the chocolate chip cookie experiment

I recently read an article in the New York Times about the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I’ve been on a quest myself to try to find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I could stick with. I’ve tried several different recipes and although they usually turn out good, there hasn’t been one that I’ve loved and wanted to make every time I crave a chocolate chip cookie – until now.

The article describes how allowing the cookie dough to rest in the refrigerator for 12, 24, and 36 hour intervals produces a significantly different cookie each time. I just HAD to try it, especially because the recipe they provided was from Jacques Torres, but adapted to include the insight of different bakers. How could it go wrong?

I made the dough on a Thursday night so I wasn’t able to try the 12 hour interval since I was at work. I baked the cookies at 24, 36, and 48 hour intervals instead.

All of these huge cookies were baked for 20 minutes. As you can see, there wasn’t too much difference in their overall appearance:

There was, however, a difference in taste. Here are my results:

The 24 hour cookies were the palest and slightly underdone in the center. They had a nice flavor, buttery and not too sweet. I was happy with this cookie until I tried it alongside a 36 hour cookie. In comparison, the flavors of the 24 hour cookie were very subtle, almost bland compared to the 36 hour cookie. It definitely had a more buttery flavor when compared to the 36 hour cookie.

The center of the 36 hour cookie was more cooked through after 20 minutes. The brown sugar flavor was significantly more pronounced and it almost had a nutty flavor, according to H. It was softer and more evenly chewy compared to the 48 hour cookie.

The 48 hour cookie had the deepest flavor, with more of a burnt sugar aftertaste. It was denser and drier than the 36 hour cookie. Most of the cookies browned on the edges a lot more than the 36 hour cookie.

Although I would love to make these my go-to cookies for when I have a craving, I’m not sure if I can wait this long for a chocolate chip cookie. These cookies are delicious, but don’t provide instant gratification. I think these will be an extra special treat, saved for special occasions, times of good planning, and thinking ahead. In the meantime, I’ll continue on my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie – the one I can eat now!


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