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Sherry Yard's Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sherry Yard's Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am having a very odd week. On Monday, just after I'd dropped Hugo off at daycare (thankgodthankgodthankgod), I slipped on some just-formed black ice on the sidewalk. There was no time to catch myself, no time to even register what was happening before I slammed my head against the cobblestones. It was all very upsetting, as you can imagine, what with bits of tooth suddenly loose in my mouth and blood on the sidewalk and a momentary loss of vision and all that pain, pain, pain.

A good Samaritan helped me and I was the first in the ER that morning, so I was seen and treated in record time and in the grand scheme of things, of course, I was very lucky: The tooth I broke was a molar, the blood came from a cut under my chin, I don't have a concussion and Hugo was safe and sound in his cozy little Kita (thankgodthankgodthankgod) while all this happened. But I've spent the remainder of this week in an ugly little fog. Part of it is the pain - my jaw muscles are all seized up due to the shock and I have bruises all over my body - and part of it is a strangely thick feeling of sadness that I can't really explain. I mean, it was really just a harmless little accident. So why has it left me feeling so ravaged?

What I'd like most right now is to crawl into bed and spend a few days being very, very quiet - but if someone came and offered me a few of these cookies, freshly baked - I wouldn't kick them out either.

Sliced cookies

I first made them a few months ago, after reading about Martha Rose Shulman's secret double life, and found them to be, in fact, quite perfect. They're chewy in the middle and just a tad crisp on the edges and because of the chopped chocolate, every bite you take is infused with chocolate and caramel flavors. They're pretty flawless. And as you probably know, once you find perfect chocolate chip cookies, it's sort of difficult to find much additional language about them. If they're great, they just are; if they're not, you have to keep looking. I herewith declare my search to be over.

But my favorite thing about these cookies is that once formed into logs, they can hang out in your freezer for quite some time, resting until you have friends over and need a last-minute snack or dessert or have smashed your head on the sidewalk and are feeling fragile and in need of cosseting (provided you can still chew).

And with that, folks, I'm off to be quiet and heal. Have a great weekend!

Sherry Yard's Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 4 dozen cookies

185 grams (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
115 grams (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter
100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
80 grams (1/2 cup packed) light brown sugar
2 grams (1/4 teaspoon) salt
1 large egg
5 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla
225 grams (8 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, cut in 1-inch pieces (or use coins)

1. Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until lemony yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle. Add sugar, brown sugar and salt. Continue creaming mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 1 minute. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl and paddle.

2. Add egg and vanilla and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until they are fully incorporated. Do not over-beat. Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle.

3. On low speed, add sifted flour mixture. Beat slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add chocolate chunks and mix in.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees with the rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spoon heaping teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheet. If not baking right away, remove small handfuls or spoonfuls of dough from mixer and plop them down on the middle of a sheet of parchment or wax paper, creating a log about 1 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Fold parchment over, creating a sausage. Chill for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Using a serrated knife, slice chilled dough into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and place them 2 inches apart, in staggered rows, on parchment-lined sheets and proceed. (Dough will keep, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen dough at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.)

5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned, rotating the baking sheet front to back halfway through. Remove from heat and slide parchment off baking sheet and onto a work surface. Allow cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving, or for at least 20 minutes before storing in an airtight container. Repeat with remaining dough. Cookies will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature.