I know you don’t miss my mindset all those years ago when I was first freelancing and depressed and scared about everything, but I also know there’s one thing you loved about those manic days—those enormous Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookies I used to make. Say what you want about my stress management tendencies; you’ve never complained about my habit of baking away my worries.
But I also know you don’t actually miss the cookies themselves. Not because you went crazy and decided to stop eating chocolate or anything foolish like that, but because they inspired something better and more convenient for you: the bag of individually shaped, single-serving cookie dough balls I always keep in the freezer for you to bake up whenever your sweet tooth is demanding a late-night chocolate chip cookie fix. (This way, I don’t have to apologize for not making you fresh batches of cookies at 11 pm when I’d rather be in bed, you night owl!)
From past hints about making your own chili, I’m fully aware that just because this recipe is up on the site doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to go ahead and make it for yourself. But here it is, regardless, for any moment where you might feel motivated… or when you realize there are only four cookies left in the freezer bag.
I know you’re going to grumble about pulling two different flours out of the cupboard*, but trust me—the combination leads to a more supple, smoother dough. If you’re feeling lazy, just substitute 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour from the big red bin, but your dough is going to be just a little crumblier when you form it into balls. Depending on how cold it is in the house (hey, at least I’ve been letting us turn the heat on this winter!), you might have to let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes or so to warm up and be shapeable.
If you really miss the pricey Valhrona fèves I used to get at Whole Foods to replicate the JT cookies, we can do a batch with those next time. But I have to say, I actually prefer the ratio of dough to chocolate when making these cookies with chocolate chunks instead. The chunks give you those same pockets of melty, gushy chocolate but they don’t dominate and make the cookie a little too soft and unstable, like the fèves always did.
(And, ahem, since you’ve frequently been upping your usual baking quantity from two cookies at a time to three, I don’t think you’re too unhappy with the switch.)
Believe me, if I could invent a way to make a freezer burger you could pop in the toaster oven and heat just as easily, I’d do it too. But that’s probably a few years away from perfection, so let’s just road trip up to Elevation Burger today and you can bake these up later tonight when the cats and I are snoozing away in front of Fallon. Don’t let Lenny eat one, no matter how much he begs you!
*The cake flour is on the shelf above the bread flour, by the way. And I’ll show you where the vanilla bean paste and shortening are too.
Freezable Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes plus chilling and freezing time
Makes 32 cookies
- 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) bread flour
- 1 cup (4 ounces) cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces; 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) shortening
- 1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) chocolate chunks
Whisk the flours, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter, shortening, and sugars together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 3-4 minutes. Start on low speed to incorporate the butter with the sugar, then increase to medium speed to aerate the blend—it will be pale and fluffy when you’re done.
Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and vanilla bean paste. Stir on low just until the egg is incorporated.
Scrape down the bowl again and place the plastic pouring shield on the stand mixer. Turn the mixer back on low speed and add the flour mixture a heaping spoonful at a time just until it’s all mixed in.
Add the chocolate chunks and let the mixer stir them in; it will start to grind and break them if it stirs too long, so just let it go for 10 seconds or so and they should be mixed pretty evenly.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a whole day—you can bust them free of their fridge prison after an overnight rest, if you really want, but since you’re just going to freeze them anyway, why not let them go the full 24 hours?
Line a small baking sheet with waxed paper.
Roll the dough into balls about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place on the baking sheet. Freeze until completely hard, about 1 hour, then transfer to a large freezer bag. The dough balls will keep up to 6 months (tightly sealed) in the freezer, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a bag last that long.
To bake the frozen balls, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner and preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on the sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the cookies are deeply browned. Cool for 1 to 2 minutes on the baking sheet before lifting them off and eating them immediately.