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Joanne Chang’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

by on January 24, 2011 · 41 comments

This week I posted a link to an article in The Atlantic. I guess a lot of people read The Atlantic because after I posted that one, a few people mentioned another baking article in that magazine – an article with an outstanding chocolate chip cookie recipe! I made the dough Saturday night and baked a batch Sunday morning.

This recipe is from pastry chef Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston, and in the article she tells how she came up with it. It evolved from the Toll House recipe, but Joanne Chang uses part bread flour, adds a combination of milk chocolate and the best semi-sweet chocolate available, lets the dough rest and scoops it out by quarter cups so the cookies are nice and big.

Here’s the chocolate chip cookie recipe verbatim from the Atlantic.

Atlantic took out the full article, so here’s a link to Joe’s version of the recipe.

If the link goes away, let me know and I’ll email it to you. These cookies have a great texture with crispy edges, soft centers and brown sugar flavor. They’re up there with the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve made, which means I’m going to have to start keeping bread flour on hand again.

UPDATE: Be careful what type of chocolate you use. I love Lindt, but it melts fast and might cause these cookies to spread. Some other smooth, high quality, melting chocolates will also give you more spread.

chocolate chip cookies

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Published on January 24, 2011

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

Have you ever tried the recipe in the King Arthur Bakers’ Companion for chewy chocolate chip cookies? That’s my all time fave!

Amanda January 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

These look like my favorite kind of chocolate chip cookie. I have been baking your Jumbo 3 Chip cookies for weeks now and everyone tells me they are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Looks like I’ll have to buy some bread flour!

Lisa Ernst January 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

The cookies look beautiful, and I love the generous amount of chips called for in the recipe. I’m bookmarking this one for the next time I want to bake some special CCC’s. (So far my two favorite recipes are the NY Times recipe and your Ultimate Stand Mixer CCC recipe.)

Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat January 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

Those look awesome! I am always looking for new CCC (I am stealing Lisa’s acronym) recipes. It’s a classic for a reason! I may add some vanilla to mine, though, as I just love that flavor.

Fallon January 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

The bread flour really makes them a hefty cookie. Must bookmark for future CC cookie baking. I can see why this is a popular cookie.

Amanda January 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

It must have been a CCC weekend or something, this is the third CCC recipe post I’ve seen today! :) They look amazing as usual!

Ginny January 24, 2011 at 11:59 am

So where is the recipe already?

stephanie January 24, 2011 at 11:59 am

Its my baking day: pumpkin muffins & scones. Now I have to try the chocolate spice muffins & a NEW CCC recipe. Thank you! Off to the kitchen………

vanillasugar January 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

i need to keep bread flour in the cupboard too.

Helena January 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I have so many chocolate chip cookie recipes with bread flour in my stash, but havn’t tried any of them yet. I think I really need to give them a try!

Shannon in Canada January 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

ok, so I have never used bread flour for cookies. I think its probably time I gave it a try since I have read so much about it, but what exactly is it that the bread flour does for the cookies? I am assuming its a texture thing?

Louise January 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Ginny, in the third paragraph above, Anna points to the recipe at http://www.theatlantic.com/food/archive/10/11/recipe-flour-bakery-cafe-chocolate-chip-cookies/66155/

Katrina January 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm

You beat me. I knew you’d make these after you last post and Louise suggested you make them. I went then and printed off the recipe. Hadn’t gotten to them yet. But with your good seal of approval, I will make them soon for sure. They look great.
And we all know I already keep bread flour on hand for my current fave–NYT.
Hope you’re having fun.

Christine January 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

These sound amazing! I may need to make these for the hubby as his Valentine’s Day gift.

natalie (the sweets life) January 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

ooh I love Joanne Chang! I can’t wait to try these!

Linda January 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I see in the comments on the recipe on The Atlantic website that the instructions note mixing in vanilla, but vanilla isn’t listed in the ingredients. That comment wasn’t answered, so, Anna, how much vanilla did you add?

Jessica January 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm

These look amazing! I’ve always wondered what the bread flour does to a chocolate chip cookie, and now I know. I especially love the giant gob of chocolate right in the middle of the second cookie in your picture :).

My favorite cookie recipe is the New York Times Cookie (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/091crex.html), which contains bread AND cake flour, so I’ll be sure to make this one and compare!

Gloria January 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm

CCC cookies are my favorite, but I’m so picky about them…usually they are too sweet for me and lack depth of flavor. I’m surprised she uses unsalted butter and only 1/2 teaspoon salt with all that sugar. Toll house calls for salted butter and 1 teaspoon salt and they don’t seem “salty” to me. Go figure! Must be my over 50 year old taste buds!
On a sort of related note: Thanks for the time-saving tip about microwave-toasting a small batch of nuts. I had no idea that would work and it did!!!!! And, I have no idea which one of your posts I saw it on!!!

Anna January 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Gloria, these tasted salty enough to me, but I forgot to mention I used salted butter. Glad the microwave tip works for you! All microwaves are different. Here in my new house, I have to use 50% power to toast nuts. It works, but you have to find the right settings.

Anna January 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Linda, a few pastry chefs like leaving the vanilla out of cookies. I usually add some anyway. For this batch I used 1 teaspon. It’s optional, but I like vanilla.

TxPepper January 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Anna loves her readers.

:-)
Pepper

stephanie January 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Have the dough chilling in the fridge. Any comparisons to this cookie recipe & the NYtimes cookie recipe. I made that one a few months ago. Curious to see how this one is.

Sue January 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Oh my! These sound fantastic!! Looking forward to trying them!

Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie January 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I love using bread flour for chocolate chip cookies!

Amanda January 25, 2011 at 1:18 am

I just made these and they taste amazing. The combination of the milk and semi-sweet chocolate is delicious. But mine are not puffy and beautiful like yours Anna. They came out flat. Maybe because I didn’t chill the dough…I baked half and have the other half sitting in the fridge until tomorrow. I just couldn’t wait :) Maybe the next batch will be better.

BakerMan January 25, 2011 at 2:02 am

I love a Great Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Lori @ RecipeGirl January 25, 2011 at 6:00 am

I’m always curious to try new chocolate chip cookie recipes. I made one the other day using almond flour (no actual flour at all) that was interesting. Bread flour for cookies is a new one- will have to try!

marsha January 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

for the recipe, click on chocolate chip cookie recipe in the description.

Anna January 25, 2011 at 7:37 am

Sounds like they were a little low on flour. Did you weigh or use volume measurements? I weighed the flour. Chilling the dough should help a little bit.

Denise January 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm

How much vanilla did you use? It is not listed in ingredients, but rather down in the instructions. Just curious. Thanks!

Louise January 27, 2011 at 2:21 am

It seems like a couple of commentors made these cc cookies. How are they in a couple of days? Or even just the next day?

Eridqua January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Hi All, I made these cookies this week and they were pretty good but not as good as the NYT recipe. These are very similar in taste to Toll House cookies since Joanne Chang based her recipe on that. I felt that they came out a bit too sweet and were definitely soft but not chewy. I did like the combo of different chocolates. The correct amount for the vanilla is 1/2 teaspoon. Joanne posted this same recipe as “Chocolate Chunk Cookies” once and it listed vanilla as 1/2 t. Hope that helps!

Heidi February 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Hi Anna,

I was so excited to try these CCC. Yours look awesome. Mine were not so impressive. They came out as flat as pancakes. I thought the dough seemed a little low on flour but I figured that thoroughly chilling the dough would keep them from spreading too much. Nope. They were FLAT. They didn’t taste bad but they weren’t spectacular either. But that’s ok. I’ve tried a million recipes and I’m always on the lookout for another one to try. Thanks for telling us about it. I DO want to purchase her baking book she has available. There are several recipes in it that look fabulous. Do you own it and how do you like it if you do?

Heidi

Anna February 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Heidi, that’s too bad! I saw that Food Librarian made them and hers were flat too, but not pancake flat and she did enjoy them. Why did you think the dough seemed low on flour? I’m just curious because that’s the same ratio as the Toll House recipe.

I don’t own the book yet but I plan on buying it :). Her recipes have always worked perfectly for me. I especially like some of her muffins.

Lissa February 3, 2011 at 11:25 am

Ack! Mine came out flat too. I chilled the dough over night and tested my baking soda, so those weren’t the culprits. I used air-bake cookie sheets and used my convection function. Could either of those be the problem? I also did not weigh the flour, so I’ll definitely do that next time. They tasted really good, so I will try again!

Anna February 3, 2011 at 11:30 am

I think the problem might be with the bread flour. Certain brands have different weights and I think humidity affect flour volume as well. To be accurate, it’s best to weigh the flour — especially when you’re using flour that’s not all purpose. Since this is just the Toll House recipe with a couple of changes (flour, size, chocolate) the cookies shouldn’t be flat.

The other culprit could be the type of chocolate. If you are using a high cocoa fat chocolate the chocolate might be melting quickly into the dough and causing spread. I’ve had this happen a lot of times.

Jackie March 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Hi Anna

You suggest not to use high quality chocolate in this recipe. What brand of chocolate do you suggest using in this recipe.

Anna March 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm

That’s subjective, but I have found that Scharffen Berger works really well in cookies. Smoother chocolates like Lindt (which I love) sometimes melt too fast and make certain cookies spread more. Valrhona and Callebaut are also really good.

Linda November 22, 2011 at 11:55 am

Anna, I’m on my annual quest for the best cc cookie for holiday gifts – meaning they have to be somewhat sturdy, taste great, and keep as well as possible as they are traveling. I tried this recipe, and like others, my cookies were fairly flat – they look nothing like yours. I weigh my ingredients, so that shouldn’t be the issue. Here are the changes I made – I used half shortening (I know, I know, but it does make them keep better) which if anything, should have made them puffier rather than thinner; and I added 1 1/2 t. vanilla. The link to the original article only shows part of the recipe, but I found the recipe on Lisa’s Sweet as Sugar blog, and other than the changes she notes, I’m assuming it’s the original recipe. They do taste great, and I’m going to try them again. As you noted, there might be differences with bread flours, and I’m also wondering if by beating the fats and sugars until fluffy is incorporating so much air that the cookies collapse at a certain point. I’m also wondering if different milk chocolates may make a difference. I used Hershey’s bars. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

Linda November 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Whoops, should also have mentioned that both the bread and regular flours I used were unbleached.

Anna November 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Linda, I think an extra 1/4 cup of flour would have made yours a little thicker. There was a small discrepancy in that article. It had a little more flour than what is listed in the book. Based on the fact mine were really good using the extra 1/4 cup of flour, I’d stick with that. The article has been (mostly) removed, so I linked to Joe.

About the other questions, it sounds like you answered them all yourself! I’ll email you another recipe to try.

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