- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8½ ounces) cake flour
- 1 and 2/3 cups (8½ ounces) bread flour
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 2½ sticks (1¼ cups) unsalted butter
- 1¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- Sea salt (coarse flakes highly recommended)
- 1¼ pounds semi-sweet chocolate or 3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
- 1½ cup raisins, dried cherries, craisins, chopped dried apricots, dates, etc. Any one or a combination
- 1½ cup chopped toasted walnuts, pecans, almonds. Any one or a combination.
About this recipe
The chocolate-chip cookie base was written up in the New York Times several years ago, and I learned a couple of things from that article. First, let your cookie dough sit in the refrigerator at least one full day (and up to three days) before you bake the cookies. This allows the flour to be fully coated by the butter and to fully absorb the eggs (so the article explained). All I know is my cookies are much more flavorful than they used to be since I started doing this.The other thing I learned is that a little sprinkle of sea salt flakes on just about any variety of cookie makes for an amazing taste sensation.
If you don’t have cake and bread flours on hand, you can use all-purpose for the total amount of flour called for in the recipe. Weighing the ingredients gives bakers better control over the final product, but measurements are given and will work.
I get a little obsessive with cookies I make for parties — I use my kitchen scale to measure the dough balls. I find 1¾ ounce of the oatmeal dough makes a perfect-sized cookie for after dinner.
- Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- Using a mixer with a very large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Add oatmeal or chocolate chips, dried fruit and nuts and mix until just incorporated. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. After initial refrigeration of at least 24 hours, dough can also be frozen for use later.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
- Scoop 1 dozen 1¾-ounce mounds of dough (about the size of golf balls) onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer sheet to a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. This recipe makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.