as delicious on Friday when they had only been in the refrigerator for a couple hours. I think I may have a new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have never tried baking the NYT recipe without chilling the dough the entire twenty-four hours, but I have heard disappointing results from people who didn’t wait.



Aside from my experiment, the only change I made was using less chocolate than the recipe calls for. I figured that since I would be chopping up the chocolate, the small, uneven bits would spread throughout the dough just fine – not to mention the fact that I didn’t really feel like chopping up an entire pound of chocolate. I know the idea of less chocolate probably sounds sacrilegious to a lot of people, but I made a double batch with 9.7 ounces of chocolate (one package of ScharffenBerger) and all my tasters (my boyfriend and his family) thought they were great. I don’t typically put nuts in chocolate chip cookies either, but roasted almonds sounded fantastic and they were! Mr. Penpen thought the cookies were particularly good when warm from the oven with Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry ice cream from The Perfect Scoop.

Many thanks Melissa Murphy for creating such a great chocolate chip cook recipe (along with an entire book of great treats) and hosting this week. Be sure to check out the Sweet Melissa Sundays site to see Melissa’s post!

14 comments:

Pamela said...

I must say that your cookies really look fantastic! My dough sat in the fridge for more than 24 hours, and I thought they were good cookies. I love the marbled look of yours, though. Really pretty!

Jaime said...

these look great! i wanted to make them but my kitchen stuff was still boxed up!

Shandy said...

I never thought of waiting 24 hours for the flavor to be better and the idea of a carmel flavor...well, I am sold! Now I need to make a whole new batch, as if that will be twisting my arm =D

Hanaâ said...

Your cookies look great. The ice cream looks really nice too. I read the same article and decided to let the dough rest in the fridge overnight (already wrapped in plastic wrap after reading comments from some SMS bakers saying they had to chisel the dough out of the bowl). I guess after my 12 hours the dough didn't change much. I wonder what the dough does in the freezer. I made 12 cookies and froze the log for the other 12 cookies.

finsmom said...

These are gorgeous looking cookies! I really like the toasted almond addition :)

Leslie said...

These look amazing!! I must be the only baker on earth who hasn't tried the NYT recipe yet, so maybe I'll have to do a side by side taste test with these.

hotovenwarmheart said...

Hi Margot!

Your cookies look great, and I love that you experimented with the chilling time. I happened to give mine an overnight sleep in the fridge because I got too tired to bake on the first day, but maybe I accidentally added to their deliciousness! Great idea serving the cookies with Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry ice cream from The Perfect Scoop (how is that by the way? I just swoon over that book, and hope to make lots of the recipes this summer! If you don't mind, please share with me which recipes you'd recommend.)- what a fabulous and unique cookie/ice cream combination!

Thanks for stopping by my site, and I hope to talk to you again after next weekend's recipe!

-Joy

Stephanie said...

I use less chocolate too, usually. :) We are both weird I guess. i love the tiny specks of chocolate throughout your cookies!!

karen said...

I never thought that refrigerating longer would make the taste better. I ate them all up too fast then! Will hold off next time and wait.

Hornedfroggy said...

Beautiful cookies! :) I was too impatient and didn't chill them for the 2nd hour. Didn't hurt them, though - they were so yummy!!

The Bahens said...

I'm with you: I don't usually like nuts in my cookies, but the toasted almonds really were amazing! Great job!

Tracey said...

Wow, your post rocks this week Margo :) I've never tried the NY Times cookie recipe and I didn't know about the 24-hr wait time. Interesting! Your cookies look terrific - so thick and chewy! I absolutely loved these cookies (without nuts) and this has definitely become my go-to recipe!

Steve said...

Man, those look good!!

Basically, Baby Boots said...

Great tips on baking a better chocolate chip cookie. The way that you described the taste of the brown sugar melding into the dough after 24 hours! I'll try this with my next batch. Your cookies look so good!