If you've ever baked chocolate chip cookies from refrigerated pre-made dough from the grocery store and wondered why they taste SO MUCH BETTER than any chocolate chip cookie you've ever made from scratch, it is precisely that refrigerator resting period that is the reason. That pre-made grocery store chocolate chip cookie dough has been relaxing for days (sometimes weeks!) before you bake it.
This recipe for chocolate chip cookies adds that "rest" into chocolate chip cookies; up to three days of rest and relaxation, in fact. There is nothing particularly special about the ingredients in this Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. All chocolate chip cookies are some very similar ratio of flour, brown and/or white sugar, butter, eggs, and chocolate. However, what sets this chocolate chip cookie apart, what makes this chocolate chip cookie the BEST, is "the rest period," as in allowing the cookie dough to rest in the refrigerator for up to three full days before baking.
You will never look back.
Now don't get me wrong, these cookies will still taste AMAZING if you bake them right away. They're chocolate chip cookies for god's sake. But adding that resting period, along with a little sprinkle of flaky sea salt at the end, takes chocolate chip cookies to another level.
Recipe for Three-Day Chocolate Chip Cookies first, Notes and Resources follow.
Three Day Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients Notes
- Cake Flour vs Bread Flour: I used this all-purpose flour in this recipe. The original recipe calls for 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour + 1⅔ cups bread flour, which seems overly complicated for chocolate chip cookies. A commenter on the New York Times recipe page mentioned that cake flour, which is soft and fine, plus bread flour, which is sturdier, basically averages out to the same protein percentage as all-purpose flour.
- Butter: This recipe calls for unsalted butter, but if you only have salted butter, use it, and decrease 1½ teaspoons coarse salt to ½ teaspoon.
- Brown Sugar: My cookies turned out thinner and crispier than I expected, and will try dark brown sugar, as opposed to light brown sugar, next time, to see if that makes a difference.
- Chocolate: Of course Jacques Torres, the chef who popularized the original concept, sells his own chocolate disks for this recipe. If you can't find the Torres chocolate disks, or it seems expensive at $10 a bag, you can substitute Valrhona chocolate feves, which are easier to source because they're available from amazon, but no less expensive. I used the new Guittard baking chocolate wafers exclusive to Williams-Sonoma because I had them on hand. If all else fails, chop a dark chocolate baking bar into large chunks. Use chips as a last resort.
Technique Tips and Tricks
- What differentiates this recipe from all other recipes is the refrigerator "resting period" for the dough, which is recommended, but in all honesty, should be required. Without the resting period of minimum 36 hours, the resulting cookies are no different from any other chocolate chip cookies. I let my cookie dough rest for 72 hours.
- I used a regular-size ice cream scoop for the cookie dough, which I thought was going to be too big. But apparently it is the right size because I weighed the dough ball from the scoop and it 3 ounces!
- Bake time: The recipe says 18-20 minutes. I baked my cookies for 17 minutes.
- Yield: You're supposed to get 18 cookies. I ended up with 26 cookies. Were my dough balls not big enough?
Three-Day Chocolate Chip Cookies Rrecipe
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour **
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 2½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature —1¼ cups
- 1¼ cups 10 ounces light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves at least 60 percent cacao content
- flaky sea salt
- Sift flour(s), baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them.
- Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours (three days).
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
- Scoop 6 3½-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. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer sheet 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.