Mr. Apron's favorite is chocolate chip cookies. He is always asking me to make them, and when I do they usually do not last very long. On more than one occasion I have made cookies in the morning, to find that there are none left by bedtime.
You might be thinking, chocolate chip cookies - something I should be able to make for Mr. Apron in less than a hour, or at least fairly quickly whenever he has a craving. However, I am a consummate perfectionist and when I discover a way to make a recipe better I have to do that same thing every time, because not doing so would be an inferior product.
So, what is it that I do that makes any chocolate chip recipe better...... I let the dough sit in the refrigerator for 36 hours before baking! It is so simple but it makes such a difference. I cannot make chocolate cookies without doing this. This is why, when Mr. Apron has a craving for chocolate chip cookies it is not something I can produce quickly! (I also have to make sure that Mr. Apron doesn't eat all the cookie dough during the 36 hours.)
This is not something I came up with on my own. A few years ago the New York Times ran an article about the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie and one of the chefs interviewed in the article made this suggestion. I immediately tried it and I am converted. I cannot make chocolate cookies without doing this.
For those of you who are not fond of the Tollhouse Cookie recipe, try it by letting the dough sit for 36 hours. It will change the end result. The cookies come out much chewier and the flavors definitely blend together more, so the cookie is less bland. And according to the NY Times, letting the dough sit is something that Tollhouse used to do, but it wasn't printed on the Nestle bag of chocolate chips.
One piece of advice for refrigerating your dough: I find it much easier to let the dough come to room temperature before baking. This will make it easier to form into balls and will make the baking time consistent with the instructions for whichever recipe you are using. If you don't have time to let the dough come to room temperature, be sure to extend your baking time slightly since the dough is colder than when it was first mixed.
My favorite chocolate cookie recipe, is from America's Test Kitchen. After trials of many different recipes it is also Mr. Apron's favorite (and he's had a lot of cookies to compare).
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 2/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoon (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chips until incorporated.
4. Working with 2 tablespoons of the dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.