Sometimes you move to France. And sometimes when you get there, the home you wanted waits for you. But sometimes also, you realize, home is many places, many people, experiences, histories, sounds, and flavors.
Sometimes, after years spent studying French pastry, the thing you most want to bake in France is chocolate chip cookies. And you’re proud to share them even when they come out different shapes and even if they seem a little pale on account of the French conception of “brown” sugar. Because sometimes the act of sharing is better than worrying so much about whether what you have to give is good enough. And sometimes you learn that when you give what feels natural to you, it feels natural to others too. Even the French like chocolate chip cookies.
And apparently people also like the stories I have been spinning in this small corner of the interwebz. As with the cookies, they are made spur of the moment, out of memories and wishes and hands outstretched, a not small amount of sugar, a large amount of care, and a teeny bit of trepidation.
This is all to say that, last week, for the first time, purelysubjective got Freshly Pressed! And holy cow, the amount of support and excitement that has been sent my way is slightly overwhelming and also totally wonderful.
Welcome to all you new folks, and thank you ever so much for sharing your time and your thoughts and your presence. You are lovely and excellent, and I am so pleased to have you here. Though I have not had the chance to shake your hand or make you dinner, I can give you the recipe for my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies, which have a vast following among chocolate chip cookie aficionados in the States and have also garnered the stamp of approval of the French, if my couple dozen compatriots may be allowed to represent their country. I’m gonna go with yes.
These cookies pass the chewy middle, crispy edge test. They have the proper brown sugar/vanilla/butter flavor that defines a chocolate chip cookie – in my world, at least – and enough salt to balance the sweetness and punch up the whole eating experience without becoming a “salted” cookie. Also, they require no special flour or weird quantities as some of the currently popular “best” chocolate chip cookies do (I’m looking at you New York Times). They are easy, classic, and damn delicious. Thanks for being here; have a cookie.
Recipe after the jump…
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen small-ish cookies
2 ¼ cups (280 grams) AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (227grams ) butter, softened
1 ½ cups ( 315 grams) light brown sugar, packed if using volume measures
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, room temperature
2 cups (400 grams) semi-sweet dark chocolate chunks or chips
Preheat the oven to 375 ˚ F/190˚ C. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silpats or use whatever random array of gratin dishes you can find in the kitchen.
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a wooden spoon and a big bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. There’s no need to go for fluffiness; you are just trying to dissolve the sugar into the butter. Smoothness is the main idea. Next beat in the egg until fully mixed, and then the vanilla.
Dump in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate chunks or chips and mix briefly, until evenly distributed.
Scoop walnut-sized mounds of dough onto the cookie sheets, leaving at least two inches between each cookie. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets or they may be too soft in the middle – is such a thing is possible.