This has got to be the BEST cookie recipe… ever. Funnily enough, I’ve never blogged about it before because lets face it everyone else has! But then I thought, if for every 100 people who skip over this recipe, I manage to introduce it to one new person, it will be worth the effort. Still reading? So you’re that 1% and let me tell you people (person), seriously, this recipe, originally from the New York Times, is going to change your life.
5 years ago, I would have said I wasn’t a cookie person. (British) biscuits? Possibly, but not a cookie. One of my besties, DiviaH however over at the D’vine, convinced me … or was it possibly harassed me into trying these. When enthusiastically describing the characteristics of what sounded to me like a run-of-the-mill cookie didn’t impress me, she wooed me with experiments and science. Suddenly I was interested.
This article, again from the New York Times, explains why these cookies are unique and in my opinion, better than the rest, along with other useful tidbits and facts from prominent bakers and chefs. But if you want the abridged version specific to these cookies, put simply it is; leave the cookie dough to mature. Optimum maturation time – I’d say 72 hours or 3 days, in the fridge. Still want to know more, or curious to investigate yourself? Serious eats has this awesome step-by-step guide explaining the results of their vigorous cookie trials!
These cookies have never failed me and one of the many things I love about them is you really can customise them anyway you like. The stunningly simple classic chocolate chip NYT recipe was adapted from Jacques Torres, ‘Mr. Chocolate’ to you or I. But I’m really more of a chocolate AND nut kind of person, very non-purist of me for once! Here I’ll show you probably my favourite combination of white choc chip with macadamia nuts but I’ve tried every which combination. Dark, milk or white chocolate chips, chunks, discs, pearls or fèves paired with walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts or almonds! You can make giant 6 inch monster cookies, or little minis for the kids! My latest incarnation of these cookies was last Christmas when I was more than pleased with my red, white and green merry medley of cranberry, pistachio and white chocolate. As you can see, the combinations are endless! One last thing I’ll add, and insist on in fact is the sprinkling of fleur de sel prior to baking. It really is the pièce de résistance; it’s what catapults these cookies from everyday good to special occasion sublime.
Non-cookie lovers – you have been warned.
Quick Top tips
- Make sure the total amount of extras – ie. chocolate, nuts etc. add up to 1 ¼ pounds (560g) – I usually use half and half nuts and chocolate.
- Don’t chop the nuts or chocolate too fine – chunks rock people.
- Use decent chocolate – my chocolate of choice is a bar (or 3) of 70% Lindt chopped into chucks
- Always leave to mature – 48hours min
- Always use an ice cream scoop to portion out dough while its still soft. THEN put in fridge or freezer. Saves your hands!
- Bake fresh as and when needed. A freshly baked cookie always tastes better.
White chocolate & Macadamia nut cookies
Adapted very slightly from Jacques Torres
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (250g) cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups (250g) strong white flour (although I have used plain with equal success)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cups (290g) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (290g) brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ pounds white chocolate discs
- ¾ pounds macadamia nuts – slightly chopped
- Fleur de sel for sprinkling
- Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
- Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
- Whisk eggs in a jug and add little by little to the mixer until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
- Stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds.
- Pour white chocolate and macadamias into mixer taking care not to crush or break them too much
- Use ice-cream scoop to portion out dough.
- Line a large plastic airtight container with greaseproof paper and store your ‘scoops’ in there in the fridge while they ‘mature’ (1 to 3 days)
- Preheat oven 180°C/350°F – Prepare 2 large lined baking trays
- Arrange the chilled dough on your lined baking trays. Don’t crowd – they spread
- Sprinkle with Fleur de sel (don’t forget!!)
- Bake for 18 minutes until the centres are golden and the edges browned.
- Cool on baking tray at least 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack. These cookies are quite fragile until completely cooled. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Eat fresh that day. If you store them in an airtight container they will soften overnight and lose their chew. I prefer storing them in the fridge.