Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I must admit I've been neglecting the blog a bit these days, mostly because of various visitors that have come to stay with me, a gigantic "snowmageddon" that hit, and well, a hint of laziness. The recent snow storm has actually helped me get me off the couch/bed/lab bench and back into the kitchen (due to my school being snowed in for two days, yeah! So there are benefits to having the city wait for snow to melt rather than cleaning it up...). I recently bought Thomas Keller's new book designed for more casual, family-style home cooking, Ad Hoc at Home, and tried my first recipe. Of course it turned out to be a dessert, and something simple: chocolate chip cookies. I was just curious... What do Thomas Keller's chocolate chip cookies taste like?

The recipe was easy enough, although it really took the wind out of me to stir cookie dough without a stand mixer/paddle attachment. For chocolate, he uses a combination of Valrhona 70% and 55% chocolates. I cheated, and added half milk chocolate instead of the 55%. I know, all true chocoholics would turn their nose up at me right now, saying "Milk? Please, who eats that stuff anymore after age 10?" But I really do prefer milk chocolate over dark, even in my cookies. Not sure what that says about me, especially since I do enjoy lots of bitter things, like super-hoppy beer. What's your preference?

I made a few test cookies first, to see if I liked the dough I had or wanted to add anything more to it. First off, I forgot the salt! Terrible mistake, salt is such a big thing in desserts to bring out the flavors properly. Second--and this is probably after years of making the Toll House recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag--I was missing the vanilla extract. I know, I doubt Thomas Keller uses vanilla extract, or extracts of any kind for that matter, in his cooking. But I ended up adding a teaspoon in anyway--my personal preference.

Overall the cookies were crisp on the edges, chewy in the middle, and tasted delicious. Not overly sweet, like so many of those pre-made dough kinds, and I think this recipe really makes the chocolate you use the star of the show. A lesson to use better chocolate--and more of it--next time. Anyone have their own chocolate chip cookie recipes or tips to share?
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