If I could have a phone conversation with the New York Times Dining and Wine (as though NYTimes were a casual friend/maybe date), it would go a little something like this:
NYTimes: (after 4 rings) Hello?
Joy: Hey! Oh, I didn’t think you were going to pick up. I was expecting to leave a message. I thought you’d be a work.
NYTimes: You specifically called when you thought I’d be at work?
Joy: (Awkward pause) No….. I just thought I could leave a message.
NYTimes: Well do you want me to hang up so you can call back? You’re being weird…
Joy: No!…. It’s just… NYTimes, we need to talk.
NYTimes: You know what Joy? I’m not really in the mood for this right now. I have to be up early tomorrow and I really don’t want to get into anything right now.
Joy: Well that’s too bad NYTimes, we need to talk right now.. It’s about your cookies. Just listen. Seriously. It’s important…
Joy: (continued) I like that you like food. I can tell that you’re totally into it. That’s cool… It really is. But you know what? Sometimes a cookie is just a cookie. (Pause) Sometimes we should let a cookie just be a cookie.
Don’t get me wrong- I really like that you like to sprinkle sea salt on top of cookie dough. That’s respectable, and has a certain amount of charm. I’m not talking about that… I’m talking about this 36 hour rule for resting cookie dough. You know what? I’m going to say something that I don’t think anyone else will say to your face…
NYTimes: (interrupting) We aren’t face to face. This is over the phone. And this is an imaginary conversation. And I’m the NYTimes, so I don’t have a face.
Joy: Ok.. you know what? That’s not the point, and don’t interrupt me. Your 36 hour rule- I don’t buy it. I’m not in. In fact- I’m out. Why? Well to be honest, I couldn’t taste a difference. The 24 hour and 36 hour batched baked up slightly darker than the 12 hour batch, but I couldn’t decipher a taste difference. In fact, I didn’t find any difference at all between the 24 and 36 hour batches. I mean… come on… for the average person, eating a warm cookie from the oven is treat enough. Why even suggest that they wait 36 hours to bake up the dough? Who has that kind of time NYTimes. Seriously!?
NYTimes: (impatiently) Well what do you want me to do?
Joy: Well I don’t know what you can do. What’s printed is printed, right? I just wanted to call and talk to you so that you know that I know that sometimes you come up with some snotty cooking crap. Sometimes you take something as friendly, straightforward, and approachable as a chocolate chip cookie and you put it on a pedestal and talk about things like depth of flavor and flavor profiles and crumb… and geez! Can’t a cookie just be a cookie?
NYTimes: You’re yelling…
Joy: I’m not yelling! I’m just being passionate. I’m just saying that I’m on to you. I did the experiment myself, and a cookie is a cookie at 12 hours, 24 hours and 36 hours. A damn good, all -American cookie, that’s what is it.
Now, I don’t mean to be harsh. I just had to get that off my chest. Would you please put Mark Bittman on the phone? I like him.
NYTimes: Joy, you’re odd.
Joy: I know. Bittman please.
After much trial and refridgeration. I’ve found these to be my two favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.
The Chewy, with melted butter and bread flour, from Alton Brown.
The Buttery, with creamed butter and salted peanuts or cashews, from Elizabeth Faulkner.
I chill each dough for at least 4 hours before baking. Of course, refrigerate the dough for up to 36 hours if you like. I’ll create an evenly golden cookie, with all the goodness that is the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie.