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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Carrying Capacity Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know it wasn't that long ago that I told you a person only needed one chocolate chip cookie recipe. Now, here I am with another recipe less than a year later.
Recently, I was reading about the importance of delayed gratification. They were talking about the experiment from the 1960's when they gave the kids a marshmallow and told them if they could wait 15 mintues they could then have two marshmallows. The researchers then left the room. Turns out they followed up with these kids later in life and all the ones who were able to wait were smarter, happier, and more well adjusted. The thing is that things always taste better when you have to wait for them, just think about Thanksgiving dinner.
When David Lebovitz's new cookbook "Ready for Dessert" came out a few weeks ago. It was this chocolate chip cookie recipe that immediately caught my eye. The recipe calls for letting them sit for 24 hours. Wow, that is a long time. When I looked at the ingredients, 3 cups of chocolate and 2 cups of nuts I wondered if these would even form into cookies. It seemed to me these cookies would be beyond their carrying capacity with just one more chocolate chip. I could think of nothing more sad than a collapse of the chocolate chip cookie population. I forged ahead to see if one cookie could take all that chocolate and nuts. You see, it was all in the name of science that I made these cookies. 
Here's the thing...they did form into cookies, very good cookies, but I still don't know is whether it was the delayed gratification or the carrying capacity that made these cookies so good. So, now I have two chocolate chip cookie recipes, one for the days that I need a cookie NOW, and another for those days when I am willing to delay gratification for a cookie that meets its carrying capacity.
Recipe notes: First of all David  Lebovitz is pretty insistent that you chop the chocolate yourself. The reason being that chocolate chips do not melt as well, leaving you with a less gooey cookie. I used chocolate chips anyway because the idea of going out an buying more chocolate when I am still trying to work through a cupboard full of chocolate chips didn't really appeal to me. The second part is that once I mixed the dough, I just put it in a bowl and covered it for 24 hours and then scooped out the cookies, the original recipe calls for rolling the dough into logs and then slicing them. So, if you want the real recipe I recommend buying the book, heck I recommend buying the book anyway!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from David Leibovitz's Ready for Dessert
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks)unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and chocolate chunks.
Place dough in a bowl, cover and chill for 24 hours. (no eating all the dough in the meantime)
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop the dough out into tablespoon size balls and place approximately 2 inches apart on baking sheet. The dough may seem rather crumbly, just do your best to push all the bits together.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are very lightly browned in the centers, about 10 minutes. If you like them really soft, under bake them a bit.
Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer them to a wire rack. 


  1. Those look delicious. The idea of letting them sit for 24 hours would be a challenge, but I just might be up for it. :)

  2. Love the new look! A friend of mine was raving about these the other day too. I have a good cookie recipe, but don't feel like I have really found the perfect chocolate chip one. I shall definitely have to give these a go, perhaps with pecans.

  3. Stacey- If I can do it, you can do it!

    Rebecca- David Lebovitz's new cookbook is wonderful. I now have a few of his recipes that are my go to ones.


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