Perfectly Round Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Urvashee on June 8, 2011 · 12 comments

Post image for Perfectly Round Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few weeks ago, I finally had the opportunity to stop by Levain Bakery in New York City. All I really knew about them is that they were famous for their chocolate chip cookies. I have to admit that these are not your ordinary chocolate chip cookies. For starters, they are jumbo in size- and I don’t mean the diameter. It’s a huge thick mound of a cookie. I think the one I had was at least two inches tall. They were rich in buttery flavor, chocolaty in every bite, and absolutely delicious. But I think what stood out the most for me was their cake like texture.Levain Bakery CookiesSo then this got me thinking about their shape. Wouldn’t it be great to have this wonderful cakey chocolate chip cookie only with a clean line look? I have nothing against eating shapeless cookies. I’d eat those Levain cookies again and again and again. However, it reminded me of the time I was interning at Amai Bakery (no longer open) while I was in culinary school. The owner once told me about how she really liked everything to have very defined lines. Every baked good in their shop was perfectly shaped and equally sized from the butter cookies to the scones and even the fig chocolate chip cookies.Chocolate Chip Cookie

I think this made all the difference in the appeal of their baked goods. I definitely had a hard time choosing something out of that display case. She had the most perfectly round and thick fig chocolate chip cookies. That’s not a cookie flavor that I would normally eat but I think the way they looked made me want one anyway.Chocolate Chip CookiesThere’s a lot of copycat recipes out there for Levain’s cookies. I don’t really have the patience to try to crack that code, so I’ve made my perfectly round cookies from my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. You may know it as the “New York Times” chocolate chip cookie recipe. This recipe was adapted from Jacques Torres and requires that the cookie dough chills for 24-72 hours to achieve the best flavor. I refer to it as “marinating” my dough.

I baked a few of the cookies in ramekins and ended up with perfectly round thick cookies that were still soft on the inside. They were like little mini warm cakes. Top that with a scoop of ice cream and some fudge sauce and you’ve got yourself one fabulous sundae treat.Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae

Recipe (From the New York Times, adapted from Jacques Torres)

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fรจves, at least 60 percent cacao content*
Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. 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 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.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-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. (Or press 1 3/4 oz size pieces of dough into ramekins)** 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. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

*I just used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips.
**Let them cool slightly in the ramekin. Use a sharp knife to loosen around the edges and unmold it from the ramekin.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess Wakasugi June 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried using a whoopie pie pan, but it’ll give you perfectly round cookies! I actually love your idea of using ramekins and it looks like you get HUGE cookies out of them! But just wanted to offer up another idea. I used the pan to make a cookie, I included the link if you want to check it out!

Claire @ Claire K Creations June 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Oh my goodness that look drool worthy. Yum!!!
There is something to be said for food that’s visually appealing as well as great-tasting.

Paula June 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Love your big, thick, round, chocolate chip cookie! Great idea to bake in a ramekin!

Yuri June 8, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Love the cookie ร  la mode ๐Ÿ˜€ I like rustic looking cookies but I gotta admit these are beautiful. Thanks for the baking tip, I want to try this!

Lillian June 9, 2011 at 12:10 am

i hear ya about perfectly round cookies! this is sucha good idea – baking in a ramekin… it makes such a fancy dessert w/ the ice cream and fudge on top! yum!

thepickyeater June 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

ive never seen such gorgeous cookies !! YUMM ๐Ÿ˜€

Kathy - Panini Happy June 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Oh wow, I would LOVE that sundae right now! I’ve made the NY Times choc chip cookies in a muffin top pan before too – they’re huge, but sooo good.

Quyen - Kitchen Runway June 10, 2011 at 4:24 am

These are beautiful and perfect. I love that they’re thick and still soft in the center and it looks especially delicious with the ice cream and chocolate sauce! Mmmmm!

Brooke (The Flour Sack) June 10, 2011 at 10:57 am

I can’t believe you were having the same thoughts about how you could make your cookies perfectly round! I was actually trying to brainstorm how to make them thicker without changing the actual recipe. Just yesterday the idea popped into my head to use my English muffin rings placed on a baking sheet with the dough scooped into each ring. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it could work ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve done the ramekin thing with this same exact cookie recipe and topped ’em with ice cream, too! Heaven.

Emily | Nomnivorous June 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

This reminds me so much of Dorie Greenspan’s cookies. I never made it to her pop-up CookieBar, but her perfectly round cut-out chocolate chip cookies, sables, etc are always sooo attractive to my eye! Seen here:

anickh November 4, 2011 at 4:36 am

Jess, thats so funny, i was thinking the exact same thing when i started reading this post “whoopie pie pans” like in this post
makes perfect round cookies. Anyway, im really starting to think i need to try this ny times cookies recipe. it seems to be everyones favorite

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