Not Martha

the cookies, take two

I’ve been meaning to follow up on making the NYTimes chocolate chip cookies (here on the NYTimes site) but the weather turned too hot for cookies for a while there.

So, to catch up, I finally located the Valhrona feves that the recipe mentions at a Whole Foods. They were fun to locate, they are not in the baking aisle, not the chocolate aisle, not the bulk foods aisle. No, these were displayed in front of the aged cheese cave. But of course. Now, I get it, dark chocolate, good cheese and wine go together but I felt like an idiot for a while there.

The Valhrona feves are huge. I used larger than normal chocolate chips the first time, but I worried these would simply be too large for the cookies. Here is a picture of a feve scoop next to a chip scoop:

The special thing in this recipe is that you let the dough sit chilling in the fridge for 36 hours before you form and bake the cookies. This allows the dough to absorb all the liquid and reportedly gives a caramel-y depth of flavor to the cookies. I read a lot of people suggesting you form the dough into scoops before you chill it and I wondered if this was missing the point. So, I made one batch of dough and pre-scooped half of it, left the rest in the bowl and let everything chill for a couple of days. Then I scooped the remaining dough, and froze half of the pre-scooped and half of the post-scooped dough, just to see if scoops out of the freezer would make noticeably different cookies. It didn’t, so that whole step was beside the point.

Anyhow! There was a difference between the halves of dough. The dough that was pre-scooped was noticeably lighter in color than the dough left to chill in the bowl:

This batch, sadly, spread too much when baked and I know why, it was too warm the night (way back) that I made the dough. Not pretty, but they still taste good. We, amateur cookie tasters that we are, couldn’t taste a difference between the pre and post-scooped dough.

Obviously I’ll have to do another batch to see if I can get the consistency right next time. Valhrona feves, by the way, are expensive. I used just under a pound, and that seemed like it was a lot of chocolate so you could probably get away with a little less. I prefer the flavor of the Valhrona chocolate, but I think Scott liked the Ghirardelli chips a bit better. Either way, yum.

· comments [23] · 08-25-2008 · categories:food ·

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marlena // Aug 25, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I have these chilling in my fridge right now! Thank god I’m baking them tonight, because I can’t keep my fingers out of that bowl!

    I didn’t use feves because they were so expensive. Instead I used two bags of Nestle chunks. I was disappointed that my grocery was out of the Baker’s Chocolate chunks, as those are my favorite, so I’ll probably go ahead and make them again when my store is restocked.

  • 2 Amber // Aug 25, 2008 at 10:47 am

    When I made these I used Guittard’s chocolate wafers. I like how they made the same sort of “strata” as the feves without being so large.

  • 3 thehungryengineer // Aug 25, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I had been thinking of pre-scooping my dough next time I make these – glad to hear there was no discernible flavor difference.

    As for the too much chocolate thing – I actually only used about 11-12 oz chocolate chips in the ones that I made and thought that they were sufficiently chocolate-y.

    I will say, this recipe produces the best chocolate chip cookie I think I’ve ever eaten.

  • 4 eM // Aug 25, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I’m a diehard tollhouse girl myself – but as you say – when it comes to CC Cookies: “either way – YUM”

  • 5 Carolyn J. // Aug 25, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Could you use cheaper chips and then press a feve or two into the top after scooping, to keep the cost down?

  • 6 Joanna Schmidt // Aug 25, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    yum! They look so fabulous.

  • 7 Sara // Aug 25, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    CC cookies look fabulous!!! =] I just stumbled on your page and love it!!!! =] I will have to give the recipe ago!!! =]

  • 8 KimMae // Aug 26, 2008 at 4:13 am

    I used misc chocolate bars I had – thick, thin, milk, dark – chopped into fevre size slices. It worked well though I think I’d choose all bittersweet next time – like Trader Joe’s 17 oz bar would be perfect. When ready to bake I cut the dough into the 3.5 oz chunks, weighed, then molded with my hands into hockey puck shapes. Yum. Giant cookies. I found that they were best the day they were baked. Also our favorite cookies are the best ever chocolate chip with peanut butter and oatmeal on allrecipes.

  • 9 Mox Rogers // Aug 26, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Those look delicious but I think I would definately have to (very roughly) chop the feves, 1. For cost purposes, and 2. They just seem so humongo!

  • 10 Arizona Albino // Aug 26, 2008 at 11:30 am

    What I’m wondering…is…did you do a test to see if they really taste different when cooked the day of mixing versus after chilling for a few days in the fridge? Is the wait worth it?

  • 11 Ali // Aug 26, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Here is a secret to never having a flat cookie again, add one whole box of vanilla instant pudding (dry) to the dry mix.

  • 12 Mer // Aug 26, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Yeah, I want to know if 36 hours really makes all that much difference.

  • 13 megan // Aug 26, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Mer and Arizona Albino – Yes, it does make a subtle difference. The cookies are darker when baked and they do have a bit more flavor to them. Though, Joy The Baker didn’t notice a difference in the flavor and she’s waaay more qualified than I am to say yes or no on these matters.

  • 14 Kerry // Aug 26, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    They make for such pretty cookies…and a supreme hit of chocolate!

  • 15 Lorri // Aug 27, 2008 at 5:06 am

    I made mine last night after 24 hours in the fridge. I didn’t like that the dough was so hard after being chilled. I’d let it sit out several hours next time instead of struggling to scoop it out immediately (I couldn’t wait). I used a normal size cookie scoop, making cookies about 3″ across, and got 5-1/2 dozen. I found that 12-13 minutes in the oven was enough. Mine didn’t spread very much – what makes them spread anyway? This recipe is a keeper. I used Ghirardelli chips.

  • 16 Miranda // Aug 27, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Note that the Valhrona does not contain lecithin like most chocolate chips do. They will, therefore, probably melt and spread a great deal when you bake them. You may or may not want this.

    I am currently addicted to Merck’s Bittersweet Buttons from King Arthur Flour and am eagerly awaiting cooler weather so I can order some more. They have the best flavor and texture of any chocolate chip I’ve ever encountered.

  • 17 maryellen // Aug 27, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I don’t make this particular recipe, but I really love those Special Dark (Hershey’s) chips in the grocery store. I put chopped walnuts in my cookies, and I always add extra flour to avoid the spreading phenomenon. The dark choc. definitely brings the simple recipe up a few notches. Also, if I refrigerate the dough, I have problems with spreading. Weird.

  • 18 jean // Aug 28, 2008 at 6:06 am

    We were intrigued by the resting of the dough and decided to try it on other things. It really improved the taste of the gluten free baking mixes that we tried it on without much affecting rising.

  • 19 claire // Aug 28, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I think what makes this cookie is the 36 hour resting period and the sea salt sprinkled on top before baking. I’ve made the recipe twice now. Wow. Whatta cookie!

  • 20 Kate // Aug 29, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    You have solved a great mystery for me – but of course chocolate and cheese should be near each other. Why didn’t I think of that?!? ;-)

  • 21 Elaina // Aug 30, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I love your photography. Especially the chocolates in the container. Time for me to get a new camera!

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