I love a good Dad Day celebration as much as the next short, blonde daughter who loves her Dad, but, man, is it getting harder and harder to find him a gift. Flatows love their massage, but I'm tired of slipping a gift certificate into a card each year. He loves to fish, but he's got his poles and lure and hat. He's back into tai chi these days, but I don't think anything special is needed to encourage the practice. He reads, but prefers picking books up off the sidewalk. He's a gardener, but works with plants and flowers all day err'day, he's got the goods. He's a cook and that's why Max bought him a new pan. So that's out.
One year, I baked him his own batch of chocolate chip cookies because Dad also loves sneaking into the kitchen to eat cookies before bed. And when he can't sleep at night. And with his coffee in the morning. Without thinking, I made them the way my mom and I like them, like the cellophane-wrapped plastic container of Tate's: thin, buttery, and crispy. Apparently, Dad does not enjoy this type of chocolate chip cookie. He'll eat them, but he won't love them. So this year, because it was only fair, I decided to gift Dad with his kind of cookie: soft, super chocolaty, and in a category of cookie all by itself. Much like Dad.
The first time I tried this cookie was back in February. Michael and I were upstairs in our friends' apartment watching the tail end of the Superbowl, slouched on the couch from too much chili, when all of a sudden, a plate of hot cookies appeared before us on the coffee table. Surprise! You can't leave yet. We still have cookies. They were big. Bigger than CDs. Cracked and wrinkled with gooey shards of chocolate poking through; they were the color of a good porter or stout. "Wh-wh-what are these?" I sputtered, taking a bite, closing my eyes, losing all consciousness. "How, how, how did you make these?"
It's the Jacques Torres cookie. Anybody familiar? I certainly wasn't. These are the cookies you make when you love someone a ridiculous amount because only they can bring you to drop $20 of fancy chocolate into a batch of cookies, the volume of chocolate surpassing the volume of cookie dough. The cookies that say, "Sorry for that time I made you a Mom's Day cookie for Dad's Day."
Jaques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies for Paul Flatow
Makes 26 cookies | For a richer taste, make the dough up to 24-72 hours ahead, which is what I did.
- 4 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups pastry flour
- 3 cups bread flour
- 3 tsp salt
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 2 lbs 60% cocoa dark chocolate (disks or cut into small pieces)
- Sea salt
Sift together the pastry and bread flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until light and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla. Slow down the mixer and add the flour mixture slowly until just moistened. When thoroughly combined, fold in chocolate. Press plastic wrap against dough, making sure it's completely covered, and refrigerate for 24-36 hours. When you're ready to bake, bring the dough to room temperature (leave out for approximately 2 hours) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and scoop the dough using an ice cream scooper (or scoop about 3 tbs worth for fairly large cookies). Don't press the dough down; let it stay the way it is. Sprinkle the cookies with a bit of sea salt. Bake 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies and 18-20 for bigger ones. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on your baking sheet, then move them to another surface to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to three days, or freeze for up to two months.
An important element of the Jacques Torres recipe is that the dough be made ahead of time and refrigerated to help loosen up the gluten. The dough you see here was made Thursday morning as the sun was coming up. I used to go for runs before work, but now I'm thinking of replacing that with early morning baking.