The One Thing You Need to Do to Bake Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, According to Jacques Torres
Hint: it isn't a secret ingredient.
Baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie is an art form that many spend their lives attempting to achieve. But chocolate chip cookies are deeply personal, if not controversial. Everyone has an opinion on what gives them the ideal taste, texture, and degree of doneness.
You know who’s nailed it? Jacques Torres. Often referred to as Mr. Chocolate, Jacques is the ultimate authority on all things related to this confectionary delight—particularly chocolate chip cookies. His are the best balance of melty-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-edges; they’re buttery, chewy, and have just the right amount of chips to boot.
What’s his secret? “Let the dough age,” he says.
Many of us are already chilling the dough prior to rolling it out for a bit. Probably 30 minutes, an hour or two at max. But according to Jacques, you should be chilling your cookie dough for at least 24 hours.
Why should we let our cookie dough age?
“So the flavor becomes stronger and smoother,” says Torres. Because fat absorbs flavor, giving all your ingredients time to bond before baking makes for a more intensely rich, buttery, balanced cookie. “The sugar melts and becomes less grainy; the butter will taste more decadent. It’s just better,” he says.
The best shape to chill your dough is no shape.
According to Torres, it’s better to leave it in a large ball while the dough matures, then separate right before baking. “You don’t want to move the dough while its aging, as this will make the texture unpleasantly elastic-like. You want melty, buttery dough. That’s what you’ll get when you let it age in once piece.”
How long is too long to let the dough age?
A couple days is the maximum time you should be aging cookie dough. Your dough has eggs in it, after all, so you want to be mindful of how long you leave it be. If you don’t have time to bake the dough, Torres recommends scooping it, freezing it, and saving it for later.
Other must-know cookie-baking tricks
Be choosy about your chips. The foundation of Torres’ chocolate chip cookies is quality chocolate. He steers clear of baking chocolate that holds its shape in the oven, and opts for real chocolate (that's melty) instead.
Don’t fear fat. To achieve a rich and decadent texture, Jacques uses high-fat butter in his recipe. Plugrá’s European Style butter is his go-to.
Size matters: For Torres’ colossal cookies (spanning about seven inches in diameter), he bakes mounds of dough, the size of large golf balls.
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