Our friend Nadia is the only person we know who bakes in 35 degree heat. She baked these cookies in the midst of those insanity inducing heatwave days we had last week. But we ate the cookies at our friend’s block down by the beach where we could bask in the heat, swim in the ocean and sit outside their caravan, all of us happily encrusted in salt and sand, our mouths full of sugary crumb. Once you’ve baked these it takes immense will power not to eat them for every meal. I even ate cookies for breakfast before my first swim of the day.
Now, the resting time might seem excessive, ridiculous even but it very seriously makes a difference. The texture of the cookie is much superior after its night’s rest. It develops an excellent bite to it. Nadia always doubles the recipe. This makes so many cookies, but because the dough has to sit for so long anyway we see no point in only making a little dough. Nadia wants to be the kind of woman who always has the potential to have warm cookies on the table within half an hour – so having excess cookie dough in the freezer (rolled up into balls and wrapped in clingwrap) makes this much easier. If you mentally ignore the resting time, baking the cookies themselves only takes 10 minutes. So quick.
Eaten after just a little time to cool the cookies are crunchy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside, with the chocolate chips still hot and melted. But eaten at room temperature they’re just as good.
Nadia says that sending these cookies express post to someone equals a love/soul bond forever and always. Imagine opening one of those yellow and red express post bags to reveal a box of these perfect cookies. That’s love. Bake these cookies this week while the weather is cool, and send to QLD where it really is too hot and sweaty to have the oven on.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from a family recipe Nadia has for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and a recipe published in The New York Times (2008), David Leite, and Jacques Torres
3 ½ cups plain flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp Maldon sea salt
1 ¼ cups unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
1 cup raw granulated/Demerara sugar (Nadia only uses Demerara sugar if the cookies are aimed at winning someone’s affections, otherwise raw granulated sugar is fine.)
2 free-range eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
600g bitter chocolate chips/chunks
Maldon sea salt
Sift dry ingredients together. Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and the vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the buttery-sugar mixture, then chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.
The cookie dough should be cool and firm, so wrap in clingwrap and chill. The dough gets better and better and ideally should be chilled overnight (or for 36 hours as in the New York Times recipe).
Preheat oven to 180C. When dough has had time to chill roll into 50c piece-ish sized balls and flatten ever so slightly. Here it is really just like giving them a little love blessing with the back of a wooden spoon. Place on baking paper. Sprinkle each cookie with a little Maldon sea salt. To bake use a good quality aluminium cookie sheet with no edges. This is important for the even heating of the cookies.
Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. A little less, a little more, depending on your oven – until they are golden brown but still soft. Leave to cool on a wire rack.