How World-Famous Chocolatier Jacques Torres Bakes Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolatier Jacques Torres has been famous for his chocolate creations loooong before his turn as a judge on the hit Netflix show Nailed It!. The French chef produces some of the most sought-after gourmet chocolates in the world, so we had to know his version of an American classic: the chocolate chip cookie.
When we interviewed him at one of his New York chocolate shops, he told us he had quite the story behind this recipe. “I tried to make French pastries — things that are a bit more complicated — but when I talked to my customers, the word ‘cookies’ came back a lot. But I’m French. I didn’t grow up with [American-style] cookies. I grew up with shortbread.”
That didn’t stop him from investigating how he could deliver for his customers. “I didn’t know how to make chocolate chip cookies, so I went to a grocery store not too far from here and I bought the Toll House Morsels. I opened the bag — and put all the chocolate in the garbage. It’s a true story!” What he wanted, after all, wasn’t the chocolate: it was the classic recipe for chocolate chip cookies on the back. “I took that recipe and translated it into grams and rebalanced it the way I think the recipe should be. Of course, I [used] the chocolate I use for bonbons [because] it has more cocoa butter,” he added.
The success of his cookies escalated quickly. “We arrived at a point where we could not scoop the cookies fast enough, so we bought a machine that cuts the dough. It now extrudes 80 cookies a minute. We sell thousands every week!” You can buy the world-famous chocolate chip cookies on his website for $19 (for six cookies) OR you can whip up a homemade batch with the recipe provided. Just don’t forget his tips for what makes his cookies extra-special. Torres says, “Baking is simple. What’s not simple is to find the best ingredients possible.” Luckily, he shared many *key* ingredients below.
1. Use a Better Butter: Find a butter that has more fat than others. Plugrá is Torres’ go-to and what gets used in his shop. It’s a French-style butter that’s made in America, so it’s much cheaper than the imported kind, and its rich flavor really shines in the cookie.
2. Get a Good Flour:King Arthur Flour is what Torres swears by.
3. Age the Dough: “We let the dough age for 24 hours so the flavor becomes stronger,” Torres tells us. The New York Times explains that this technique of letting the dough rest allows the liquids to fully absorb into the flour, resulting in a cookie with more even caramelization plus richer molasses-y notes.
4. Invest in the Chocolate: Torres is skeptical of chocolates that don’t melt — like chips, for instance. His advice? Find a high-quality chocolate with lots of cocoa butter, so that the chocolate melts and oozes as it bakes. For this recipe, Torres recommends his baking disks, which are sold online. If you’re in a pinch, Valrhona fèves, or oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at available at Whole Foods. That’s what we used for this recipe. Torres also says that what makes his cookie so good is that “there’s more chocolate than dough,” so remember: Pour those disks in liberally!
5. Salt It: Though it’s optional in the recipe, we’re all about going hard on the salty sprinkle on top. It helps accentuate the flavors and balance the sweetness.
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(Recipe via Jacques Torres; photos via Brittany Griffin/Brit + Co)